Metis does not accept EVM-equivalent centralization compromise. The upcoming Andromeda will fulfill the promise of decentralization

Metis was originally a hard fork of Optimism. Our founders love the effectiveness and simplicity of rollup technology, and Optimistic Rollups is therefore able to bundle a large number of transactions to create a faster, cheaper and more scalable user experience. In addition, Optimistic Rollups can be built as Ethereum ‘s layer 2 (L2) expansion solution, which we appreciate very much, which means that they can benefit from all the security and decentralization of the Ethereum blockchain.

The upcoming OVM 2.0 version and related documents released by the Optimism team have confirmed a major adjustment to its plan: Optimism will no longer provide the level of decentralization originally envisaged.

The Metis plan still follows most of Optimism’s overall architecture. But when it comes to decentralization, we refuse to compromise. Therefore, our future plans will reflect our commitment to provide maximum scalability, and will not be stingy in terms of decentralization.

Transition to  EVM equivalent

Optimism put forward the concept of “EVM Equivalence” in its recent article (Note: Link Wen Chinese version) to replace its original vision of “EVM Compatibility”. Optimism described in the article how EVM compatibility is a huge obstacle to the migration of the current Ethereum DApp to L2, because “satisfied with compatibility only means that you are forced to modify or even completely redeploy the lower-level code. Ethereum supports the infrastructure Also rely on these codes.”

We can confirm that this is true. The Metis team also received painful feedback from developers on such compatibility issues. Therefore, we can understand the equivalent vision of switching to EVM, because doing so can make some Ethereum projects experience an easier process when migrating their DApps to the L2 network.

However, all this comes at a price. When we delved into the design of OVM 2.0, we found that switching to EVM equivalent (without any other adjustments) meant that it would undermine the degree of decentralization originally proposed through OVM. In short, OVM 2.0 will fundamentally change the implementation of its Optimistic Rollup. They create an environment, as explained in Optimism’s article: in which “fraud proof is dead”. In the new design, the mechanism to challenge transactions on the chain will be disabled, which means that we can no longer rely on the strong consensus of L1 to challenge transactions.

This new change in Optimism is not in line with Metis’ vision, mission or DNA. By turning to EVM equivalence without making other adjustments, the Optimism team is building a more centralized system that requires network users to simply believe that Optimism can’t do anything wrong. Everything Metis is building and everything we represent is in direct contradiction to these changes. 

From the beginning, Metis’ goal was to make blockchain available to everyone.

  • An L2 Ethereum Rollup expansion solution that supports fast and cheap transactions
  • No-code middleware, so that anyone (even a complete blockchain novice) can migrate to the Metis L2 solution in just a few clicks and within a few minutes
  • The decentralized autonomous company (DAC) infrastructure is not limited to the simple voting and governance functions of the DAO. DAC will enable anyone to build a decentralized enterprise on the chain and have the real-world functions of a “real-world” company. At the same time enjoy all the advantages built on the blockchain.

In each of these steps, we only seek the highest level of decentralization and the highest level of security. We will not and will not compromise.

Therefore, our team spent several weeks discussing and debating whether we should completely deviate from OVM. This is a very difficult decision, because we know that EVM equivalent is what the DApp and Ethereum communities need, whether it is now or the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 release. In the end, we boiled all the discussions to one big question: can we achieve our decentralization goal within the EVM equivalent framework?

The answer is… yes.

How does Metis achieve decentralized ” EVM equivalent  

Our excellent development team has found a way to achieve the dual goals of decentralization and “EVM equivalence” after several weeks of research day and night. This path exactly matches the design of the Metis Ranger system detailed in our white paper.

It should be noted that once we move to EVM equivalence, complete on-chain proof becomes impossible. Therefore, the following is the specific approach Metis adheres to its original DNA while fulfilling its commitment to decentralization:

First of all, our sequencer pool model increases the level of redundancy and decentralization that the single-sequencer Rollup architecture cannot achieve. In our upcoming release, we have also joined the peer-to-peer network. Once the sequencer pool is opened, validators participating in the peer-to-peer network will automatically join the sequencer pool.

Next consider the evolution of the Metis Ranger system. In our initial design, our Ranger system required a lot of consensus from L1. In our new design, Ranger will reach consensus more efficiently. Through the consensus reached by these Rangers, validators will be able to challenge transactions and initiate fraud proofs through the Peer Nodes we are building. These peer nodes will collectively act as verifier entities that can verify and challenge the sequencer. When a challenge is required, each verifier entity will reach a consensus on L1 before the window time expires. When a challenge is initiated and confirmed by other verifier entities (by consensus reached on L1), the sequencer that has the problem will be cut off, punished, and offline. The other sequencer will be randomly selected from the sequencer pool to turn on a correct state. The chain will also be reorganized as a result, and problematic blocks will be abandoned. Due to the distributed nature of Metis peer-to-peer network storage, this process will happen very quickly.

