Celer Network 2021 Update: To a Better Future

6 min read

Dear Celer Network Community,

Needless to say, 2020 has been a special year for all of us. The world came to a stop early in 2020 and tumbled on the whole year. We all witnessed the greatness and bravery of medical workers around the globe and heart-broken moments in many people’s life. Here, we just want to first wish everyone a truly better 2021. 

For Celer’s team, we feel very lucky that our team stayed healthy and strong together. We spent 2020 in a heads-down building mode with major milestones achieved on both the technical side and large-scale real-world adoption. In this blog post, we summarize the milestones in 2020 and provides an update towards an even more exciting 2021. 

TL;DR 2020 Milestones Review

  • Celer State Channel Network completes major upgrades
    • Two major mainnet upgrades: Lyra and Orion, were both successfully launched keeping Celer as the most advanced and production-ready state channel software
    • State Guardian Network mainnet Phase One and Phase Two were successfully launched
  • Celer Hybrid Rollup solves key rollup research challenges and Testnet launches on Ethereum
    • A Hybrid Optimistic Rollup architecture was proposed to solves multiple key challenges in rollup design with the existing Celer State Guardian Network infrastructure  
    • We have launched the Hybrid Rollup Testnet on Ethereum.
  • Amazing Adoption in casual eSport gaming 
    • Games built with CelerX, a mobile eSport Gaming platform built using Celer Network’s open-source technology, are now reaching ONE MILLION USERS.
    • Users have played a total of 20 MILLION games with $20M volume exchange in these games using Celer’s layer-2 scaling infrastructure for transaction efficiency and game security.

TL;DR 2021 Roadmap

  • Continue to lead in the layer-2 State Channel Network space
    • Complete phased State Guardian Network Launch with refined UI and global staking partners
    • Implement generalized multi-hop cross-chain transactions functionality. 
  • Contribute to solving grand challenges in Layer-2 Rollup space
  • Collaborate to expose the massive application audience to the exciting blockchain world
  • Explore Celer’s technology adoption to other application sectors
  • Improve community outreach and communication. 

To know more details about this TL;DR, please read on!

2020 Milestones Review

Lyra and Orion Mainnet Upgrade 

In 2020, we continue to upgrade the state channel network technology stack that Celer pioneers in. At the beginning of 2020, we successfully launched Celer Network’s layer-2 state channel mainnet upgrade, Lyra, on Ethereum. Lyra contains a full suite of battle-tested state channel network’s full node code ( goCeler-oss, cChannel-eth and celer-light-client). The software is highly optimized and production-grade: it requires less than 10MB minimal memory and can support 1,000 clients on one t2.micro instance with 1CPU, 1G memory ($61 to run a whole year).  

Later in the year, we launched another major upgrade: Orion with comprehensive operation tools, high-performance relational DB backend, enhanced multi-node routing, channel balance auto-refill, client-side state sync and delegate payment receiver. This enables the capability to have a large-scale multi-node expansion of Celer State Channel Network and easy operation of channel node operators. 

State Guardian Network Launched on Mainnet with Staking

State guardian network (SGN) is a scalable and decentralized “watchtower” sidechain that ensures the off-chain state security and smooth usability for state channel users. It provides highly reliable and efficient services including client channel state protection, delegated payment receiver, and app connectivity oracle. SGN is decentralized and incentive-aligned through the CELR staking process that governs the layer-2 validators and rewards all layer-1 CELR stakeholders. 

During 2020, we continue to make progress on this very important infrastructure of layer-2 scaling architecture. We successfully completed the Alpha testnet launch and Beta testnet launch. Towards the end of 2020, after internal and external security audits, we completed the milestone to launch SGN on mainnet with staking available.  SGN will be fully launched out in multiple phases to maximize security and to exercise the SGN on-chain governance functionality. Based on the community member’s feedback and comments, we are following through the launch schedule as the following.

PhaseTimelineValidator SetSlashingDaily Reward
0now – Nov 29, 2020Whitelisted: Celer FoundationDisabled0
1Nov 30, 2020 – early Jan 2021Whitelisted: Celer FoundationDisabled102,500 CELR
2Start from early Jan, 2021 Whitelisted: Celer Foundation and Staking PartnersDisabled205,000 CELR
3Upon satisfying  phase 2 resultsWhitelisted: Celer Foundation and Staking PartnersEnabled410,000 CELR
4Upon satisfying phase 3 resultsAll Public Staking PartnersEnabled820,000 CELR

If you have CELR and would like to earn a more than 30% by helping secure the Celer layer-2 state channel network, you can delegate your tokens through the SGN web portal. More instructions can be found here. If you are interested in joining the network as a validator and help us secure the network, please fill out this form.  

