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Meet Metis, Ethereum’s second tier with more than 40 integrated projects

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The problem of finding scalability solutions for Ethereum is not new. Payment channels similar to Lightning networkas Raiden; sidechain (or sidechain); y rollup or second tiers such as Metis are some of the solutions designed to scale this network specializing in smart contracts.

The technology reviewed today belongs to the so-called “second-tier solutions.” It is time to take a look at Metisand see what it offers in the landscape of technologies that scale Ethereum with respect to its two historical problems: high fee pricing and congested transactions.

What is Metis?

Metis is a second-tier Ethereum solution whose core network is called Andromeda. The purpose of Metis is to innovate by creating a collaborative economic ecosystem between people and businesses on Internet 3.0.

Metis logo.
Logo of Metis, a Level 2 Ethereum solution from the Optimistic rollups group. Source: Technology white paper.

The rollup or second-level solutions are a technology in vogue that works by delegating some performance mechanisms (such as payment transfer) to a structure outside the chain. These mechanisms that act outside the core network avoid transaction bottlenecks, relieving Ethereum traffic. There are two types: optimistic rollup and ZK rollup.

ZK rollups require a complex prior cryptographic proof that grants permissions to interact with a smart contract.

Optimists, on the other hand, operate under the presumption that a move in a contract is valid, period (unless proven invalid within a week). This presumption is useful because it speeds up transactions, but it is not without risk: with them, invalid transactions are more likely to slip through the net. Metis is considered a rollup of this type and consequently shares the advantages and disadvantages of optimistic.

How many services and projects are integrated into the rollup Metis? Use cases

Andromeda is compatible with: DEX (decentralized exchanges); bridges or interchain bridges; DAO (decentralized autonomous organizations); dApp (decentralized applications); DeFi (decentralized finance) 2.0; coining and trade from NFT (non-fungible tokens); GameFi (cryptocurrency economy games); Metaverses, Electronic commerce or electronic commerce, among others.

Andromeda is, at the level of design, development and complexity, a network flexible, adaptable, and compatible with a wide range of services and applications.

Most of the projects were built on Metis. Source: Metis.

In terms of the number of projects and partners that make up the ecosystem, Metis is. a second new layer and in full growth. Its main network, Andromeda, did not see the light of day until November 19, 2021.

The governance page Metis’ governance page indicates that its ecosystem currently supports 70 projects, although the homepage lists just over 40, many of which are in early development (such as Cryptocurrencies, Revenantamong others). This is a small number, especially compared to that of a long-lived side chain. such as Polygon, which has more than 1,500 applications, or Arbitrum, with more than 250.

Comparison of the rates of Metis and others rollup and scalability solutions

The average transaction fee in Metis Andromeda costs, at the time of this publication, $0.09. This represents a significant positive difference in favor of Metis compared to Ethereum and almost all top-tier blockchains.

Fee for a single transaction on the Metis network. This fee is equivalent to US$0.037. Source: Portfolio.

In terms of solutions for scaling There are more expensive and cheaper capes than Metis Andromeda.

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A solution such as Polygon’s sidechain, averaging US$0.003 per transaction, is several times cheaper than Andromeda. However, at the time of writing, Metis is cheaper than a ZK rollup such as StarkNet, which currently averages $0.33 per transaction. Even cheaper than an optimistic rollup such as Arbitrum, whose average fee is about US$0.20. However, these figures are subject to change as they depend on the traffic recorded by the networks.

Overall, Metis Andromeda today has more than reasonable rates that justify the use of its network. It would only be sufficient the integration of more applications, services, and games into the ecosystem for the adoption of this second layer to be fully justified.

Metis has a section in its website which shows the commission table of different interchain bridges (keeping in mind that it may be outdated).

Decentralized Autonomous Corporation (DAC), the governing alternative of the Metis.

Metis operates with the model called decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), a subvariant of a DAO, through which it organizes the collaborative and economic interaction of its ecosystem.

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), as explained by the. CryptoNews GlossaryCryptocurrency is a community model whose rules, rights, permissions and functions are established by computer programs that function automatically. These programs, called smart contracts, ensure compliance with the community’s pre-established rules.

