Why Eclipse’s Innovative Modular Rollup Solution Beats Traditional L2s
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In this interview, Head of Engineering David Lin explains how Eclipse solves many of the problems currently associated with building decentralized applications (dApps) on L1s when it comes to scalability and interoperability. David also describes how Eclipse takes away many of the pain-points normally associated with dApp development, and why gaming is such a powerful use-case for the technology.
Traditional limitations of L1 blockchains
David Lin, Eclipse Head of Engineering: I’ve been involved in the blockchain space since 2018. I come from the world of layer-1 (L1), so I'm familiar with that landscape, but what really drew me towards Eclipse was the idea of the modular layer-2 (L2) ecosystem that Neel and the team were building.
Traditionally, as a dApp developer in the world of Web3, you pick your L1, and then you're stuck there – you have to play by all the rules on that L1. That includes things like transaction speed, and how much throughput (transactions per second – TPS) you have. You don’t get to decide any of that for yourself. That’s because on an L1, you're sharing throughput with everyone else that's on that L1. Say you’re a game developer, and TPS is important to you. You don't want someone else's activity to affect the user experience for players of your game – that’s a big problem. With Eclipse, you don’t have to share throughput.
“Just pick and choose what works for you, then put it all together to build your product.”
With Eclipse, as a dApp developer you don’t have to use the stack provided by a giant, monolithic L1, you can just pick and choose what works for you, then put it all together to build your product. You can choose what front-end you’re building on, what back-end you're building on, which cloud you use, and what you're using for storage. You can also choose what execution layer you want to use, such as Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for example, or Move, or Solana.
Let's say a client is looking for a new execution environment and they want to use Move. But what happens when they can't find an L1 that’s truly compelling? With Eclipse, they can simply opt for a Move rollup or an SVM rollup instead, without being restricted to an L1 that incorporates Move. They get to decide where their data goes, whether that’s on Celestia, Eigenlayer, or any other platform.
“Eclipse is an L2 solution that combines a lot of the benefits of traditional L2s into a single product.”
A traditional rollup is a smart contract that lives on a blockchain, and basically, that contract is responsible for storing all of the transaction data that comes through the rollup. It processes all the transactions, and then submits them to the smart contract, where the data is verified and stored. By comparison, Eclipse handles every part of what keeps a dApp running. Eclipse is a modular rollup; it’s an L2 solution that combines a lot of the benefits of traditional L2s into a single product.
In the long term, I think Eclipse will solve a lot of problems that people are currently using L1s to solve. Eclipse is exciting, not just because of the modular L2 concept but also because of how strong our partnerships are in the whole ecosystem. We're working with a lot of the top projects like Celestia, Eigenlayer, and then even on the zero-knowledge (zk) rollup side we’re working with RISC Zero on zk EVM. A lot of this will roll up into the Eclipse ecosystem.
Web3 Gaming – a powerful use-case for Eclipse
At the moment, the most important use-case for Eclipse is gaming. Game developers have wanted to be on blockchain for quite some time – they want to have all the economics on-chain, have trading markets, and possibly interactions with other games through shared tokens or NFTs. But the throughput and responsiveness have never been there. So in order to make their games work, game developers have had to take a lot of the functions off-chain.
In addition, game developers want to be able to customize gas fees for transactions – something that you can only do if you have your own rollup. Until now, the inability to customize fees has been a huge roadblock. If you're transacting with other users in a game, and suddenly, gas fees are sky high, then the game becomes unplayable for a period of time. Or the developer has to take on that cost, for reasons that might have nothing to do with them.
“Eclipse takes on all the work of running an L2 that’s built to a client’s specifications [...] by taking that burden off the client, we solve a major pain point”
When a dApp developer comes to Eclipse, the first thing we do is set up a testnet for them. Depending on their requirements, let’s say they want EVM, we have EVM as our execution layer. Then we decide where they want to write data to, whether it be Celestia or Eigenlayer, and then we just spin up the testnet. We also provide a block explorer, faucets, and some wallets that they can use to interact with the product and then they're off to the races. For the end user, connecting to a dApp that utilizes Eclipse is the same experience as connecting to a dApp on an L1.
Eclipse takes on all the work of running an L2 that’s built to a client’s specifications. We run the nodes, and figure out how to integrate things like whether the client wants to use EVM or SVM as an execution layer, and where they want to store data. All operations go through Eclipse. By taking that burden off the client, we solve a major pain point, so even companies that are not blockchain native can just start exploring.
Eclipse is a customizable rollup provider allowing developers to “pick and choose” the best aspects of blockchain technology needed to create unique decentralized applications, without making technical trade-offs.
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