March 21, 2023
Smooth Labs, an innovative blockchain infrastructure startup, recently secured $2 million in seed funding to revolutionize Layer 2 networks and application-specific blockchains with their high-performance module, Smooth. In this report, we will explore the challenges Smooth aims to address, how it works, and the promising team behind this groundbreaking project.
The Need for Smooth
Blockchain networks often face congestion, resulting in transactions getting stuck and users having to pay high gas fees to get their transactions into a pool of pending transactions and mined by miners. To better understand this, imagine a ticket queue with only one teller who is inconsistent in their processing time. The people in line are transactions awaiting validation, and the lone teller is the Virtual Machine. Things become more complicated when we factor in gas fees. Now, anyone can pay extra and cut in line. An exceptionally long line will mean people who cannot pay for a better position in the queue will have to wait an inordinate amount of time to get their tickets processed.
To solve this parallelism problem, the industry has developed Layer 2 (L2) solutions and application-specific blockchains (app-chains). However, even L2s, which can process 100 times faster than Ethereum, still face traffic jams, and small-value transactions cannot get mined. This is where Smooth comes in.
Introducing Smooth: A High-Performance Solution
Smooth is a high-performance module that can enhance transactions per second (TPS) of Layer 2 networks and application-specific blockchains (app-chains) by up to five times, according to its founder, Wei. Although the concept of parallel transactions is not new, Smooth is the "first" project to use this concept for Layer 2s and Appchains. More importantly, Smooth is compatible with EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).
With the help of Smooth, for example, Ronin's TPS can be boosted from 10 to 50, and Optimism and Arbitrum can achieve up to 200k TPS.
The Team Behind Smooth Labs
The Smooth team consists of some of the youngest and most innovative entrepreneurs we've ever met. The co-founders' complementary skills allow them to focus on their respective areas of expertise. In late 2021, the team informed us about the scalability issues of Ethereum in handling large-scale transactions. They predicted that even with the launch of Layer 2, it would not be possible to achieve both a decentralized sequencer and performance improvements at once. At that time, they had already proposed a general parallel transaction middleware idea and continued to refine it throughout 2022.
Final Thoughts and Future Prospects
Smooth is still in its early stages, with the team expanding and already conducting tests on a certain Layer 2. We look forward to trying out the first testnet later this year and witnessing how Smooth's parallel transaction technology will revolutionize the blockchain infrastructure landscape.