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What is Celer Network: Off-chain Scaling Platform

Launched in March 2019, Celer Network (CELR) is a Layer 2 scaling solution utilizing smart contracts and bringing transactions off-chain to provide fast and low-cost blockchain applications to major blockchains. CELR trades at $0.043 per token with a circulating supply of 5 billion for a market cap of $246 million.

celer network

What Is Celer Network?

Celer Network is a scalable platform where anyone can build and utilize decentralized applications (DApps). Scalability is achieved by making nodes operate independently and making most transactions off-chain to reduce on-chain burden, also known as Layer 2 scaling. Celer Network achieves its off-chain scaling technique via its state channel solution.

A state channel refers to the process in which users transact with one another directly outside of the blockchain, or off-chain. It is a sidechain solution developed by the Celer Network team. A sidechain is a side blockchain linked to the main chain via a two-way peg, meaning that assets can be transferred to and from the sidechain and mainchain.

What is Celer Network used for?

The state channel allows parties to execute smart contracts off-chain. In addition, it can be used to support functions related to payments, auction bids, token exchanges, gaming, and more. With the state channel network, off-chain operation is prioritized to ensure faster and cheaper transactions. Additionally, on-chain responsibility is minimized to end-to-end payment for better scalability and fewer malicious attacks. The key components of the system include CelerPay, CelerApp, and Celer Node:

  • CelerPay is a payment channel that supports off-chain payment on on-chain verifiable states, utilizing on-chain smart contracts and an off-chain communication protocol.
  • CelerApps is a state channel that expresses application logic such as payment conditions. It also acts as a virtual contract for off-chain use by developers and future players. On-chain deployment happens when a dispute is issued.
  • CelerNodes join state channel networks, which enable off-chain payments to nodes within the network.
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Celer Network utilizes its State Guardian Network (SGN), a decentralized sidechain to ensure off-chain security and usability for state channel users. It assists in solving off-chain issues such as losing off-chain states, malicious disputes, offline payment, and on-chain payment. In addition, it provides services involving channel state protection, payment, and app connectivity. SGN is also incentive-aligned through the CELR staking process to reward CELR stakeholders.

The SGN’s architecture consists of four components:

  • Mainchain contracts hold the CELR staking process by enforcing rules for fees, rewards, and penalties for network participants.
  • Delegators receive shares of SGN reward and service fees proportional to their stakes.
  • Validators that calculate reward distribution, trigger penalties, and receive rewards from delegators.
  • Users that pay service fees to mainchain contracts and submit a request to the sidechain.

What is CELR Token?

Celer Network’s native token is CELR. CELR is an ERC-20 standard token built on Ethereum. It was introduced within the Celer Network system as an incentive to provide stable liquidity and improve state connectivity for the Celer Network through staking. CELR token’s use cases include:

  • CELR token can be used to pay the service fee and transaction fee to off-chain service providers and additional services provided.
  • One can stake CELR in State Guardian Network and become a State Guardian to receive sidechain block rewards and service fees.
  • CELR also serves as a reward for users providing liquidity.

What Does Celer Network Offer?

Celer Network is a Layer 2 scaling platform where developers build fast, cheap, easy-to-use blockchain applications. It also offers various products in its ecosystem that seek to solve different challenges within the crypto world. These products include the cBridge and Layer2.Finance:

Celer Network’s cBridge

Celer Network launched the mainnet version of cBridge in July 2021. cBridge is an interoperable bridge that seeks to resolve the issues that come with multi-chain development. As multi-chain development progresses, it becomes more distributed over time, leading to trade-offs on latency, throughput, and security. These developments include various types such as Layer 1 blockchains like Ethereum (ETH) and Layer 2 scaling solutions like Optimistic Rollups and sidechains. Additionally, the transfer of assets becomes more and more expensive and slow.

cBridge resolves such issues by providing a network for cheap and fast asset transfers between Optimistic Rollups, Layer 1 blockchains, sidechains, and Layer 2 scaling solutions. According to Celer Network, operations across networks are performed 1 million times faster with cBridge and are completed within milliseconds. Currently, cBridge supports popular blockchains such as Ethereum, BSC, Polygon Network (MATIC), and Avalanche (AVAX). However, at the moment the bridge only allows transfers of stablecoins such as DAI, USDC, and USDT across these platforms.

Celer Network’s Layer2.Finance

Layer2.Finance is a platform that uses Optimistic rollups where users can access Ethereum’s DeFi landscape efficiently without incurring high transaction fees on Ethereum. On the platform, users can maximize their yields while keeping transaction fees low. Users can also move their funds between major DeFi protocols such as Aave (AAVE), Compound (COMP), and Curve (CRV). The platform currently only supports the Ethereum mainnet and the deposit and withdrawal of stablecoins. Users can deposit their stablecoins to the available DeFi protocols and earn rewards.

