The Jakarta era is now behind us.
That said, recently we learned more about the next protocol upgrade - Kathmandu. Protocol Kathmandu will introduce Smart Contract Optimistic Rollups (SCORUs). In Nomadic Labs’ blog post
, they describe what this feature will provide to the Tezos network.
SCORUs provide a generic infrastructure to implement any computational device, as long as its semantics can be described as a Proof-producing Virtual Machine (PVM), in the Tezos protocol.
This design allows us to continuously develop and deploy new supported PVMs, and thereby new execution environments, via protocol amendments. In our upcoming protocol proposal, we plan to introduce a first PVM supporting WebAssembly
(WASM) — although only available via bleeding-edge test networks.
In terms of scalability, this is a pretty big deal. We’re seeing essentially two back to back protocol upgrades geared towards reducing block times (the time it takes for a block on the Tezos network to finalize).
Let us not forget Protocol Ithaca also brought the introduction of a completely new consensus algorithm - Tenderbake.
I digress, Kathmandu will offer more to the Tezos network than just SCORUs according to Nomadic Labs’ publication
The validation Pipelining project
aims to streamline the block validation process, in order to reduce the number of times they need to be applied (that is, executed) across the Tezos Layer 1 network. It also aims to propagate blocks before fully applying them, but after having fastly validated a set of preconditions on the block and its operation payload which guarantees their correctness. These goals combine to pursue increasing throughput for Tezos’ Layer 1, without compromising the network’s safety.
Nomadic Labs also mentioned the introduction of support for permanent test networks.
The Kathmandu protocol proposal will also include a new testnet-specific governance mechanism necessary to support a permanent test network, Ghostnet
For any chain other than Tezos Mainnet, this mechanism lets the chain originator designate a special account, that can upgrade the protocol unilaterally with a new protocol proposal. Instead of going through the normal governance election cycles, the chain will upgrade straight away to the new protocol. This will allow for the creation of a long-running testnet, Ghostnet, where protocol upgrades will be centrally managed by Oxhead Alpha and which will closely follow Tezos mainnet upgrades.
As Tezos continues to evolve and grow, so is the growing theme towards massive scalability. As we move towards a new era with Protocol Kathmandu, there’s lots to look forward to within the ecosystem.