Metis argues that a DAC not only performs governance and voting functions for the community, but goes beyond that. This model aims to technical automation of a large number of day-to-day business operations and functions: payroll and payment management, warehousing, and so on.

Theoretical model of how collaborative user interaction works in Metis. Source: Metis.

In theory, companies, enterprises or communities. can currently create their own DAC on Metis Andromeda. In fact, these DACs today appear to be nothing more than. pools private of staking out. According to its roadmap, Metis will implement features in the future that will enable a more realistic consolidation of the DAC model.

The company’s proposed goal is to enable anyone to create a decentralized autonomous company. Without knowing a single line of code. Whether the proposal is feasible remains to be seen.

Using interchain bridges: from Ethereum to Metis and vice versa.

First, it is necessary to define what an interchain bridge is. It is a service, either centralized or decentralized, that enables the transfer of cryptoassets from one blockchain network to another. If each blockchain is a unique ecosystem, bridges unite, connect chains, and avoid the technological isolation of chains.

Metis has its own interchain bridge for both fungible and NFT tokens, called “Metis Bridge” and “Metis NFT Bridge” respectively. It is understandable that the Metis bridge Contains the exclusive possibility of depositing or withdrawing only from ETH to Metis and vice versa, as Metis scales Ethereum. However, a forward and a reverse channel are limited.

At first, the Rinkeby test network was used, which gave errors in “gas estimation” before being permanently deprecated. Then, once the test network was migrated to the Goerli test networkIt has been difficult to access the Metis The bridge in its Goerli version testnet because of the Unite of Ethereumas a public link did not yet exist. However, the Metis Telegram support team for developers provided the link to the functional and updated bridge.

Process of switching tokens from the first to the second level with the respective gas cost. Source: Metis.

The process of using the Bridge was simple and fast. It used GoerliETHwhich took a total of about four minutes to complete, counting the time required for block confirmations.

The WETH contract of the confirmed transaction was copied and added to the Metamask token list; however, the tokens do not appear in the wallet UI. Source: Metis.

As fast as the process was, and although the transaction was confirmed and validated and the tokens GoerliETH appeared at the address associated with the portfolio in the block explorer, the WETH associated with the transaction never appeared in the activity interface. in Metamask.

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On the other hand, the reverse process of withdrawing funds from Stardust a Goerli Has not yet been implemented.

Tokens mobilized through the bridge are not reflected in the assets in the wallet app. Source: screenshot – Metamask.

Read more about Metis Bridge.

One disadvantage of Metis as a second layer concerns the method of validating optimistic rollups, namely its slowness. Withdrawing funds from Andromeda to another network takes an entire week, which is the time it takes to fully process the evidence of fraud. This limitation is due to currently available technology; however, it still takes a long time to “roll up” transactions and deliver them to the main level.

The other disadvantage lies in the cost of returning funds from the second to the first level: two Metis tokens, or the equivalent, at the time of writing, of US$46.

Fortunately, Metis is an ecosystem of applications and integrates bridges by third parties in Andromeda with mmore networks for withdrawal and deposit. PolyNetwork was used for deposit into Andromeda’s core network. The process was now very fast, simple, and cost-effective.

Advantages and disadvantages of using Metis on Ethereum.

One advantage of Metis over sidechain Ethereum sidechains such as Polygon are optimistic rollups., inherits the security infrastructure of its blockchain mother. This makes it 51% less vulnerable to attacks. To control the Metis network, a malicious group would first have to control 51% or more of all nodes. of Ethereum.

Another infrastructural advantage of Metis is that it is compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM).. In other words, building applications on top of Metis is done in the same way as on Ethereumfacilitating the process for designers.

Information gathering in Ethereum is also expensive. One example: according to the yellow paper For Ethereum, storing a 256-bit word costs 20,000 of gas. Gas” is the unit of measurement of the cost of transactions in the network. Following the calculation, store onchain 500 words of 256 bits each would cost, at today’s gas prices, about $280. This is considering that Ethereum is “cheap” right now.

This is why many companies prefer to create their own storage or outsource it. To solve this problem, Metis is developing technology that makes off-chain data storage possible. The implications of this would not only be cheaper rates, but also cheaper storage space. For applications and businesses built on top of Metis.

