Metis Launches Platform’s Mainnet Andromeda, Confirms Commitment to Decentralization, Announces $100M Ecosystem Fund

The Metis team has launched the platform’s Mainnet Andromeda, a move that confirms a commitment to greater decentralization of Internet-based services.

As mentioned in a blog post, Metis got its start as a “hard fork of Optimism.” The platform’s  founders really appreciate the effectiveness and simplicity of rollup tech, which allowed Optimistic Rollups to bring together large numbers of transactions in order to create a significantly faster, affordable, as well as scalable user experience (UX).

The Metis team added that they appreciated how Optimistic Rollups could be developed as Layer 2 Ethereum scaling solutions, “meaning they benefit from all the security and decentralization of the Ethereum blockchain.”

The update also noted that the upcoming OVM 2.0 release, and the literature that the Optimism team has published regarding it, “confirm a major change in plans: Optimism will no longer offer the same level of decentralization that it originally envisioned.”

Metis still plans to follow most of Optimism’s overall architecture. However, they also “refuse to compromise when it comes to decentralization,” the developers clarified. Their future plans will thus reflect their commitment to providing “maximum scalability, without skimping on decentralization.”

As noted by the Metim team, Optimism proposed the concept of “EVM Equivalence” to “replace its original vision of “EVM Compatibility.” Optimism described how EVM Compatibility would be a major hurdle for existing Ethereum DApps migrating to Layer 2, as “settling for mere compatibility means that you are forced to modify, or even completely reimplement, lower-level code that Ethereum’s supporting infrastructure also relies on.”

Metis confirms that this is, in fact, true. And their team has “received painful feedback from developers regarding these compatibility issues.” As a result, they understand the “desire to switch to EVM Equivalence, since doing so could enable some Ethereum projects to experience an easier process as they migrate their DApps onto Layer 2 networks.”

But everything comes at a certain price. When they looked deeper into the design of OVM 2.0, they learned that switching to EVM Equivalence (without making any other adjustments) “means compromising much of the decentralization originally proposed through OVM.”

In short, OVM 2.0 will “fundamentally change its implementation of Optimistic Rollups, creating an environment in which, as Optimism’s article explains, ‘Fraud Proofs are dead’.” In the new design, the onchain transaction challenging model “will be disabled, which means we can no longer rely on the strong consensus on Layer 1 to challenge transactions.”

Optimism’s changes do “not comply with Metis’ vision, mission, or DNA,” the platform’s developers noted.

And by moving to EVM Equivalence without making other adjustments, the Optimism team is “instituting a far more centralized system, one which requires network users to simply trust that Optimism will do no wrong,” the Metis team claims. These changes “directly contradict everything that Metis is building, and everything that we stand for,” the Metis developers argued.

Metis’ goal has been to “make blockchain accessible to everyone.” To do so, they are building a three-pronged approach:

  • a Layer 2 Ethereum Rollup “enabling fast and cheap transactions”;
  • no-code middleware “enabling anyone (even total blockchain novices) to migrate onto Metis Layer 2 in just a couple of minutes and a few clicks, thanks to our smart contract templates”;
  • a Decentralized Autonomous Company (DAC) infrastructure that “goes far beyond the simple voting and governance functions of DAOs, enabling anyone to build decentralized businesses on-chain, with all the real-world functions of a “real-world” company, and all the benefits that come with being built on blockchain.”

Through every step of that approach, they seek only the “highest levels of decentralization and the highest levels of security.”

The Metis team further revealed that they spent a long time debating whether they should completely diverge from OVM. This is a difficult decision to make, because they understand that EVM Equivalence is “what DApps and the Ethereum community need, both now and when the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 launch happens.” In the end, all of their discussions “boiled down to one huge question: Can we achieve our goal of decentralization within the EVM Equivalence framework?” And “the answer is…YES,” the update noted.

Metis also shared that they “found a path to achieve our dual goals of decentralization and EVM Equivalence.” And this path “exactly matches the design of the Metis Ranger System, which we detail in our whitepaper.”

Metis also noted that choosing to commit to EVM Equivalence and decentralization is “certainly the more challenging path to code.” They shared that “going this route means we have to adjust and review all the coding that we have already conducted, to verify if there are any conflicts or potential risks.”

Metis added:

“We have committed to building a network that meets the highest standards of scalability, decentralization, and security. That’s the network we plan to deliver to our wonderful community of partners and users, and the blockchain world as a whole. It will start with the delivery of our Andromeda Layer 2 network, the first phase of our mainnet launch.”

Metis further noted that they will be retiring the Metis Dragonfire testnet (Chain ID: 488) and launch another testnet with EVM Equivalence this week, “called ‘Stardust’ (Chain ID: 588).” To ensure that everything goes smoothly, the Metis team will “open a new round of testing on our DAC Staking and Mining offering.” After the testing is completed, the team will “release Andromeda on [their] new framework, merging EVM Equivalency with [their] staunch commitment to decentralization.”

As confirmed by Metis, DAC creation and staking $METIS tokens (with starting/variable APY of 29000%) launches “no more than one week later” after the release of the Andromeda mainnet.

That comprehensive Andromeda structure includes:

  • The Andromeda Layer2 network
  • Multi-VM: decentralized virtual machines to support the scalability and security of Metis Layer 2 infrastructure
  • Peer Nodes: to perform fraud proofs and reach consensus during the process of load balancing
  • EVM Equivalence: no need to tailor or modify your EVM smart contracts anymore
    Metis Explorer: check all on-chain transactions and verify smart contract calls (for high-end users)
  • Metis Bridge: a bridge to transfer tokens between Ethereum mainnet and Metis Layer 2. In the current version, you’ll only be able to bridge $METIS tokens; more tokens and NFTs will be available for bridging in our following Layer 2 network releases.
  • Polis: the place for users to create their account (wallet) or connect with MetaMask, and also the place for developers to manage their domains, smart contracts, and APIs.
  • First DAC template and DApps running on the Metis Layer 2 network, Andromeda
  • DAC Staking and Mining: harnessing the power of community to create your own DACs on Layer 2, stake, and gain rewards.

After this Andromeda release, Metis is planning “a fast bridge collaborated with several third-party cross-chain bridges … to shorten withdrawal time.”

In the present version of their Layer 2 network, people will still be required to “wait seven days to withdraw from Layer 2 to Layer 1.”

In a future network release, withdrawals will take place within minutes. Metis’ native withdrawal bridge enabling fast withdrawals, along with our Ranger system, will be launched in 2022, the update noted. And after launching Peer Nodes on Andromeda, load balancing will be “supported in our next network release (next month).”

Transaction costs on Andromeda should fall “well below Ethereum Layer 1 levels, but will still remain relatively high (now around $1-$2) compared to our future plans.”

Metis will launch its IPFS tech early in 2022, “enabling inexpensive, on-chain data storage, and transactions on our Layer 2 network that will cost just a few cents.”

Metis is also joining the Ethereum Layer 2 race with a $100 million Ecosystem Fund.

Metis is joining the fray, where Arbitrum and Optimism have “so far ruled.” The fund is described by Metis as a “decentralized autonomous company” (DAC), called Genesi, to “support projects which join its ecosystem.” Genesi will be allocated across “a wide range of high-potential projects in all major crypto verticals including, DeFi, gaming, and DAOs.” For more details on this update, check here.

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