A shot of Espresso, please: Blockchain scaler to offer third testnet integration

Shared sequencers are an essential part of decentralization that may eventually lead to mass adoption


All for you friend/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Blockchain scaling and privacy infrastructure company Espresso Systems will release its third testnet of the Espresso Sequencer for OP stack builders.

The testnet, named Cortado, will include work for an Optimism Request for Proposal (OP RFP) that aims to decentralize sequencers. 

Rollup solutions today run their own sequencers that have their own execution environments. These sequencers are responsible for ordering transaction information that is then sent to a virtual machine.

To ensure there is no single authority that orders these transactions, projects such as Espresso Systems are exploring ways to diversify these sequencers. 

The initial release will be a locally hosted demo version of an OP stack rollup running on Espresso that enterprises can test. 

Over the coming weeks, a publicly hosted canonical OP stack testnet will be released. This testnet will be similar to the testnet Doppio, which went live in July, according to Jill Gunter, chief strategy officer at Espresso Systems.

This publicly hosted testnet will be deployed in partnership with Caldera. The one-click rollup deployment allows developers to choose the different layers to build a blockchain.

Decentralizing sequencers before decentralizing fraud proofs

A popular narrative within crypto circles raises the concern that without fraud-proofs — a mechanism that can challenge the accuracy of a transaction — shared sequencing solutions will still have to include potentially fraudulent transactions in a rollup sent to the layer-1.

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Gunter told Blockworks that decentralizing a sequencer does not mitigate the need for fraud proofs, but the two play separate important roles. 

“Decentralizing the sequencer will help mitigate the risk that this centralized entity running the sequencer is going to be persistently ignoring transactions or leaving them out,” Gunter said.

Although it’s understandable that there are debates as to whether or not the development of shared sequencers should be prioritized before fraud proofs have even been shipped, Gunter believes that all of these different aspects play an important role in ensuring that blockchains become more decentralized.

“Eventually these things will all need to be on the roadmap,” she said. “A big part of what our motivation has been at Espresso Systems is to help rollups accelerate the roadmap towards mainstream adoption.”

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