Why not Build the Protocol Onchain?

Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum have long been plagued by low transaction throughput and high transaction fees, since block space is a scarce resource. Building our protocol directly onchain would only help to aggravate this issue. Many scaling solutions have since emerged to combat this problem: lightning channels, side chains, plasma chains, rollups, etc. These solutions improve throughput by moving transaction execution offchain and only periodically submitting a commitment of its state onchain. These offchain scaling solutions are often referred to as scaling solutions.

Each one of these scaling solutions has its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Lightning channels are fast and secure, but have limited number of participants and rely on a liveness assumption.

  • Side chains are fast and cheap, but fully rely on trusted operators.

  • Plasma chains are faster and more secure than side chains, as they count with a challenge window, but there is still a trust assumption on the operator. If a malicious operator was to withhold transaction data, this behavior would drive users to mass exit the plasma chain, causing serious congestion on Ethereum.

Rollups improve on plasma chains by periodically compressing and submitting transaction data to Ethereum. Operators can no longer withhold the data from users and such mass exit risks are minimized.

Our custom rollup, zkTrue-up, is designed with one specific purpose in mind: proving the transaction logic of the Term Structure protocol. Unlike other rollup solutions in the space, which aim to be as general-purpose as possible, ours could be considered an application-specific rollup.

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