Inside Ethereum Rollups: An Essential Guide to Embracing Efficient Transaction Processing

Everything to know about Ethereum Rollups!
Ethereum network is constant work in progress. How does rollups fit here?

We all know that Ethereum shifted from a Proof of Work consensus algorithm to a Proof of Stake algorithm in order to cut down on transaction costs and increase the overall productivity of the network. However, this is not the only step that Ethereum has taken to achieve this result. Earlier it rolled out Ethereum rollups. 

Ethereum has been using a variety of scaling solutions to cater to the growing number of transactions that have caused network congestion, ultimately leading to higher gas fees. Its rollups are also a scaling solution designed to increase the productivity of the network. 

What are Ethereum rollups?

Ethereum rollup is a scaling solution where the network rolls up a collection of transactions to be presented in the network as a single transaction. This helps in cutting the cost of Ethereum transactions and fastening the processing speed. Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, believes that Ethereum rollups will continue to play a significant role in the network even after Ethereum 2.0 launches. 

There are two types of solutions here – Optimistic Rollups and Zero-Knowledge Rollups.

Optimistic rollups

These types of rollups make an assumption that all rolled-up data in a transaction is valid and there are no spurious transactions hidden within these blocks. The idea behind this type of rollup is to assume validity and fasten things up. But, to protect against fraudulent transactions, optimistic rollup protocols give users the ability to contest bunk trades. Ethereum has to check the transaction, and both parties have ETH staked, which they lose if they are wrong or lie. 

Zero-Knowledge rollups

Also referred to as zk-rollups, these rely on a cryptography piece called zero-knowledge proof that allows users to mathematically prove that a statement is true or not, without disclosing additional information. In crypto, these are called zk-SNARKs, and this method bypasses the dispute-resolution system used for optimistic solutions. Zk solutions only allow valid transactions to be uploaded to the rollup. 

Can you purchase rollups?

Ethereum is not the only blockchain network that uses rollups to boost its network performance. However, one thing that needs to be made clear is that you cannot purchase a scaling solution. However, you can use blockchain networks that rely on these solutions. You can purchase their tokens on a decentralized or centralized exchange. 

There are other blockchain networks that are exploring this solution with their unique twists, such as Cartesi, the Blockchain OS. 

Cartesi – The Blockchain OS

Cartesi, the Blockchain OS, is a layer-2 platform used for the deployment and development of scalable decentralized applications. Cartesi has developed an operating system paired with Linux and blockchain infrastructure to promote the building of dApps in common programming languages such as Python. 

The platform offers an easy and efficient solution to use programming languages, libraries, tools and software to develop DApps. This blockchain OS consists of the Cartesi Machine, a virtual machine, and Cartesi rollups. They are a full solution for scaling blockchain networks that utilize the Cartesi Machine within an Optimistic framework. 

How are Cartesi rollups different?

Today, the majority of general-purpose solutions that are based on Optimistic rollups aim to be EMV-compatible as they focus on offering lower transaction costs and higher transaction speed for the smart contracts running on Ethereum. But, Cartesi focuses on developing a true operating system for blockchain developers to help them leverage decades’ worth of software development for the first time from the mainstream industry. 

Cartesi not just solves the scalability problems using an optimistic solutions framework but also uses the Cartesi Machine Emulator to increase productivity and application complexity. It also allows the developers to code their smart contracts with the help of any software stack available for Linux. 

Cartesi operates as a special operating system designed to make your life easier by allowing users to create computationally heavy dApps while offering them the freedom to choose programming languages and tools. 

Cartesi is a unique blockchain OS that integrates Linux and standard programming environments into the blockchain. The project has been making continuous progress and recently enabled several improvements for the Ethereum network. Some of these improvements include:

The Future of Rollups

As mentioned earlier, the co-founder of Ethereum believes that rollups will be relevant to Ethereum even after the Merge. This goes to prove that their utility is not just dependent on high gas fees and slow transaction speed but on improving the productivity of the network.

Even the utility presented by Cartesi showcases the versatility of rollups and how blockchain networks can utilize them for different purposes.