AltLayer Documentation
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What is AltLayer?

AltLayer is an open and decentralised interlayer for rollups. The AltLayer protocol consists of a core network called the Beacon Layer that acts as an interlayer between rollups and their respective data availability or settlement layers. All rollups instantiated via AltLayer are enshrined to the Beacon Layer which, in turn, serves multiple roles in particular as a common sequencing, execution and verification network. Beacon Layer facilitates a hybrid of bisection-style fraud proofs and validity proofs via ZK for interoperability across rollups.
Built on top of this protocol, AltLayer offers a versatile, no-code Rollups-as-a-Service (RaaS) launchpad that allows not only developers but also those with little to no coding experience to spin up a customised rollup within 2 minutes with only a few simple clicks. The RaaS product is designed for a multi-chain and a multi-VM world and hence will have factory support for EVM as well as WASM. It also supports different rollup SDKs such as OP Stack, Arbitrum Orbit, Polygon zkEVM and Starkware, different shared sequencing services such as Espresso and Radius as well as different DA layers such as Celestia and EigenLayer among many other modular services at different layers of the rollup stack.
In addition to this, a key innovation that AltLayer brings to the rollup design space is the idea of ephemeral rollups. With ephemeral rollups, a dApp developer expecting an increase in demand for his application could: 1) quickly spin up a fast and scalable application-tailored rollup secured by a Layer 1, 2) use the rollup for as long as needed, and then 3) dispose of the rollup by doing an “end-of-life” settlement on the Layer 1. Ephemeral rollups are a highly resource-optimised rollup that gives developers the best of an application-specific rollup and a general purpose Layer 1. Under the RaaS umbrella, AltLayer offers both ephemeral as well as persistent rollups. AltLayer protocol can save considerable capital and years of development work for teams and encourage innovation and rapid experimentation while being fully open and permissionless.

Why AltLayer?

We believe in a world of thousands of rollups, some designed for general-purpose usage such as Arbitrum One, Optimism Mainnet, ZKSync etc., while others designed for application-specific usecases, built using heterogenous and modular tech stacks. For instance, one rollup could be built using Arbitrum Orbit, while using Arbitrum One as the DA and the settlement layer, while another could be built using ZK Stack using Celestia as the DA layer and Ethereum as the settlement layer.
In this world of heterogeneity, there is a need to have a universal and credibly network that these rollups can tap into for different essential needs that include but are not limited to:
  1. 1.
    Flexible and Decentralized Sequencing
  2. 2.
    Decentralized Verification for Instant Withdrawals
  3. 3.
    Forkless upgrades for Seamless Upgradeability
  4. 4.
    Cross-Rollup Interoperability
Without a common and credibly neutral network to facilitate these services, these rollups will most likely end up creating their own siloed and rent seeking ecosystems with very little flexibility and control over the end user experience.
A Concrete Example: Consider a gaming studio that is planning to have their own rollup to provide a seamless gaming experience for gamers. This game studio initially may want to focus on building the game and therefore would not want to run and manange any of the rollup infrastructure such as sequencers, RPC endpoints, explorers etc. And therefore, in their initial days, they may want to use an external rollups-as-a-service (RaaS) vendor to operate their rollup. However, maybe a few months down the line, they might have raised enough funds to build a dedicated infra team internally and would like to have control over their sequencers and may not want to pay an external provider for the service. And maybe a few months later they might have secured partnerships with big gaming companies like Ubisoft and Bandai and in order to tap into their partner's ecosystem, they would like to invite them to become sequencers for their rollup. And maybe a year later when the game becomes popular, they would like the sequencer network to be open to anyone and not just to their close partners.
Existing RaaS services or shared sequencing services cannot offer this level of flexibility to the game developer. And this is one of the many examples where AltLayer can provide value by allowing an application developer to change their underlying infrastructure as they grow.