Initia: Modular Rollup integration Layer 1 built by former LUNA employees

24-02-28 19:05
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Cosmos has launched another modular public chain in its ecosystem.

On February 27th, Layer 1 blockchain Initia completed a $7.5 million financing round, led by Delphi Ventures and Hack VC, with participation from Nascent, Figment Capital, Big Brain, and A.Capital. Angel investors include anonymous crypto trader Cobie, DCF God, Split Capital co-founder Zaheer Ebtikar, Fiskantes, WSB Mod, and Celestia COO Nick White. In October of last year, Initia announced that it had received pre-seed funding from Binance Labs.

Initia aims to create an Apple-like ecosystem in the blockchain industry, intending to eliminate the fragmented experience of multi-chain systems through vertical integration of the technology stack. Initia integrates the underlying Layer 1 with Layer 2 application chains (officially called "Minitias") through the Initia Rollup framework and facilitates message passing between Minitias through IBC. Just like in the Apple system, although everyone can use various frameworks to build their applications (React Native, Swift, etc.), they can all access the same native features: ApplePay, FaceID, cross-app communication. Initia mimics this by modularizing network products and inherent features.

This modular public chain based on Cosmos SDK, how can it prove that it can build a blockchain ecosystem similar to the Apple system?

Technical Integration + Incentive Plan, Developer Friendly

When developers want to start a new Rollup, they need to have a set of stack tools, such as indexers, oracles, block explorers, interoperability, and so on, to ensure a seamless experience. Having interoperability IBC, CCTP for stablecoin liquidity/interoperability, and other core infrastructure makes Initia very attractive to developers.

The Initia framework has a shared infrastructure layer that is used to coordinate security, liquidity, routing, and interoperability in the interwoven Rollup network on the OPinit Stack, an Optimistic Rollup framework that is independent of VM on Initia. The OPinit Stack has fraud proof and rollback capabilities, leveraging the underlying Celestia DA, allowing thousands of Rollups based on CosmosSDK in EVM, MoveVM, or WasmVM to scale securely.

This enables its Layer 2 to bridge and use IBC to connect chains in the Cosmos ecosystem in real time, with a core concept similar to the modular settlement layer Dymension. Initia's developers say the key difference between the two is that Dymension uses sovereign rollups, while Initia uses optimistic rollups.

Initia's goal is to make it easy for anyone to launch Layer 2 and provide instant support for various Ethereum and Cosmos networks. What's even more attractive is that Initia will allocate a large portion of its token supply to incentive programs to encourage activity on Layer 2.

According to The Block, holders of the governance token INIT for Initia will vote on the Layer 2 of Initia each month and discuss how to allocate token incentives. They can also set KPIs so that the network only receives tokens when certain goals are achieved. "In a sense, this is like a decentralized funding program built on top of Initia, providing additional marketing incentives for these Layer 2 teams to attract more users."

Nowadays, L1 is everywhere. How to find a place in the fierce competition is crucial, and the projects in the ecosystem are the key. From the beginning, setting up incentive plans and knowing how to attract developers to build more attractive products that create traffic for users is one of the necessary conditions for the success of a public chain.

Ready-to-use, providing seamless trading experience

For ordinary users, Initia believes that dApps will win by providing a seamless experience without exposing the underlying technology directly to end users.

One of the core elements of Initia is its possession of so-called Enshrined Liquidity, which provides native liquidity to the core of the Initia network, making it easier for users to exchange tokens when moving between Layer 2. All of this is done through InitiaDEX, a native L1 DEX integrated into the chain and strengthened by Enshrined Liquidity.

Initia CEO Zon said: "If you want to transfer USDC from one Layer 2 to ETH on another Layer 2, there will be a huge liquidity center on Layer 1, where you can exchange assets when you send them." This is because token holders can stake some LP tokens and INIT while staking INIT tokens in these currency pairs can also be used for voting in incentive plans.

Initia L1 uses dPoS consensus, but there is a change - choosing the INIT-TOKEN pair (or just INIT) allows for direct staking with validators to earn staking rewards, exchange fees, and LST yield.

On Initia, anyone can use any token that provides liquidity to pay transaction fees. On Layer 2 networks, transaction fees can be paid with any token. In addition, Initia also provides native .init usernames, which are applicable to all Layer 2 networks built on Initia, and provide a more user-friendly way for token holders to send and receive payments to themselves and other users.

As mentioned earlier, Initia has a shared infrastructure layer, and on top of it are multi-functional, product-ready Rollups with a complete set of out-of-the-box features. In addition to being able to develop in Solidity, Move, or CosmWasm and vertically integrate into each application chain's CosmosSDK end, each Rollup can also access a range of features including native USDC, built-in oracles, instant bridging, cross-chain interoperability via IBC, fiat on-ramp, decentralized sorter, DAO tools, InitiaScan, EVM, and Cosmos wallet signatures.

The Initia product stack connects the entire architecture stack together, minimizing entry barriers. Its core elements include:

InitiaScan - A seamless multi-chain browser system with VM-specific tools and information.

Wallet Widget—EVM and Cosmos wallets sign in through in-app social login.

Bridget - Front-end bridge/entry directly aggregated into the summary.

Initia Application - The home of everything in Initia.

Initia Username - Onmitia On-Chain Identity

Initia Wallet - a wallet built specifically for browsing Omnitia.

Terraform Labs Background + Cosmos Ecosystem

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Other than introducing the technical mechanism of Initia, it is also necessary to mention its development team.

Initia's two core developers, Zon and Stan Liu, previously worked for Terra's development company, Terraform Labs. Zon is a smart contract developer, while Liu is researching MEV. According to The Block, the two left Terraform Labs and began creating a Cosmos-based DeFi blockchain. However, shortly thereafter, the Terra/Luna crash occurred. As a result, they stopped the initial fundraising and returned the funds to investors.

Afterwards, they spent some time thinking about what to do next before focusing their attention on Initia. To do this, they hired developers from the core teams behind Cosmos Hub (the foundational blockchain in the Cosmos ecosystem) and Terra Station (the largest wallet in the Terra ecosystem). As a result, the connection between Initia and the Cosmos ecosystem runs deep, and they also use Celestia as their DA layer. Perhaps staking TIA could also result in receiving an INIT airdrop.

Initia is currently running on a closed test network. Some projects have built DeFi applications on the test network and plan to launch an incentive test network around early April, with the main network scheduled to launch in the second quarter. Currently, the Initia official website has not yet been launched, and more detailed information and official documents may be released after the incentive test network goes live. Readers can join the Initia official Discord to get more project information.

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