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Why Eclipse, Why Ethereum, Why Now

We stand on the shoulders of giants. Today's rollups have advanced the state of research for our entire industry, and they've provided Ethereum users with cheaper fees compared to the L1.
However, they don't take full advantage of the latest technology that's needed to scale to the masses. Early rollups largely prioritized EVM-compatibility and/or optimizations for more efficient ZK-proving. More recently though, we've seen unbelievable progress which obviates the need to make those tradeoffs that early rollups chose, and indeed puts them at a disadvantage:
  • Highly performant parallelized VMs (e.g., SVM)
  • DA scaling with DAS light node support (e.g., Celestia)
  • Advances in proof infrastructure to make it practical anywhere (e.g., RISC Zero)
  • Increased portability of code (e.g., Neon and Solang) and users (e.g., MetaMask Snaps) across ecosystems
Eclipse has the massive benefit of hindsight. We get to learn from the limitations that other chains have faced then cherry-pick the best pieces to scale for the long-term.
We often hear about a future with a million app-specific rollups.
Consensus-level customizations can be incredibly valuable for certain applications (e.g., dYdX v4), and we're excited to help teams launch app-specific rollups.
However, these cases are few and far between. That's why most new rollups are still just vanilla EVM forks. Developers' problems aren’t solved by fragmenting UX across more chains. The main use case for a million chains today often appears to be launching a million more tokens. The demand for full-stack customization simply doesn't exist today for the vast majority of use cases.
Even if the real demand was there, the infrastructure required to support many app chains with competitive UX is years away (if it ever gets to par). Optimism's Superchain (OP Stack), zkSync's Hyperchains (ZK Stack), Arbitrum's Orbit chains, and so on all have many-chain visions with shared infrastructure. This is intended to provide smoother UX operating between chains in the same ecosystem (e.g., between two chains within the Superchain) vs. completely isolated chains (e.g., between Ethereum and Solana).
However, the current plans (where they exist) are still a far cry from ever being competitive with a single shared state. Furthermore, they don't address interoperability across ecosystems (e.g., Superchain to a Hyperchain). Building modular shouldn't mean building islands.
It's more complicated for users to maintain accounts across many chains. It's worse UX to keep bridging and worrying about what gas token you need. It's more complicated and expensive to be reliant upon infrastructure providers for operating and maintaining so many chains.
We've always appreciated the simplicity of Solana's vision. One highly optimized shared state machine with the scale to support the majority of valuable use cases. This is often viewed as incompatible with a rollup-centric roadmap, but that is simply not the case. We want to combine the best of both worlds.
This misconception arises due to the fact that today's rollups are largely running the vanilla single-threaded EVM effectively unchanged in order to piggyback on early network effects. As a result, we often see "dedicated blockspace" cited as the reason to deploy an app-specific rollup. Those crazy NFT mints shouldn't jack up the prices for all the other apps on your chain, but the answer isn't to go make your own chain. This is like using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. You make painful and unnecessary tradeoffs (complexity, cost, worse UX, fragmented liquidity, etc.). The optimal solution is incredibly clear - just use a parallelized VM with local fee markets for state hotspots. That's exactly what the SVM brings.
Ethereum is the intellectual, social, and economic center of crypto. Its Achilles' heel has been scaling. DA scaling is still in the works, and the existing L2 execution environments can't compete with newer innovations like the SVM. We fear that the Ethereum ecosystem would be caught flat-footed by any sharp increase in activity as it stands today. Single-threaded EVMs and constrained DA would quickly lead to a resurgence of high fees, except this time on rollups.
We believe Eclipse Mainnet is the obvious solution: uniting Solana's performance with the security, verifiability, and network effects of the rollup-centric roadmap.
The beauty of Ethereum is that it eats innovation. The rollup-centric roadmap is the epitome of this, delegating execution and innovation to the free market. L2s have the incredible ability to leverage Ethereum's network effects and settlement assurances while experimenting with the best new execution environments. Eclipse Mainnet is the natural fulfillment of this vision.
If a more performant execution layer comes along some day, we'll be incredibly excited to see it deployed as a competitive Ethereum L2. Until then, the SVM remains the standard.