Investing 09-07-2024 19:05 7 Views

Crypto startup Rome raises $9 million to enhance Ethereum layer-2 blockchains using Solana

Crypto startup Rome has raised $9 million to advance its solution supporting Ethereum layer-2 blockchains by using Solana as an auxiliary network.

The funding round attracted investments from prominent names such as Hack VC, Polygon Ventures, HashKey, and notable angel investors Anatoly Yakovenko and Nick White.

Leveraging Solana for Ethereum layer-2 support

Rome, co-founded by Anil Kumar and Sattvik Kansal, plans to use Solana to underpin shared sequencers and data availability (DA). Shared sequencers batch transactions and send them to the Ethereum blockchain for settlement. Decentralizing these sequencers is crucial to prevent single points of failure.

The DA project, on the other hand, aims to store the large volumes of transactional data generated by Ethereum layer-2 networks at a lower cost compared to using the main Ethereum chain.

According to Kumar, Solana stands out as the optimal state machine for shared sequencers due to its efficiency and low transaction costs. 

“The main thing is, a shared sequencer needs to be its own chain, and it takes a lot of time, a lot of effort to do that, so we were looking for what chain we should use,” Kumar was quoted as saying by CoinDesk.

“If we look at Solana as a state machine, it is the best state chain, in comparison to Bitcoin, Cosmos, Ethereum.”

This choice supports Rome’s complex operational needs in managing shared sequencers effectively.

Introducing atomic transactions

Rome aims to introduce “atomic transactions” between Ethereum layer-2 networks, enabling seamless transactions across different blockchains. 

If any part of the transaction fails, the entire transaction is void, with users only incurring minimal costs associated with Solana transactions. This feature enhances reliability and user confidence in cross-chain transactions.

Rome in the landscape of modular blockchains

Rome is part of the growing trend towards “modular” blockchains, where specific functions traditionally managed by the main Ethereum chain are delegated to alternative projects. Other initiatives like Metis and Espresso Systems focus on decentralized sequencers and L2 sequencing marketplaces respectively.

The NEAR Foundation has launched Nuffle Labs with $13 million to provide DA, and Avail integrates its DA network into several Ethereum layer-2s including Arbitrum and Optimism.

Rome has outlined a clear development timeline, with a closed network accessible to developers starting this month. 

The test network is set to launch by the end of 2024, followed by the main network in mid-2025. This structured approach ensures developers have adequate tools and time to test and integrate applications with Rome’s network.

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