The Polygon blockchain is an Ethereum commit chain, which allows to shift some of the load off the main chain. After having partially solved Ethereum’s scalability problem, Polygon’s teams are now tackling data availability.
Avail: the new blockchain made by Polygon
On Monday, June 28, the teams behind the Polygon (formerly Matic) protocol unveiled a new blockchain via a Medium post.
Dubbed “Avail,” this new blockchain is presented as a versatile and scalable data availability solution. It will serve as a tool to ensure data availability to sidechains, autonomous networks and other second layer solutions.
What problem can data availability pose?
As it stands, blockchains that follow the same model as Ethereum (Polygon, BSC, etc.) are composed of 3 entities:
- The full nodes;
- Partial nodes or light nodes.
Each block is created and added to the blockchain by the validators. Then, the validators retrieve the transactions from the mempool, execute them, generate the block and propagate it through the network.
The complete nodes, for their part, receive this block, verify that it is valid by replaying the transactions.
Partial nodes, on the other hand, only receive the block header and the transaction details. It is through the header that the node is able to verify the authenticity of the transaction details.
However, while this model is secure, it has limitations, as Polygon explains in its article:
“Because thin clients do not download the entire block, they may have to accept blocks where the underlying data is not available. The producer of the block may include a malicious transaction in a block and not reveal its full contents to the network. This is known as the data availability problem, which poses a serious threat to thin clients. “
That’s where Avail comes in. Thus, this solution solves this problem, focusing on the availability of transaction data present in a block. Therefore, a block is only considered valid if the data behind it (the transaction details) is available.
Although this solution may seem highly technical, it could allow second layer solutions to increase their performance considerably. This concerns in particular the famous rollups, in particular the Optimistic Rollups.