A few weeks ago we launched the Wisp alpha testnet - permissionless protocol for cross-rollup communication, aligned with Ethereum’s rollup-centric future. Wisp leverages zk proofs and light clients with the vision to enable “the internet of rollups”. This narrative is further backed by every L2’s tech stack which is focused on rollup ecosystems (e.g. OP, Arbitrum Orbit, ZkSynch hyperchains, Polygon supernets etc.). The Wisp alpha version was showcased by a demo bridge between (Goerli) OP and Base (Coinbase L2). We have been running the demo for several weeks. The initial idea of the alpha version was to showcase a PoC, talk with dapps and gather feedback on the initial design of the protocol. As Wisp is being built in the open, we’re committed to share our learnings and progress. Here are the main findings:
- Message latency using the current architecture is ~20-25 minutes which is too slow for most use-cases
- ZK On-chain Light Client updates of L1 are an extremely small part of the message delivery fee. The majority of the costs come from the size of the calldata which contains a lot of data for executing on-chain Merkle Inclusion Proofs
- Onchain Light Clients + Onchain Merkle Inclusion Proofs are too expensive as a solution for cross-rollup communication protocol
- Utilising ZK Merkle Inclusion Proofs can bring the costs of cross-rollup messages an order of magnitude lower
These finds have been extremely valuable in the process of building Wisp and validating a problem-solution fit (before product-market fit). We’ve also received positive feedback across social media, discord (early community) and most importantly, our initial conversations with builders.
We’re currently putting the demo bridge on pause and continuing both the building and the validating processes. Our focus for the next few weeks will be on improving the current architecture and doubling down on conversations with multi-chain dapps in order to fine tune the solution based on their needs.