Moving on from Noether as a data availability network

SInce 2022, the Cartesi Proof-of-Stake system has been up and running with stakers proposing dummy nodes in exchange for mining incentives. While the importance of the system to the growth of Cartesi ecosystem and community building cannot be denied, it never evolved to the intended solution of Noether being a data availability network for Cartesi Compute and Rollups.

While the Cartesi team was focusing on the rollups vertical, with all hands on deck building an amazing execution layer, other projects started tackling the data availability issue. Celestia and Espresso (among others) made huge strides with their tech, to the point that it makes more sense to integrate with existing solutions than to direct resources to develop a custom solution for Cartesi.

So I propose we bring Noether to rollups, to be used in the current staking and governance ecosystem. Since it’s somewhat well established that the main use for CTSI token is governance for the Cartesi ecosystem, it makes sense to bring the staking incentives and mechanisms closer to the current vision and path of the project, instead of being a separate system alien to the Cartesi Rollups.

This move opens avenues for the exploration of new mechanisms, such as on-chain decentralized governance that goes beyond the traditional one token, one vote model, and innovative token locking rules/mechanisms surpassing simple staking. But the very first step may be moving the staking mechanism from Ethereum layer to a Cartesi Rollups DApp, keeping the same incentives.

This evolution could also serve as an initial stride toward establishing a financial layer that interconnects Cartesi DApps, fostering a more integrated and cohesive ecosystem. It can also set the foundation of a financial layer that can bring other uses for the CTSI.


I think this is a great idea to transition from Noether and head towards having a staking/governance rollup dedicated to this. It will also help showcase statistics such as TVL and heading towards a financial layer users can congregate on will be great.

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This is a great idea!

It would be good to see the permissionless governance incentivization system implemented and deployed on Cartesi Rollups, on a separate track, without disturbing Noether’s current implementation.

Both systems can coexist while it’s justifiable and desirable for the community. That allows for a smooth migration of staking pools and staked funds from CTSI holders. Besides, this path does not impose a repurposing of the original Noether. This would preserve the possibility of developing it further in previously contemplated directions, depending on the community’s and collaborators’ perceived value.

Implementing the Governance System on Cartesi Rollups is not contingent on anything else. It could be started as an experiment in governance, with an independent development effort that does not compromise other Cartesi projects.

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I agree that it can be done gradually. In my vision, this would be the natural successor to the Honey Pot as the next validation of the ecosystem.

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This proposal is quite interesting!

I think it has a lot of cool aspects about it and the fact that it can be done gradually and orthogonally from the current implementation is tranquilizing. It even makes a possible migration easier to deal with, just a matter of incentives rather than a forced migration, more natural and easier to manage.

The other thing I think its quite cool about this proposal is that I’m a huge believer in the value that Cartesi project can bring to governance. Onchain governance needs the help and will be a very important requirement of many projects, appchains and even protocols.

The thing that I’d want to think more about before fully embracing this, is the upgradeability. How would new governance functions be added? Or would the L2 app just be the staking system and then everyone else would “import it” and add new capabilities? Now that I think of it, might be an awesome use case for the cascades design pattern.

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Understand Noether was our DA layer 2yrs ago (fka Descartes), however the team since decided to focus solely on the execution environment. It is very unfortunate to see other projects “out-smart” the entire cartesi team by solving this DA problem (note Celestia $16bn fdv mccap within 6-12mths vs CTSI struggling at $200m after 4+ yrs).

Very disappointing. Ok, deep breath …

How much time and effort to update Noether to feed in as Cartesi’s dedicated in-house DA layer? The answer has already been provided (refer Celestia), just a matter of adapting it for our purposes, and tweaking Noether to better leverage the rest of the existing Cartesi architecture, and no doubt feedback loop improves both ends of the proverbial stick.

My concern is if we try to partner with DA project (e.g. Celestia), short-term may be beneficial/ convenient but long-term I would expect they would want to develop their own execution environment (i.e. gather info short-term under a partnership, and effectively use this to phase us out long-term)

Investors of this project have been through blood, sweat & tears with this $ctsi token, and still here despite the massive opportunity costs elsewhere, and have always had a long-term view of the Cartesi project’s success. Key word being long-term, and I do think over the long-term surely we would expect to have our own DA layer?

Appreciate the thoughts. Thanks in advance. Best, CG

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IMHO Cartesi was always about the execution layer, after all the core tech is a VM. But remember that not so long ago blockchain modularity and “layers” were not a thing.
The goal was to provide computationally scalability, so the project focused on that. And I still think Cartesi still have the best VM out there that has the required properties to power blockchain architectures.
But it was also predictable that computation scalability brings along necessity of data availability scalability (check the cone of innovation diagram).
But DA was never Cartesi focus. Noether was conceptualized, even some code was produced, but other projects took over that goal, which is not a simple problem at all.

I don’t think forking an existing project (e.g. Celestia) is the best alternative. Forking requires huge efforts. I think the best alternative is integrating, even with the risks you describe. Some experiments and discussions are already in progress.


Agree with @tuler . Making a good DA is a huge effort and Cartesi applications will benefit more from us embracing modularity and allowing DApp developers to integrated the best DA solution for their need into a Cartesi DApp rather than building our own solution. About Noether itself, I still think there are multiple services that the Cartesi ecosystem needs now and that could be added to Noether. We could use Noether to prevent racing conditions in Cartesi DApp Chain claims (a problem we’ll most likely run into once we shift to other consensus like quorum or Dave), provide services like alarm (like Linux cron scheduler), incentivized voucher execution and others.

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