H1 2023 Blockchain & Cryptography Roadmap

Hey Celo Community :wave:,

Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to look at the 2023 roadmap for Celo, where we talk about cLabs’ vision for Celo to become the best platform for ReFi projects. This post outlines the cLabs blockchain team’s H1 roadmap for the first three parts of the proposal:

  1. Deep alignment with the Ethereum roadmap
  2. Horizontal scalability by making Celo a rollup-friendly chain
  3. Making Celo the fastest L1

1. Deep alignment with the Ethereum roadmap

Celo is already an EVM compatible chain, and delivers high transaction throughput, 5 second block times, and immediate finality. Going forward, the cLabs team proposes to bring Celo even closer to Ethereum by doing the following in H1:

  • Determine the best Ethereum client to be based on (e.g. go-ethereum, Erigon, etc.) and re-implement Celo as a patch queue
    • Why? this refactor will make it easier for devs to maintain the codebase, upstream merge, and bring the latest Ethereum features to the Celo community as soon as they are available
  • Start investigating and implementing features like proto danksharding, so we’re ready to offer them to the Celo community as soon as they are live on Ethereum
    • Why? we believe that the Ethereum ecosystem will continue to thrive, and the best experience for devs on Celo comes when we’re in lock-step with Ethereum
  • A hard fork tentatively planned for April, where we plan to put up several new features (like precompiles, see more details below) for consideration
    • Why? we want to align hard fork proposals and new EIPs with the Etherum community, and plan to do this after the Shanghai hard fork that is currently scheduled for March

2. Horizontal scalability by making Celo a rollup-friendly chain

cLabs’ view is that rollups are the most secure and flexible way of structuring an ecosystem of subchains (further detailed here), and we’re excited about the potential for Celo to become a more responsive platform to the needs of developers. Celo already supports precompiles for BLS12–381, BLS12–377, and ed25519 operations, but we know we can do more - so in H1, we’re planning to:

  • Invest time in working with ZK projects to understand their needs and how we can make Celo a better place for them to deploy on
    • Why? we have some ideas about what precompiles and curves ZK projects need, but want to make sure that what we’re building best meets the needs of these developers
  • Partner with projects like Hyperlane to research and build interoperability solutions that can be shared with the broader Ethereum L2 ecosystem
    • Why? we strongly believe that interoperability is critical not only for rollup ecosystems to interact with each other through a unified interface, but also to foster the movement of liquidity

3. Making Celo the fastest L1

Celo already delivers fast L1 block times (5s) and immediate finality - but we think we can do better. To that end, in H1, the cLabs team will work on:

  • Increasing throughput even further by reducing block time, increasing the block gas limit, and increasing the maximum message size
    • Why? we want Celo to remain a cutting edge L1, and that means continuously improving the performance of the L1 in addition to scaling with L2s
  • Collaborate with the Celo validator community to consider scaling up full node and validator hardware requirements
    • Why? faster and beefier machines will let us parallelize transactions and take advantage of frameworks like BlockSTM
  • Explore ways to replace the Celo consensus engine in order to optimize transaction sequencing, potentially with Narwhal
    • Why? a consensus implementation that is faster and simpler to prove correct will further decentralize the network by exploding the pool of active validators

Stay tuned for more updates on both the blog and forum. We’ll continue to keep the community updated as we learn more and start building. In the meantime, feedback is always welcome - please leave comments and share your thoughts, and we look forward to a meaningful collaboration with all of you as we work towards helping the Celo ecosystem thrive!