Celestia is a modular data availability network built with the Cosmos SDK. Celestia’s unique architecture offers developers a platform to build highly scalable decentralized applications and rollups. As Celestia directly provides the data availability and consensus layer, and Optimint provides the settlement layer, developers only have to focus on building the execution layer. TIA is the native token of Celestia, and can be used for gas fee payment, network governance, and staking participation.
Celestia (TIA) is a modular network that seeks to redefine the architecture of blockchain technology. It is designed to allow anyone to deploy their own blockchain with minimal overhead. Celestia's approach separates the consensus and execution layers of blockchain, aiming to create a more scalable and customizable environment for developers. This network introduces a new primitive, data availability sampling, which allows it to scale by decoupling execution from consensus. Celestia does not impose any execution or settlement constraints, providing developers with the freedom to define their own execution and settlement environments. This flexibility opens up a world of new possibilities for builders and developers in the blockchain space.
Celestia operates by separating the core functions of a blockchain, thus aiming to overcome the scaling difficulties faced by traditional monolithic blockchains. It introduces the concept of modular blockchains, which decouple consensus from the execution of transactions. This allows for greater scalability without compromising security or decentralization. Celestia's network is designed to ensure data availability, a critical aspect of blockchain technology. It uses a technique known as data availability sampling, which allows nodes to verify that data is available for a block without having to download the entire block. This approach aims to minimize the resources required to reach consensus, as transaction validity rules can be decoupled from consensus rules.
Celestia's modular approach to blockchain technology opens up a wide range of potential use cases. It allows for easier experimentation as new application-specific or general-purpose blockchains can be deployed to Celestia and immediately inherit security from Celestia’s set. This enables developers to have control over the rules of an application through sovereignty, as they can make alterations to the tech stack without needing permission from outside applications. Furthermore, Celestia's focus on data availability makes it a suitable platform for applications that require high levels of data integrity and accessibility.
The concept of Celestia was born out of a desire to rethink blockchain architecture from the ground up. The project was inspired by the limitations of traditional monolithic blockchains, which perform all core functions of a blockchain, leading to scaling difficulties. Celestia's approach to blockchain technology was first outlined in a document titled "LazyLedger: A Data Availability Ledger With Client-Side " by Mustafa Al-Bassam from the Department of Computer Science at University College London. The document proposed a design for distributed ledgers where the blockchain is optimized solely for ordering and guaranteeing the availability of transaction data. This marked the beginning of the journey towards the creation of Celestia, the first modular blockchain network.
Celestia employs Data Availability Sampling (DAS) as a mechanism to improve upon the efficiency and scalability of its network. DAS allows light nodes in the network to verify the availability of block data without downloading the entire block. This is achieved by conducting multiple rounds of random sampling for small portions of block data. As more rounds of sampling are completed, the light node's confidence in the data's availability increases. Once a predetermined confidence level is reached, the block data is considered available. This method aims to reduce the hardware requirements for light nodes, contributing to both the security and throughput of the network. Celestia's DAS feature, in conjunction with Namespaced Merkle trees (NMTs), aims to offer a scalable solution to the data availability problem, enabling execution and settlement layers on Celestia to download only transactions relevant to them. This approach aims to improve upon the efficiency of blockchain designs, with the intention of reducing transaction costs and potentially increasing throughput.
TIA Coin, the native cryptocurrency of the Celestia network, serves a function in maintaining and incentivizing the ecosystem. It is not merely a transactional unit but a crucial element in the network's operations. Developers use TIA to pay for blobspace, a unique feature in Celestia where data is published. This process involves submitting PayForBlobs transactions, which are essential for maintaining the network's integrity and functionality. TIA also aids in launching new rollups, allowing developers to focus on building their applications without the immediate need to issue a new token. In Celestia’s proof-of-stake system, TIA holds importance, enabling users to delegate their tokens to validators and receive non-financial incentives from staking, thus contributing to network security and governance. TIA staking allows TIA holders to participate in decentralized governance, voting on network parameters and overseeing the community pool, which is allocated a portion of block processing incentives.
Celestia utilizes a specific pricing model for data storage and transactions. Users submit data to Celestia through blob transactions (BlobTx), which contain a standard Cosmos-SDK transaction and one or more Blobs of data. Celestia operates with a standard gas-priced mempool, where transactions with higher gas prices are processed by validators. There is no protocol-enforced minimum fee, but each consensus node running a mempool uses a locally configured gas price threshold that must be met for that node to accept a transaction. Transaction processes involve a flat rate, specified by the user in their transaction, where fees equal the gas limit multiplied by the gas price. The gas used by a PayForBlobs (PFB) transaction involves a static fixed cost and a dynamic cost based on the size of each blob in the transaction. The total fee for a transaction is calculated as the product of the gas limit for the transaction and the gas price set by the user. Users are encouraged to estimate the gas limit accurately to optimize their transaction process.
Celestia's architecture is characterized by its modular design, which separates the blockchain into distinct components, each specializing in a specific function. This is a departure from the traditional monolithic approach where a single blockchain handles all functions. In a modular blockchain like Celestia, functions such as transaction processing (execution), dispute resolution (settlement), transaction ordering (consensus), and data availability are handled by different specialized layers. This separation is designed with scalability and customization in mind, enabling the creation of more efficient and purpose-built blockchain solutions. Celestia, for instance, focuses on providing a decentralized consensus layer that ensures data availability and order, leaving the execution of transactions to other layers. This approach is designed with scalability and flexibility in mind, and the execution layers are intended to be optimized independently for specific needs, with the aim of reducing potential bottlenecks from consensus processes.