Eclipse takes a ‘best of all worlds’ approach to solve scalability trilemma

If you can’t beat them, join them. Like, all of them.

In the fierce battle for the scalability trilemma crown, Solana, Ethereum and their accompanying ecosystems are often pitted against each other as mutually exclusive solutions. 

Apparently, it doesn’t have to be this way. On the Bell Curve podcast (Spotify/Apple), Blockworks co-founder Michael Ippolito details the recently revealed architecture of Eclipse. The rollup tech harnesses Solana’s speedy execution, Ethereum’s secure settlement, Risc Zero proofs and Celestia data availability in a “best of all worlds” team approach to scaling.

Ippolito says the Solana Virtual Machine or SVM holds some key advantages over Ethereum — outside of network effects — particularly in its ability to perform parallel executions. “The EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) has a single thread processor, which just limits its scale,” he says.

“You have very fast execution, really cheap [data availability], and it still settles down to [Ethereum],” he says. “I think they’re going to use ETH as the gas token as well. So, it’s kind of a very interesting blend of a whole bunch of different ecosystems.”

Read more: Risc Zero introduces ‘Type 0’ zkEVM to make zero-knowledge tech more accessible

In addition, Neon — an EVM operating on Solana — will provide compatibility between Ethereum and Solana, Blockworks co-founder Jason Yanowitz explains. “If you want to easily deploy EVM smart contracts on Eclipse, you can do it through Neon.”

Yanowitz says it’s the first time he has seen a fully modular setup that brings “all these different providers together.” 

Ippolito details some of the limitations of Ethereum’s main chain, noting its relatively low throughput and gas costs, in particular. Because of the base fee and computational resources that every transaction requires, “if there’s like a really hot NFT mint, it can multiply the base fee,” he says. 

“That base fee gets applied to transactions on Uniswap. So the resources are coupled in a way that doesn’t really make sense.”

One solution is to put every single application on its own blockchain as a rollup. “That’s the OP stack version of how to solve this problem,” he says. “The other way that you could solve it is to actually keep everything on one settlement layer and chain, but do what Solana did by creating local fee markets and parallel processing.”

The competition continues

Ippolito doubts that upcoming danksharding upgrades will reduce costs on Ethereum as significantly as some hope. “It’s not going to reduce costs that much, especially on the canonical rollups that still use Ethereum for data availability,” he says.

“You need one of these rollups to try something like the solution that Eclipse is pioneering here.”

Ippolito credits Eclipse founder Neel Somani with the “clever” modular design of Eclipse, adding, “it’s going to be down to his [business development] chops to actually go and recruit developers.”

Somani will likely be forced to compete with Solana for developers who are familiar with the Rust programming language, Ippolito suggests. “These are Rust [developers], I think, that he’s hoping to bring over and build applications.”

It looks like the competitive rivalry that is so prevalent in blockchain will live on, after all.

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