The NEAR Fast Finality Layer Goes Live on Holesky! Developed by NEAR Protocol, Nethermind & Eigen Layer

Published on: 10.05.2024
The NEAR Fast Finality Layer Goes Live on Holesky!

The Ethereum network’s embrace of rollups marks a significant step for decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts.However, challenges like fragmented liquidity and slow finality times are emerging alongside this progress. These issues hinder user experience and innovation.

Here comes NEAR Fast Finality Layer (NFFL), a collaborative effort by NEAR, Nethermind, and EigenLabs. NFFL tackles these issues, paving the way for a more robust and accessible Ethereum ecosystem.

What is NFFL?

NFFL is a cutting-edge infrastructure layer designed to deliver fast finality for transactions across Ethereum’s Layer 2 rollups and beyond. It achieves this by leveraging the security mechanisms of both the Ethereum network (through EigenLayer’s restaking) and NEAR’s validator guarantees. This unique combination enables transactions to be finalized in seconds, a significant improvement over the hours or days required by current rollup solutions. NFFL aims to address longstanding issues related to speed, cost, and communication between different blockchains.

How Does NFFL Work?

NFFL’s design prioritizes both speed and security. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Transaction Submission: Rollups like Polygon or Arbitrum submit transactions to NEAR DA.
  2. Verification: NFFL nodes retrieve transaction data directly from NEAR DA and execute them according to the rules of the specific rollup’s virtual machine.
  3. Restaker Consensus: After individual NFFL nodes verify the transactions, they are signed and aggregated across the network, confirming a valid state transition on the rollup.
  4. Cross-rollup Settlement: The aggregated signature from the NFFL nodes is published on the target rollup, allowing it to access the latest state of the source rollup.
  5. Final Settlement: Transactions are eventually finalized on the Ethereum blockchain, upholding the network’s security and integrity.

This process streamlines transaction times while establishing the necessary security and trust minimization for seamless interactions between different rollups.

NFFL: A Cornerstone for Chain Abstraction

One of NFFL’s most significant contributions lies in its support for chain abstraction. This concept aims to simplify user and developer interactions with blockchains, making the underlying technology virtually invisible to end-users. By offering a layer that provides fast, secure, and interoperable transactions, NFFL is a critical step towards a future where applications and assets can move freely across the blockchain ecosystem, unhindered by current technical limitations.

The implications of NFFL extend far beyond just improved transaction times and lower costs. It paves the way for a future where:

👨🏻‍💻 Developers: Can create dApps that leverage the strengths of multiple Layer 2 solutions without sacrificing speed or security.

👤 Users: Can enjoy seamless experiences across different platforms, from trading assets to borrowing and lending, without being bogged down by the complexities of cross-chain transactions.

🌐 The Blockchain Ecosystem: Becomes more unified and accessible, fostering innovation and adoption across various industries.

A Collaborative Vision

The NEAR Fast Finality initiative is driven by a powerful collaboration between NEAR, Nethermind, and EigenLabs. This partnership brings together diverse expertise and a shared vision of achieving a more scalable, efficient, and user-centric Ethereum network. NEAR’s innovative blockchain approach, Nethermind’s proficiency in Ethereum infrastructure and security, and EigenLabs’ groundbreaking work on the EigenLayer protocol all contribute to the NFFL project. This collaboration exemplifies a collective dedication to pushing the boundaries of blockchain technology.

Testing and the Future

We’re excited to announce that the NEAR Fast Finality Layer (NFFL) is now live for testing on the Holesky testnet. This deployment allows developers to explore NFFL’s capabilities and provide valuable feedback to further enhance its functionality.

The NEAR Fast Finality Layer represents a significant step forward in our mission to improve the Ethereum ecosystem’s scalability and interoperability. Faster and more secure transactions set the stage for a new wave of blockchain innovation. Future releases will include the ability for rollups to select their preferred DA layer, such as EigenDA.

About Nethermind

Nethermind stands as a leading research and software engineering company dedicated to developing tooling and infrastructure for blockchain ecosystems, with a specialization in Ethereum and Layer 2 solutions. With a steadfast focus on enhancing security, scalability, and stability, Nethermind drives innovation and adoption within the blockchain industry.

Website | Twitter

About NEAR Protocol

NEAR Protocol is a blockchain platform designed to be user-friendly, secure, and scalable. It achieves this through features like sharding (splitting the blockchain for faster processing) and a Proof-of-Stake system (uses less energy than other methods). NEAR aims to be a foundation for decentralized applications (dApps) and competes with Ethereum by offering faster transaction speeds and lower costs.

Website | Twitter

About Eigen Layer

Eigen Layer is an Ethereum-based protocol that revolves around a concept called “restaking.” This allows users who have already staked their Ethereum (ETH) to essentially re-stake it for additional purposes. Eigen Layer acts as a middle layer, enabling staked ETH to be used to secure other applications built on Ethereum, boosting overall security and potentially increasing rewards for stakers. It also offers an alternative data availability option for Layer 2 scaling solutions.

Website | Twitter


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