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The Data-Availability Layer is Coming to Tezos – Now on Testnet

25 January 2024
Nomadic Labs

TL;DR: The Data-Availability Layer is live on Tezos’ Weeklynet, and we call on bakers and rollup operators to help us test this groundbreaking “rollup booster”. This blog post shows you how to get started.

In a previous blog post, we introduced the Data-Availability Layer (DAL) as a game-changing “rollup booster” for Tezos. If you’re new to the DAL concept, we highly recommend starting with this blog post. For a more technical walk-through, see this presentation from the TezDev 2023 conference.

In a nutshell, the DAL is a permissionless peer-to-peer (P2P) network which is part of the Tezos protocol and runs in parallel with Layer 1. It allows for rollup transaction data (Layer 2) to be published outside of the confines of Layer 1 blocks. Layer 1 bakers continuously monitor the DAL and attest on Layer 1 whether a given piece of data is available on the DAL.

What’s happening?

We expect the DAL to go live on Mainnet in 2024, which is why we are now publishing this call for testers on Weeklynet.

Once the DAL goes live on Mainnet, bakers will have to set up a DAL node in addition to the baker daemon. It’s important to test this step ahead of Mainnet activation, as DAL participants will be launching a new P2P network. To be clear: testing distributed networks is hard, and nothing can compete with a live, realistic testnet.

Additionally, we need feedback from rollup operators. The DAL offers rollup operators a permissionless, out-of-the-box data availability solution, enabling them to publish large amounts of data for a rollup at a very low cost and without sacrificing decentralization. Of course, success for such a system is contingent upon a great developer experience. We will need fresh eyes on this process and feedback to help us make it the best possible experience.

Getting started

To get you up and running, we have recently published several resources:

These documents should be enough to get you started. Afterward, the sky is the limit: you decide which data will be published on the DAL and for what purposes.

The DAL is a cornerstone for the future of Tezos, including innovations such as Etherlink and Tezos 2.0. That is why your feedback is very important. We encourage anyone involved with testing these features to share their feedback in a comment on this Tezos Agora post.

Next steps

We are planning to introduce the DAL with a phased approach. More precisely, the rollout plan for the DAL — assuming the community embraces it — is to:

  1. First enable the DAL on Mainnet without baker incentives and with optional participation.
  2. Later introduce baker incentives for the DAL, at which point DAL participation becomes an integrated part of the baker role.

The rationale is that we want to give bakers ample time to familiarize themselves with the DAL and validate its functionality before integrating incentives on Mainnet, as the incentives touch on a key part of Tezos Layer 1: the baker role and related economics/rewards.

We intend to publish a design proposal specifically for baker incentives around the time when we propose the protocol enabling DAL, along with an initial implementation live on Weeklynet. This should give plenty of time for bakers to provide feedback on these aspects too.

The DAL is a key element in keeping Tezos a technological frontrunner. Proper testing of it is vital, and we look forward to working with the broader Tezos community to make it ready for Mainnet.