Even as the crypto community grapples with the launch of NFT-like storage on the Bitcoin blockchain, more innovations are rolling in.
Rollkit is a new framework developed by Celestia, a project looking to modularize the different components of a blockchain. Rollkit, which enables developers to deploy rollups, which are scaling solutions which process transactions off a Layer 1 chain to minimize transaction costs, was introduced by Celestia on Feb. 21.
Rollkit allows developers to customize and choose their data availability layer, which serves as a source for blockchain data, as well as the execution layer, where transactions are processed.
On Mar. 5, the project introduced what it calls a “research implementation” of a rollup which uses Bitcoin as a data availability layer. Celestia is calling the scaling solutions enabled by Rollkit “sovereign rollups.”
These rollups can theoretically run an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), Ethereum’s smart contract engine, and use the Bitcoin blockchain for security and data.
“As we move towards a future where sovereign communities will form around different applications, asking them to incur the high costs and overheads of deploying a layer 1 blockchain to be sovereign is not sustainable,” Javed Khan, the software engineer who built Rollkit’s Bitcoin integration, told The Defiant.
Indeed, there are huge costs to set up validators and deploy a token in order to launch a layer 1 blockchain. Using Rollkit to leverage Bitcoin’s security and data availability allows developers to theoretically spin up an app-specific rollup much more quickly than previously possible.
Some, like Eric Wall, a major influencer and investor in the crypto space, are excited by the development. “This is incredible,” he tweeted. “Instead of putting JPEGs on Bitcoin, you can use the same storage space that Ordinal Inscriptions use to put rollups on Bitcoin.”
The Bitcoin community, ever resistant to change, is already grappling with Ordinals, a protocol which allows NFT-like “digital artifacts” to be created on the world’s most valuable blockchain.
With Rollkit, the Bitcoin community has yet another new paradigm to wrap its head around.
Rollups built on Bitcoin may already be affecting the crypto markets. STX, the token of the Stacks ecosystem, which was red hot last month as interest in building on Bitcoin surged, is down over 12% on the day and over 26% in the past week.
Muneeb Ali, who co-founded Stacks, emphasized on Twitter that the “sovereign rollups” built on Bitcoin use the blockchain for data availability but not for consensus.
“Sovereign rollups and Stacks are complementary,” Ali tweeted.
Regardless of whether they’re complementary or competitive, sovereign rollups promise to shake up an already fast-changing Bitcoin ecosystem.
It’s worth noting, however, that they don’t enable trustless bridging of BTC to the rollup — as bridges have been one of crypto’s most vulnerable points in terms of security, needing to trust one means that sovereign rollups don’t come with their own risks.
Still, Eric Wall proclaimed that the “dark ages” of Bitcoin are over, earlier this week, even before the Rollkit-enabled, Bitcoin-based rollups were announced.
With the new developments, Bitcoin may truly be having a renaissance.