Polygon releases testnet plans for a new scalability-focused blockchain called Avail

On Wednesday, Polygon revealed that it plans to launch a testnet for a new blockchain called Avail, according to a Twitter post. The blockchain aims at the scalability space and its testnet will go live in the second quarter of 2022.

Avail will be joining Polygon’s existing arsenal of scalability solutions. These are led by its main flagship proof-of-stake blockchain — which is seen as a sidechain to Ethereum — along with others like Edge, Miden, Zero, Hermez and Nightfall. 

Avail will be a standalone network under the Polygon umbrella, helping to host and verify off-chain data for blockchains that have integrated with it.   

While blockchains employ a myriad of datasets with decentralized applications, they don’t store data by themselves as that can be very expensive. The data is usually hosted on third-party servers, and even verifying it repeatedly can be cost-prohibitive on its own.

With that challenge, Avail will focus on improving the scalability of blockchains both within and outside the Polygon ecosystem and attempting to meet their data demands. 

“In terms of validity, the Avail chain specializes in ordering transactions and keeping them available, and does not validate any transaction unlike monolithic chains,” Polygon co-founder Anurag Arjun told The Block. Here monolithic refers to the idea of a blockchain operating on its own.

The team said Avail will serve as a “data availability layer” for Ethereum’s Layer-2 solutions — Optimism and Validium — and other zero-knowledge scalability solutions offered by Polygon, to help contribute to their data requirements. The complete details of how Avail will work together with those solutions will be announced later, the team said.

“The data availability technology has many uses, but one key use-case we are interested in is in allowing rollups settling to Ethereum to scale better by offloading transaction data to Avail,” said Arjun. Rollups are a technology used for building Layer-2 solutions.

Polygon Avail will work quite differently from popular blockchain networks, per its team. Rather than generating and keeping a record of all data within blocks — as is the case with Ethereum, Avalanche, Cosmos and the main Polygon blockchain, it will use “transaction ordering” based on a couple of cryptographic protocols — called GRANDPA and BABE — for data validation and consensus, the team told The Block. 

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