What Is Data Availability?
Data Availability (DA) in Mantle network refers to the ability of any node to access the transaction history published by the sequencer. Access to block data by all network participants is a critical scalability issue, particularly in the context of blockchain running on a rollup architecture. As an Rollup inherits security from its layer 1 (L1) and publishes transaction data on L1, the sequencer plays a vital role in making transaction data available and trustworthy. DA is essential to maintain the liveness of the chain and capture invalid transactions, eliminating the possibility of block data being maliciously withheld.
It turns out that guaranteeing data availability is a challenge in its own right. To understand how this is handled, you can read more about the data availability problem and erasure coding here.
How to Retain Data Availability?
Ensuring data availability is a significant challenge in the blockchain industry, and there are lots of teams employing various innovative solutions to address it:
1. On-Chain L1 Approaches:
Ensures data availability by making all data required for constructing proofs accessible on L1. While providing the highest level of trust, this may come with higher costs and relatively slower data retrieval.
2. Centralized DA Committees:
Utilizes centralized DA committees responsible for providing the necessary data. This approach significantly reduces rollup costs compared to on-chain L1 methods but introduces the potential risk of data unavailability.
3. DA Sampling:
DA Sampling is a way to enable light nodes to verify data availability without downloading the full block data. This mechanism involves light nodes randomly sampling a small portion of block data in multiple rounds, increasing confidence in data availability. Once the light node reaches a predetermined confidence level (e.g., 99%), it considers the block data available.
4. Independent DA Modules:
Innovative approaches include independent DA modules, such as Mantle DA supported by EigenLayer's EigenDA technology. This method achieves data availability through a game theory of DA economics involving rewards and stake slashing. According to internal assessments, this solution can save more than 90% of costs compared to on-chain L1 methods, providing efficient data availability with economic incentives.
Mantle DA - Powered by EigenDA Technology
What is EigenLayer?
EigenLayer is a re-staking protocol that leverages the existing trust network of Ethereum, allowing any rollup-based L2 to ensure data availability for its execution layer while maintaining the same level of security as the Ethereum mainnet. This is achieved through the re-staking mechanism, where L1 validators can choose to provide data availability services, using their staked ETH as collateral and complying with additional performance conditions.
Think of it as middleware for Ethereum.
Similar to how Optimistic rollups use economic incentives to maintain system integrity, this mechanism provides incentives for Ethereum validators to offer services for additional income opportunities. Read more on EigenLayer here.
What is Mantle DA?
EigenDA, built by EigenLabs, is one of the core applications of EigenLayer, chosen as the technology that powers the data availability module in Mantle Network. The current Mantle DA version is supported by EigenDA technology and authorized by EigenLabs. Throughout development, the Mantle team has been closely collaborating with the EigenLayer team to explore this streamlined solution. Once the standardized solution of EigenDA is ready for mainnet launch, Mantle will migrate its DA component to EigenDA for more efficient data availability. Additionally, Mantle DA allows permissioned nodes to provide data availability services to Mantle network, requiring $MNT staking to ensure network security. For more details, refer here.
Mantle DA Characteristics
- Allow decoupling of the data availability layer from the consensus layer
- Employ a unicast channel for data exchange between network participants to deliver efficiency gains both in terms of data transmission and storage
- Maintain an erasure rate ensures pieces of block data from L2 and L1 sources can be used by verifying actors to reconstruct complete block data
This approach will provide the required high throughput and low gas costs for the next generation of applications in blockchain gaming, decentralized social networks, and other fields.
Mantle Explorer displays the transaction batch details for the rollup data that has been stored on the DA layer, just as it does for the transactions taking place on L2.