Decentralized Timeboost R&D Update

Hey everyone, this is Ian from the Espresso Systems team.

As some of you know, Espresso Systems has been working closely with the Offchain Labs team on developing Decentralized Timeboost, a modified first come-first serve builder protocol.

Today, we’re excited to release a blog outlining the R&D roadmap for Decentralized Timeboost. We are developing decentralized Timeboost alongside the Espresso Sequencer, and are prioritizing its compatibility with the sequencer.

In the blog, we describe some design considerations for Decentralized Timeboost based on internal discussions and discussions with the Offchain Labs team. We also outline a milestone-based roadmap:

  • Milestone 1. Offchain Labs and Espresso Systems collaboratively begin discussions around Decentralized Timeboost’s design and present initial design considerations to the Arbitrum community. (shared in this post!)
  • Milestone 2. Espresso Systems is building an Espresso Sequencer integration with the Arbitrum technology stack in our upcoming testnet (Gibraltar) to demonstrate technical compatibility and allow developers to experiment with a live demonstration of the Espresso Sequencer. (coming in January!)
  • Milestone 3. Both teams’ research teams are undertaking R&D efforts around Decentralized Timeboost. During this period, we are continuing to scope out Decentralized Timeboost’s desired properties. We are aiming to finalize the architecture and technical specifications for a decentralized Timeboost.
  • Milestone 4. Decentralized Timeboost is in development as a module supporting integration with the Espresso Sequencer. After developing the protocol, we aim to test it and ensure it is ready for a production deployment.
  • Milestone 5. After development and testing, we will make the decentralized Timeboost builder protocol available to rollups using the Espresso Sequencer.
  • Milestone 6. Bring Decentralized Timeboost and shared, decentralized sequencing to all of Ethereum :slightly_smiling_face:

The next milestone in this roadmap is for the Espresso Systems team to release an integration between the Espresso Sequencer and the Arbitrum technology stack. We are planning on releasing this in our next testnet. Stay tuned for updates.

Tomorrow, we’re co-hosting an AMA with Offchain Labs on Decentralized Timboost at 10am Eastern. In this discussion we’ll give an update on our progress, discuss the various design considerations, cover what’s next and answer any open questions the community may have.

Please let us know if there are any thoughts or questions around Decentralized Timeboost’s roadmap! We’ll use this forum thread for progress updates and discussion.


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Hi everyone,

Ian from Espresso checking in. I wanted to provide an update on the current state of Timeboost R&D.

As you may have seen, our current testnet release added support for the Arbitrum stack on Espresso. We also have two Arbitrum testnet rollups, Kyoto and Milan, deployed with AltLayer and Caldera respectively, and using Espresso for shared sequencing.

This was the second item in the roadmap that we had posted in the original forum post above! It’s great to have two Arbitrum chains using Espresso for shared, decentralized sequencing, and it also gives us an environment to test future implementations of decentralized Timeboost. During this testnet, we also deployed a version of the Across Protocol, demonstrating a bridge transaction between two Arbitrum Nova chains. The origin Espresso rollup received a pre-confirmation from HotShot within 2 seconds. The transaction was filled on the destination Espresso rollup in another 7 seconds. Overall, this demo highlighted the possibility of bridging between rollups in under 10 seconds, with strong safety guarantees for Across relayers (see the Espresso blog for details).

Our teams are currently collaborating on determining the final design for decentralized Timeboost. These discussions have helped the Espresso team narrow down potential protocol designs to a few consensus mechanisms. The R&D teams at both Espresso and Offchain Labs have been involved in figuring out the detailed trade-offs with each of these approaches. Once we agree on the design, we’ll be able to move to the fourth stage of our R&D roadmap, which is the development and testing of a decentralized Timeboost protocol.

It’s been an exciting time at Espresso. We recently announced our Series B fundraise, and are using those funds to scale our team and allocate resources to R&D efforts, including Timeboost development and further work on our Arbitrum integration. We’re targeting our next testnet release, Cappuccino, in April. This testnet will add support for Arbitrum fraud proofs, ensuring that we are fully production ready for the Arbitrum ecosystem.

We’re excited to continue collaborating with the Offchain Labs team and Arbitrum community. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.