Arbitrum Throws Hat In Ring for Celo's Migration to Layer-2 Blockchain

Celo originally planned to build its Ethereum layer-2 network with Optimism's OP Stack. Then Polygon and Matter Labs pitched their stacks. Now, Arbitrum, the biggest layer-2, wants in on the bake-off.

AccessTimeIconDec 14, 2023 at 5:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 6:42 p.m. UTC

The competition for who gets to build a new layer-2 blockchain for the Celo network just got a little more crowded.

Nina Rong, the head of ecosystem development at the Arbitrum Foundation, submitted a proposal to the Celo community on Tuesday, suggesting that Celo pick Arbitrum’s Orbit tech stack, which builds customizable layer 2 and layer 3 chains based on Arbitrum’s optimistic technology.

“The team at Arbitrum Foundation has been following the development of cLabs Proposal for Celo to transition to an Ethereum L2 closely and would like to welcome Celo back to the Ethereum community by proposing the Arbitrum Orbit tech stack as the path forward,” Rong writes.

Celo originally planned in July to build its layer 2 with Optimism's OP Stack, a similar stack also based on “optimistic” technology. But since then, Polygon and Matter Labs have both pitched their stacks, which are based on zero-knowledge technology, to the Celo community.

Celo has said it's aiming for mid-January to pick a stack to build its new chain on, giving time for community members to evaluate which is the best stack.

“The Arbitrum Foundation is aligned with Celo’s mission to build a financial system that creates the conditions for prosperity for everyone,” Rong wrote in the proposal.

Celo Labs, the primary developer behind the network, posted an update this week on its discussion-forum page saying that the team had "begun work on technical evaluations."

"We’re focusing on learning first – understanding each stack and how it fits together, and familiarizing ourselves with the technology and its current state of production-readiness," the update reads.

The post included a preliminary assessment of the pros and cons of the various proposals – including the one from Arbitrum, "hot off the press," as the team put it.

A notable fact about Arbitrum is that it's the largest layer-2 based on the key metric of "total value locked," or TVL, which represents deposits locked into decentralized-finance protocols on any given network. The figure currently stands at $8.4 billion for the Arbitrum One network, according to the website L2Beat, almost double No. 2 OP Mainnet's $4.6 billion.

"Arbitrum has the largest TVL of any L2, which is relevant insofar as it speaks of the trust earned by Arbitrum in the market," according to the post from the Celo Labs team.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.