Metis storage model. Each DAC (Decentralized Autonomous Company) built on Andromeda corresponds to a unique storage space. Source: Metis White Paper.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of a rollup such as Metis match their current state of development and social accessibility. If Bitcoin still awaits mass adoption, let alone second-tier Ethereum technologies such as Metis.

What does the Metis block explorer look like?

The Metis block explorer has the basic functions expected of such a utility on a simple, straightforward Web site: timestamp, size, key hashAmount of gas used per block, and so on. Details of validated and pending transactions are also visible, such as the status, the block in which it was entered, and the value and rate of the transaction.

Another tab, “tokens,” allows you to view the list of cryptocurrencies with the numbers of holders and associated wallet addresses circulating on Andromeda. Finally, the Metis browser offers some functions and tools for developers.

In short: The block explorer plays its role, but it is still in an early growth process. He is still far from possessing utilities, resources and auxiliary tools such as those offered by etherscan, bscan or until polygonascan.

In this sense, StarkNet’s block explorer, another second-tier solution, is the closest thing to Metis. Starknet, however, is still in the alpha stage and does not yet have a native token.

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Conclusions

At the technical level, the second-level solution Metis for now succeeds in scaling and improving Ethereum in some aspects of operation while leveraging some of its strengths. However, it still needs to grow a lot to become the ultimate scaling solution, or one of the most important ones.

A positive aspect of Andromeda is that. its transactions are several times cheaper than Ethereum and other solutions. scalability. Although Andromeda’s block explorer still lacks advanced tools for users and developers, it does its job.

Since it is a rollup optimistic type, the security protocol is the same as Ethereum, which protects Metis from hackers and malicious node owners and miners.

This is because the Metis virtual machine (MVM) is compatible with EVM. In other words, you can build applications and services on Metis more easily than in other ecosystems, and you can build applications and services on Metis more easily than in other ecosystems. without having to change the coding structure of the program..

In practice, the Metis Andromeda ecosystem appears flexible and adaptive, as it integrates different classes of applications and services. Some of these services are still in the early stages; mass adoption of Metis could only be supported by a relatively equivalent migration of developers.

The experience of using their interchain bridge in their version. testnet (Goerli) was smooth. The transition from the first to the second layer was completed quickly. The transaction was validated and confirmed, but it was impossible to observe the tokens in the wallet user interface and return the Goerli ETH to the first layer. A plausible explanation is that these problems are due to the recent “depreciation” of the Rinkeby network and are not the direct responsibility of Metis.

In addition, the withdrawal of funds through Metis Bridge Is completed in one week, which is a long time. Such a long interval is due to a design feature of optimistic rollups and is not attributable solely to Andromeda.

Finally, the said. bridge is bidirectional: it only applies from Ethereum to Metis and vice versa. This bidirectionality and some of the technical difficulties mentioned above, especially with the Rinkeby network, motivated the use of a third-party bridge service: PolyNetwork.

Transaction speed is an important feature of optimistic rollups, of which Metis is a part; however, the “optimistic” model has risks. This can make it possible that invalid transactions to be processedbecause a sequencer can always introduce false values into a block. The validation and confirmation of these false values depends on third parties and the incentives associated with their activities.

Finally, Metis claims to offer the creation of decentralized automated businesses and companies through its platform. This is with only a clickwithout knowing anything about programming. However, these DACs are still in the early stages and have not been tested, for the time being, they are more than pools private from staking out.

The Review

Metis

PROS

  • Very cheap transactions.
  • According to many, rollups are the future of scalability.
  • Proposes a solution to the storage cost problem.
  • Equivalence with EVM.
  • Integration of third-party bridges.
  • Optimistic validation mechanism: faster transactions.
  • 51% less vulnerable to attacks.

CONS

  • Metis bridge for expensive Ethereum.
  • Long withdrawal time: one week (like all optimistic rollups).
  • Few projects and applications (yet).
  • Optimistic validation mechanism (possibility of invalid transactions).
  • Early stage of infrastructure and Dapps.
  • DACs are, for now, only mining and staking pools.

Product Review.

  • Transaction fee
    0%
  • Speed
    0%
  • Ecosystem and developments
    0%
  • User support
    0%
  • User interface
    0%

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