Conversation with EthStorage founder: Data Availability and Decentralized Storage

Talk with EthStorage creator: Data availability and decentralized storage

This article is the final episode of the podcast interview series curated by ECN, with the theme “Decentralized Rollup”. We invited Qi Zhou, the founder of EthStorage, to discuss topics such as how DA can reuse the security attributes of the Ethereum mainnet, EIP-4844 and danksharding, and the security comparison of different DA models.

Relationship between EIP-4844 and Danksharding: Proto-danksharding, also known as EIP-4844, can be considered a significant upgrade for Ethereum. The main reason for implementing EIP-4844 is that the Ethereum community believes the upgrade roadmap for Ethereum sharding (Danksharding) will take a long time. EIP-4844 is, in fact, a simplified version of Danksharding, providing an application interface similar to Danksharding, including a new opcode called Data Hash and a new data object called Binary Large Objects, or Blob, which is designed to enable rollup to be compatible with the data structure provided by Danksharding. However, one problem with EIP-4844 is that it does not address the issue of expanding the entire block space, which can only be solved by Danksharding.

Applications and limitations of Data Availability Committee (DAC): Currently, more than 90% of the cost of L2 user payments may be used to pay for data availability, so many L2 projects, including ZKSync, choose to provide their own DAC to reduce the cost of uploading data. However, a data committee would introduce additional trust requirements to achieve the same level of security as Ethereum, so we did not include any data committee concept when designing EthStorage. A significant innovation in EthStorage is the use of ZK encryption technology to protect the Layer2 data provider nodes, allowing them to join without admission and prove that they have so many storage replicas and can better ensure data security. Therefore, I think DAC is currently a very temporary solution to reduce the cost of uploading data to Layer1. We believe that through EthStorage’s encryption technology and some proof verification methods based on Ethereum contracts on Layer1, we can provide a better data storage solution.

Difference between EthStorage and DAC: EthStorage is actually an Ethereum storage rollup, a storage rollup. So, we can assume that a Layer 2 is not an execution of Ethereum EVM, but a very large database, or a key value database. It can be up to 10 TB, hundreds of TB, or even thousands, a PB-level database. Unlike DAC, our data storage nodes are not permissioned, anyone can participate. And it proves its storage and gets the corresponding reward. This is done through a set of storage proof mechanisms we have established. We need to create a network and proof system specifically for the Ethereum DA framework and Ethereum smart contracts for corresponding storage proofs. So, in this regard, we believe that we have a very unique contribution to the entire Ethereum ecosystem, even the entire decentralized storage field.

How EthStorage maintains permissionless storage proof: 1) Token incentives for permanent data preservation: In this regard, we actually adopted Arweave’s discounted cash flow model to implement incentives. And at the same time, it is very effective to execute on the entire smart contract; 2) Permissionless manner: For any node, it can contact any one of them to synchronize the corresponding data, and then it can become a data storage party. There may be more optimization designs for data incentives; 3) The third is that the storage node needs to save all the data at once, which may be several hundred TB or even PB-level data in the long run. So, the cost is very high for a single node. Therefore, we have further done something called data sharding. In this way, for ordinary nodes, it only needs to have a capacity of about 4TB, and it can save a part of the archived data in the network. But we also ensure that everyone can save all this data together in our Layer2 network through some incentive mechanisms.


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