For Beginners

The Evolution of Roll Up Chains

Susa, a perpetual decentralized exchange (DEX) exemplifies Layer N technology

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Rollup technology, including Optimistic and Zero-Knowledge Rollups, addresses Ethereum's scalability issues by processing transactions on a separate Layer 2 while maintaining security and reducing costs. Layer N enhances this approach by offering specialized Virtual Machines (XVMs) for improved interoperability, performance, and liquidity across different L2s. These advancements, particularly applied in the Susa decentralized exchange, significantly increase transaction speeds, reduce costs, and ensure robust security.

Initial Concept and Need

The genesis of rollup technology was driven by the increasing demand for scalability solutions within blockchain ecosystems. As Ethereum grew in popularity, it encountered challenges related to slow transaction speeds and high gas fees, which stemmed from its underlying mechanism requiring every transaction to be processed by all nodes, creating significant bottlenecks.

Early Development

The theoretical foundation for rollups began to form as developers and researchers sought methods to manage transactions off the main Ethereum chain (Layer 1) to alleviate congestion. The concept involved executing transactions on a separate layer (Layer 2) and subsequently recording the results on the main chain. This strategy was designed to uphold the security guarantees of the Ethereum blockchain while enhancing throughput and reducing costs.

Introduction of Optimistic and ZK Rollups

The development of rollups branched into two main technologies: Optimistic Rollups and Zero-Knowledge (ZK) Rollups.

  • Optimistic Rollups work by assuming transactions are valid by default and only running computations in the event of a challenge. This model reduces the computational load but introduces a challenge period, typically lasting around a week, during which transactions can be disputed.

Simple Explanation: Optimistic Rollups are like assuming everyone's homework is correct unless someone points out a mistake during a review session that happens once a week.

  • Zero-Knowledge Rollups use cryptographic proofs to validate transactions off-chain before finalizing them on the main chain. These proofs, known as Zero-Knowledge Proofs, ensure the correctness of transactions without revealing any underlying data, thus enhancing both scalability and privacy.

Simple Explanation: Zero-Knowledge Rollups are like having a way to prove you solved a math problem correctly without showing all the steps you took, just the final answer.

Pros and Cons of the Rollup Landscape

Rollups have significantly transformed the landscape of blockchain scalability, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages:


  • Scalability: Processing transactions off-chain and only settling final states on-chain, rollups greatly increase transaction throughput and reduce latency.
  • Reduced Costs: By lessening the load on the main chain, rollups decrease gas fees, making transactions more economically feasible for a broader user base.
  • Security: Both Optimistic and ZK Rollups inherit the robust security of the main Ethereum chain, thus providing secure scaling solutions without compromising blockchain's decentralization or security principles.
  • Flexibility: Rollups accommodate a wide range of applications, from simple transfers to complex smart contracts, expanding the use-case scenarios for Ethereum.


  • Fragmented Experience and Liquidity: The existence of multiple rollup solutions can lead to a fragmented user experience and liquidity, as users and resources are spread across different Layer 2 environments without sufficient interoperability.
  • Delay in Funds Withdrawal: Particularly with Optimistic Rollups, the challenge period can delay access to funds, impacting liquidity and user satisfaction.
  • Centralization Risks: Early rollup solutions often depend on a central sequencer to process transactions, introducing potential points of failure and centralization.
  • Technical Barriers: Developers may need to adapt or rewrite existing smart contracts to be compatible with rollup solutions, posing a barrier to adoption.

New Solution Proposed by Layer N

Layer N introduces an innovative approach to address these challenges, particularly focusing on interoperability and the execution environment. It utilizes custom Virtual Machines (XVMs) to create a more flexible and developer-friendly layer. These XVMs can be customized for specific applications, providing performance optimizations and enhanced communication between different contracts and chains.

How Layer N Solves Problems

  • Enhanced Interoperability: Through XVMs, Layer N enables seamless interactions between various decentralized applications (dApps) and chains.
  • Specialized Performance: Developers can build or use specific XVMs optimized for their application needs, improving both speed and efficiency.
  • Shared Liquidity: Layer N facilitates shared liquidity across different rollups and Layer 2 solutions, helping to address the issue of fragmented liquidity prevalent in current Layer 2 ecosystems.

Application on a Perpetual DEX - Susa

Susa, a perpetual decentralized exchange (DEX) by Sushi x Layer N, exemplifies the practical application of Layer N technology:

  • On-Chain Order Books: Leveraging Layer N's capabilities, Susa maintains a fully on-chain order book, ensuring transparency, security, and integrity in trade execution and record-keeping.
  • High-Speed Trading: Utilizing Layer N's high-performance XVMs, Susa executes trades in milliseconds, comparable to centralized exchanges, crucial for high-frequency trading environments.
  • Complex Financial Products: Susa efficiently manages complex products and strategies like margin trading, derivatives, and synthetic assets, thanks to the interoperability and customizations possible with Layer N's XVMs.
  • Reduced Slippage and Better Pricing: The shared liquidity pools accessible via Layer N reduce slippage and ensure better pricing for Susa's users, making it competitive with traditional and centralized trading platforms.
  • Security: In case of network disruptions, the system is robustly designed to ensure continuity in trading operations. Transactions can be forcibly executed onto Layer 1, allowing them to be queued and processed once the network sequencer resumes operation, providing a vital safety mechanism to maintain trading activities and mitigate the impact of network interruptions.

Layer N's innovations represent a significant step forward in the evolution of blockchain technology, promising to address not only scalability and performance issues but also enhancing the functionality and interoperability of Dapps like Susa. This development could pave the way for broader adoption of decentralized technologies across various sectors.

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