What Is Mantle Network? Ethereum Layer-2 Chain
Tech Deep Dives

What Is Mantle Network? Ethereum Layer-2 Chain

1 year ago

A look at Mantle network — the first Ethereum layer-2 chain incubated and governed by a DAO.

What Is Mantle Network? Ethereum Layer-2 Chain


Mantle Mainnet Alpha Launches

Mantle Network announced the launch of mainnet alpha on July 17:

View post on Twitter

Over a demanding six-month testnet period, the network processed over 14M transactions, deployed more than 140K smart contracts, engaged 48K developers, connected over 690K unique wallet addresses, and maintained a monthly active wallet address count of more than 157K, according to Mantle.

Throughout this phase, more than 80 dApps were deployed on the testnet, with more developers testing the network. Mantle Network is now integrated with the Mantle DA data availability solution powered by EigenDA technology.

Mantle aims to prioritize a developer-first mindset, hosting over 20 hackathons on the testnet which resulted in 400 project submissions. To accelerate ecosystem development, the Mantle Grants Program supports builders in deploying their dApps on Mantle Network, with over 50 teams selected for mainnet deployment. The $200M Mantle Ecosystem Fund aims to further boost this growth, operating as a venture fund with matching incentives for Strategic Venture Partners.

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Mantle is a Layer 2 scaling solution built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Using optimistic rollup technology, Mantle is able to process transactions at a lower cost and with higher throughput than Ethereum, while leveraging Ethereum’s battle-tested network to secure itself. It is also Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible, meaning that decentralized applications (DApps) on Ethereum today will be able to easily deploy on Mantle when it launches on mainnet.

Source: BitDAO

Mantle is a product of BitDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) launched by centralized exchange, ByBit, to support and empower builders in the crypto space. It is backed by large investors such as Peter Thiel, Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Dragonfly Capital, among others. BitDAO is powered by its native token, BIT, which is used to govern the DAO’s decisions. Mantle itself also uses BIT as their native gas token to pay for transactions.

$200M Ecosystem Fund

In a proposal put up on BitDAO’s governance forum, the community voted to set up a $200 million ecosystem fund for Mantle, with 100 million USDC to be supplied from BitDAO’s treasury. Mantle's $200M EcoFund has established collaborations with multiple global stakeholders to nurture the Mantle developer community. The EcoFund focuses on investing in projects built upon the Mantle blockchain, providing an array of resources such as financing, strategic guidance, industry connections, go-to-market strategies, and comprehensive assistance to develop influential projects. This comes after Mantle’s launch on testnet earlier in the year and with their upcoming mainnet launch expected in Q2 or Q3 2023.

A Tale as Old as Time: The Blockchain Trilemma

Most crypto investors have, at some point, heard of the blockchain trilemma of scalability, security, and decentralization, where it is believed that developers of any blockchain would have to sacrifice at least one of these aspects to achieve the other two. Ethereum, for example, is secure and decentralized, but not scalable on its own.

Source: vitalik.ca

The blockchain trilemma is largely attributed to the monolithic architecture of most of the dominant blockchains today. This means that the four key functions of every blockchain are bundled into and completed on a single chain. These are execution, settlement, consensus and data availability.
With the influx of new users into the crypto ecosystem during DeFi Summer, monolithic blockchains were pushed to their limits, with gas fees surging much higher than most users were used to. Thus, the concept of modular blockchains rose in popularity as well during this period.

Modular Blockchains: The Solution

Modular blockchain architecture proposed the separation of one or more of the four core blockchain functions. This allows each layer to be customized, upgraded and scaled independently of the other layers, which creates a much more robust and efficient system, rather than a clunky monolithic system.

Source: Celestia Docs

In the context of the traditional optimistic rollup, such as Optimism or Arbitrum, the rollup handles the execution function, allowing smart contracts to run on the chain, while the remaining functions are completed by Ethereum.

Transactions from the rollup are bundled into a single transaction which is sent to Ethereum. The data is validated and included into the Ethereum blockchain to finalize the transactions. As such, Ethereum is still responsible for the settlement, consensus and data availability, while the rollup handles the execution of transactions in a separate environment.

While Mantle utilizes the optimistic rollup technology, it takes modularity one step further.

The EigenLayer Element

Mantle integrates EigenLayer to create a unique three-layer modular blockchain: Ethereum to handle settlement and consensus, EigenLayer for data availability and, of course, Mantle to handle execution.

But what is EigenLayer?

Eigen Layer is protocol which allows staked ETH to be staked elsewhere, without the need to unstake the original ETH. In this manner, a single user could use their ETH to secure the Ethereum blockchain and use that same stack of ETH on EigenLayer to secure the DApps that have opted into EigenLayer’s shared security.
EigenLayer also has another product, EigenDA, which is a data availability middleware product built and launched on Ethereum. EigenDA functions as a data availability layer, bringing cheaper and higher bandwidth to protocols leveraging their service. At the moment, Ethereum is processing data at a measly 80 kilobytes per second. EigenDA claims to be able to push that almost 200 times higher to 15 megabytes per second. In fact, EigenLayer’s founder, Sreeram Kannan, hints at the vision for EigenDA to push this speed even higher to one gigabyte per second in the future.

But that’s not the end for Mantle.

Beyond integration with EigenDA to tap on Ethereum’s security, Mantle will also utilize a specialized smart contract to enable BIT token staking on the chain to allow BIT stakers to participate in supporting Mantle’s data availability needs. Such an arrangement would also grant additional utility to the BIT token.

Where Does Mantle Stand Now?

Despite launching only two months ago, Mantle has seen great interest from the crypto community, with Mantle being the first chain to integrate EigenDA. Currently, several prominent protocols such as Multichain, Synapse, Pyth, and Ankr have indicated their interest to deploy on Mantle, with Multichain already live on their testnet.

With a potential $200 million ecosystem fund on the way, we can expect to see many more protocols preparing to launch on Mantle mainnet as the launch date approaches.

A running thesis on Crypto Twitter has also speculated a potential gaming focus for Mantle. BitDAO is currently partnered with gaming DAO, Game7, which has a game launcher, HyperPlay, as one of their products. On their site and through various tweets, HyperPlay has also indicated that Mantle will be one of the supported chains for their product. Not to mention, Mirana Ventures, a venture capital arm set up by ByBit’s founders, has also invested in a wide range of gaming-related portfolio companies, most notably, Animoca Brands.

Source: HyperPlay Mirror


With the success of Arbitrum and Optimism, the L2 space is truly heating up as competitors race to launch on mainnet. Beyond the optimistic rollups, zero-knowledge (zk) rollups are closing in on their respective launches too, with several zkEVM solutions launching on testnet or mainnet in the coming weeks.

Mantle brings to the space a unique architecture of an optimistic rollup capitalizing on EigenDA’s high speeds and low-cost bandwidth while still leveraging Ethereum's battle-hardened network to secure its transactions.

In conjunction with strong support from ByBit, BitDAO and their partners, this could push them ahead quickly in the optimistic rollup space despite their late start. Moreover, a strong Mantle ecosystem would definitely be beneficial to BitDAO as well as to the BIT token, creating a positive flywheel for the BitDAO ecosystem.

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