Arbitrum Builder Offchain Labs Buys Prysmatic Labs, a Core Team Behind Ethereum’s Merge

By acquiring the team behind Prysm, Ethereum’s most popular consensus layer client, Arbitrum is stretching its layer 2 tentacles down to Ethereum’s base layer.

AccessTimeIconOct 12, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 9, 2024 at 11:36 p.m. UTC
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Offchain Labs, the firm behind Ethereum layer 2 network Arbitrum, said it was acquiring Prysmatic Labs, one of the core engineering teams behind Ethereum's transition to proof-of-stake.

The acquisition marks a major milestone for Offchain Labs as it bids to expand the footprint of Arbitrum, its optimistic rollup network which allows users to transact on Ethereum with lower fees and higher transaction speeds. Moreover, Offchain’s acquisition of one of Ethereum's most prominent layer 1 teams signals the increasing influence of layer 2 scaling platforms on the Ethereum ecosystem.

Prysmatic Labs originally made its mark by creating Prysm, Ethereum’s most popular consensus layer client – a key piece of software for the disintermediated network of computers that keep Ethereum up and running.

“Merging with Offchain Labs made perfect sense to us as an Ethereum team because we develop software extensively in [the programming language] Go, are fully incentive-aligned with the success of Ethereum, and are focused on shipping quality software for others to use,” Raul Jordan, the co-founder of Prysmatic Labs said in a statement shared with CoinDesk.

According to Offchain Chief Technology Officer Harry Kalodner, the Prysmatic team will continue to maintain the Prysm client post-acquisition. “It is very much not an acquihire,” Kalodner told CoinDesk. “Gradually, as their time frees up,” said Kalodner, the Prysmatic team will “start to integrate more and spend more time developing the future of [layer 2].”

Neither Offchain Labs nor Prysmatic Labs has disclosed the financial terms of their deal.

Offchain Labs has, according to Crunchbase, raised over $120 million from investors since its founding in 2018, and the addition of 11 new Prysmatic Labs teammates brings its total headcount beyond 60.

UPDATE (Oct. 12, 2022 14:18 UTC): In a quote, the word "acquihire" was mis-transcribed as "acquisition" in an earlier version of this article.


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Sam Kessler

Sam is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for tech and protocols. He reports on decentralized technology, infrastructure and governance. He owns ETH and BTC.

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