Unlike other Layer 2 solutions implemented by other DeFi platforms, Layer2.Finance seeks to avoid liquidity fragmentation. Liquidity fragmentation refers to funds being stored on various blockchains on different layers. As a result of this fragmentation, DApps cannot access most of the liquidity because they are isolated. With Layer2.Finance, users can transfer funds between different DeFi protocols and layers and manage them through a unified dashboard. However, the execution time is slower since the platform needs to batch transactions together for lower gas fees. Nonetheless, Celer Network is looking to improve execution time by fostering the growth of the user base and incorporating ZK-Rollup to bundle even more transactions together into one.

Who Is Behind Celer Network?

Celer Network was founded in Q3 2018 by a team of engineers with extensive development experience. All the co-founders hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science and have worked in tech companies like Google and Microsoft.

Dr. Mo Dong is experienced in algorithmic game theory applications for computer system protocol designs. He is a founding engineer at Veriflow, where he developed network formal verification that provides network security for fortune 50 companies. He teaches smart contract courses, produces blogs, and videos about blockchain.

Dr. Junda Liu worked with Google in 2011 to apply his pioneer research to Google’s infrastructure and is a founding member of Google’s innovative mobile service. He was also a tech lead for datacenter topology, seamless carrier switching, and Android carrier service. Dr. Liu holds several patents and published numerous papers in top conferences.

Dr. Xiaozhou Li specializes in developing scalable algorithms and protocols that achieve high performance at low cost, some of which have become core components of systems for Google’s machine learning platform and Intel’s packet processing framework. Li also worked at Barefoot Networks, where he filed several US patents and led several groundbreaking projects. He has published academic works in distributed systems, networking, storage, and data management research.

Dr. Qingkai Liang specializes in optimal network control algorithms in an adversarial environment. He has invented several high-performance and robust adversarial resistant routing algorithms currently applied in the industry, such as Bell Labs and Raytheon BBN Technologies.

CELR Price History

Up to February 2021, CELR was trading steadily at $0.007. The price then peaked at $0.091 following news where Tesla announced its investment in Bitcoin and when major banks said they were in the works of adopting digital assets onto their platforms. However, after that, the token’s price has dropped twice: the first time to $0.042 in April and a second time to $0.026 at the end of May following negative cryptocurrency news headlines and China’s cryptocurrency ban. The price has risen since mid-July as the overall crypto market recovered. At the moment, CELR trades at $0.043.

CELR price
CELR price from November 15, 2020 to August 26, 2021(Source: TradingView)

CELR is currently ranked #176 by market cap. The token’s circulating supply is at 5.64 billion tokens. The maximum supply of CELR is 10 billion. With a price of $0.043, the market cap is $242 million and the fully diluted market cap is $430 million. For more info about the token release schedule, visit here.

What Is the Future for Celer Network?

Since its launch, Celer has been able to forge alliances with big players such as StarkWare and Polkadot (DOT). Celer is collaborating with StarkWare to add a ZK Rollup solution to the Layer2.Finance platform through StarkWare’s infrastructure. The collaboration intends to lower the user entry barrier and accelerate DeFi adoption for the mainstream. In addition, Polkadot just partnered with Celer Network to utilize the state channel network as a Layer 2 scaling solution to ensure fast and efficient asset transfers between parachains in Polkadot.

Currently, rollup solutions are adopted to improve on-chain throughput. However, the interaction has a long delay which results in a bad user experience. As a solution, instant cross-rollup and rollup-to-Layer 2 transactions with multihop capability will be adopted. In addition, Celer will also work towards supporting Layer 2 scaling to other major blockchains.

Besides checking for security bugs on Layer2.Finance, Celer will be integrating more DeFi strategies such as liquidity mining to acquire long-term users for layer2.finance. Liquidity mining will reward more normal users for realizing the goal of mass adoption in the DeFi space.

cBridge will be also be integrating with other Layer 1 chains and Layer 2 networks as part of its development. As cBridge has bridged $1.2 million for users across BSC and Ethereum, more parties from various DApps, blockchains, and crypto wallets are increasingly interested in integrating cBridge for seamless asset transfer across chains. Some of the major wallets that have completed the integration include imToken and TokenPocket.

Conclusion

As more prominent bridges and interoperability solutions emerge, many platforms may have different service trade-offs that affect the user and developer experience. So far, there is no major news coverage on Celer’s Layer 2 scaling technology regarding complaints about speed and cost. By targeting blockchain technology to a mass audience, Celer Network may have increasing opportunities to become the first provider to offer blockchain-powered benefits and services. Celer is receiving feedback and incentivizing its network to improve user experience. Besides this, Layer2.Finance reduces tremendous costs for the developers and investors that are attracted to the DeFi platform. Celer also has its cBridge, which is waiting for more collaborations to come. All in all, Celer Network offers useful projects in its ecosystem with a great solution to scalability issues.


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