It is worth noting that another benefit of the Ranger system is to shorten the time for transaction verification, such as the time for users to wait for withdrawal (from L2 to L1). Each verifier entity will track and report the height of verification based on the Ranger consensus to ensure the quality of verification. This is like checking the pulse of the overall health of the verifier network, which further enhances the security of assets.

Our design will also help achieve the goal of automatic network correction, because we firmly believe that fraud proof alone is not enough; the network infrastructure should have the ability to self-adjust and correct to achieve the security and safety required for long-term continuous operation. Scalability.

Choosing to work on EVM equivalence and decentralization at the same time is undoubtedly a more challenging path. Taking this path means that we must adjust and review all the code we have compiled before to verify whether there are any conflicts or potential risks. For our development team, this means a lot of sleepless nights.

Nevertheless, we are still working hard. From the first day of the project, we have been committed to building a network that meets the highest standards of scalability, decentralization, and security. This is the network we plan to provide for our outstanding partners and user communities and the entire blockchain world. It will start with the delivery of our Andromeda L2 network, which is the first phase of our mainnet launch.

What will happen next ?

We will deactivate the Metis Dragonfire testnet (chain ID: 488) this week and deploy a new testnet with EVM equivalent called “Stardust” (chain ID: 588). To ensure everything goes smoothly, we will conduct a new round of testing on DAC staking and mining products. After the test is completed, we will release Andromeda based on the new framework to achieve the combination of EVM equivalence and our firm commitment to decentralization.

Therefore, Andromeda will be launched in the week of November 15, 2021. The creation of DAC and the pledge of $METIS tokens (initial/variable APY up to 29000%) will be launched within a week.

What do you expect from Andromeda ? 

It is important to note that our upcoming product is much more than just a single application. 

Andromeda is a complete structure with a long list of innovative features.

The architecture includes:

• Andromeda L2 network

Ø Multiple Ethereum Virtual Machines (VM): Decentralized virtual machines support the scalability and security of Metis L2 infrastructure

Ø Peer node: Perform fraud proof in the load balancing process and reach a consensus

Ø EVM equivalent: It is no longer necessary to tailor or modify EVM smart contracts

• Metis Browser: Check all on-chain transactions and verify smart contract calls (limited to high-end users)

• Metis Bridge: A bridge that transfers tokens between the Ethereum mainnet and Metis L2. In the current version, you can only bridge $METIS tokens; in our next version of the L2 network, there will be more tokens and NFTs that can be used for bridging.

• Polis: The place where users create accounts (wallets) or connect to  MetaMask . It is also where developers manage their domains, smart contracts, and APIs.

• The first DAC template and many DApps will run on the Metis L 2 network Andromeda

Ø DAC pledge and mining: Use the power of the community to create your own DAC, pledge tokens and get rewards in L2.

(Important notice: Regarding the release of Andromeda, we adjusted and extended the deposit time from L1 to L2 to make assets safer)

What follow-up actions will be taken after Andromeda is released ? 

• A high-speed “bridge”, we are integrating with a number of third-party cross-chain bridges (we will announce more details after selecting a suitable “bridge”) to shorten the withdrawal time. In our current L2 network version, people still have to wait 7 days for the withdrawal time from L2 to L1. In the future web version, the withdrawal will be completed within a few minutes. Metis’ local withdrawal “bridge” that supports fast withdrawal and our Ranger system will be launched next year.

• After launching peer nodes on Andromeda, our next network version (next month) will support load balancing.

• The transaction cost on Andromeda will be much lower than the level of Ethereum L1, but it is still relatively high compared to our future plans (currently about $  1-2 ). Metis will launch its IPFS technology early next year to enable cheap on-chain data storage and transactions on our L2 network for only a few cents.

• Future versions of our Polis middleware will make it possible to integrate codeless into the Metis L2 network. This means that for integration into Metis, mature blockchain projects no longer need to spend valuable developer time alone, and blockchain startups will no longer need to hire expensive and hard-to-find developers to integrate into Metis. And companies that are not related to any blockchain can be integrated into Metis with just a few clicks.

Please follow us on Twitter, Telegram and Discord for more updates. After years of hard work behind the scenes, we are about to show the world what a powerful combination of scalability, decentralization, and security can be provided by an excellent L2 network.

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