Celer Hybrid Rollup Proposal and Testnet Launch

While we are leading in the space of state channel technology, we see the exciting trend of layer-2 rollup technology and adds a Hybrid Rollup technology stack to our existing architecture earlier this year. This new addition allows Celer to offer dApp developers and users a wide range of tunable tradeoffs in terms of trust level, supported features, transaction throughput, latency and cost, all under a single unified framework. We contribute to the active Optimistic Rollup research space by introducing a new approach to use Celer State Guardian Network as a rollup block producer to solve the incentive design problems around tx aggregation, ordering and state storage. Later in the year, we launched the first Celer Hybrid Rollup testnet with the capability to performance token transfer and EVM-compatible smart contract execution on Celer rollups. We expect to launch the first mainnet version in 2021. 

Amazing Mass Adoption in eSport Gaming 

In early 2020, we identified the sector of eSport Gaming as a prime candidate for Celer Network’s technology. We are excited to share that gaming platforms, such as CelerX, that built on top of Celer’s layer-2 scaling technology has acquired more than ONE MILLION USERS globally. Users have played a total of TWENTY MILLION games with $25M in value exchange in these games using Celer’s layer-2 scaling infrastructure for transaction efficiency and game security. Major game studios such as Taito has also released games using Celer Network’s underlying technology. 

We are excited about this progress because every single one of these mass-audience users is interacting with Celer’s layer-2 infrastructure software with a transparently created Ethereum wallet. Yet, no one complained about “slowness”, “delay”, “expensive transaction” or any familiar complaints that we here from “non-blockchain” users using blockchain technology based product. This truly proves that Celer Network’s layer-2 scaling software is production-ready and can match mas-audience’s millisecond-level latency user experience expectations. 

What’s more interesting is that these million users are not aware of the underlying blockchain infrastructure at all. Therefore, they are not exposed to huge benefits that blockchain technology can bring to their life such as higher yield for fiat-equivalent assets through DeFi yet. Hence, this userbase is effectively a gold mine to bridge mass audience to blockchain through Celer’s layer-2 technology stack by gradually revealing and exposing them to the underlying blockchain technology. Even though we do not see the immediate “blockchain-native” adoption, the massive scale of these users makes future possibilities extremely excting. 

Community Outreach

In 2020, we participated in and hosted various community education and marketing events. Most notably, we partcipatd in ETHDenver, hosted Light Up the World challenge and submitted out proposal to Reddit Scaling Bakeoff

2021 Celer Roadmap Update

Continue to lead in the State Channel technology space

Completion of SGN Phased Launch: The phased launch of State Guardian Network will be completed. On top of the scheduled governance and mainnet upgrades, we expect multiple and global staking partners to participate as SGN validators to help further secure the layer-2 Celer State Channel Network. 

Multihop Cross-chain Transaction Functionality: As layer-2 scaling paradigms evolve, various flavors of Rollups are gaining popularity. In the short to mid term, Rollups are great candidates for improving on-chain throughput before sharding is widely adopted. However, one key challenge is that no matter what the flavor, interaction between layer-2 rollups themselves and between layer-2 and layer-1, such as withdrawal and cross-chain transfer, usually involves very long delay and bad user experiences. To solve this critical challenge, we will work towards enabling real-time and instant cross-rollup and rollup-to-layer-1 transactions with multihop capability. In addition, we will work towards support layer-2 scaling on other blockchains that are gaining popularity such as Polkadot. 

Contributing to solving key challenges in layer-2 rollup 

It’s no doubt that layer-2 optimistic rollup has made a lot of progress in 2020 with great teams such as Arbitrium, Optimism and Fuel Labs, working on this new technology. However, there are still many challenges that remain. For example, even though rollup chains guarantees “eventual security” in the case of a malicious sequencer, the security implication of a sequencer attempting to halt the chain and break external dependencies of rollup contract states is not well studied. Solutions for this will involve incentive-aligned and decentralized watchtower services monitoring sequencer’s behavior on the behalf of clients. Our existing infrastructure of State Guardian Network would be likely suitable to fill in such a missing piece in the technology stack. 

In addition to the above, there are multiple other challenges such as improving the latency in fund withdrawal and faster onboarding of the first-time user, that can be solved by iterating on existing Celer State Channel network infrastructure. 

Expose the mass audience to blockchain technology

With an increasing amount of users accumulating in applications built with Celer’s underlying open-source technology, we see an exciting opportunity to bridge this mass audience to more “blockchain-native” world. Each user of CelerX games already has an Ethereum wallet in the games and it is a matter of choosing the right application scenarios to expose them gradually to the underlying blockchain infrastructure. While we have seen success in the gaming sector, we will also explore other mass-adoption application sectors and try to replicate the success we had in eSport gaming. 

Improving community outreach and communication. 

While staying heads-down building in 2020, we hear our community’s feedback and suggestion on being more active in communicating technological progress and project update. In the new year, we will push out more educational materials, technology blogs, tech talks, and outreaches. We hope we can engage the community more and have more active discussions in technology direction, governance and more with our strong Celer open-source community.

Finally, we wish everyone a truly marvelous 2021! Stay Happy, Stay Healthy!

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