Permissionless Optionality | The Cornerstones Of True Modularity

3 min readMar 18, 2024

Ep #4 The Modular Revolution For Modular March Ft. SEDA, Celestia, and The Rollup Co.

Modularity is the most significant Web3 narrative of 2024. As the theme for SEDA’s mini-series episode 4, the discussion with leading modular experts Celestia and The Rollup Co. did not disappoint. The panel comprised Celestia’s BD lead, Mary Liu, The Rollup Co-founders Robbie and Andy, and SEDA’s co-founder Jasper de Goojier. Discussion topics included the essence of modularity, benefits against monolithic chains, and solutions to modular fragmentation.

Permissionless Optionality Is At The Core Of Modular Blockchains

Mary Liu from Celestia led the conversation, breaking down what makes a blockchain modular. Essentially, it is the unbundling of blockchain functions into separate specialized chains. She provided the example of Celestia as a hyper-specialized modular data availability layer for rollups. The remaining core functions, settlement, and execution, are carried out separately. This separation of functions enables chains within the modular stack to focus solely on their specialization, improving throughput while reducing transaction speed and fees.

Echoing Mary’s sentiment, Andy from the Rollup Co. highlighted that modularity, at its core, is about optionality. Modularity empowers developers to mix and match which chains they use that best suit their project’s needs. SEDA’s Jasper added that in parallel with optionality, true modularity must be permissionless, nodding to the ethos of Web3, which is built upon the idea of permissionless composability, where developers can build atop each other’s creations without having to appease one or many gatekeepers.

Unifying Modularity Through Chain Abstraction

As experienced with the explosion of Rollups (L2s), Modular blockchains deployed en masse pose an additional risk of amplifying blockchain fragmentation. The more chains created, the more complex and fragmented the user and developer journey could become. All panelists unanimously spoke towards a chain abstracted future set to act as a unification layer. Chain abstraction would allow consumers to interact Web3-wide from one point of entry while enabling developers to build application-specific networks that mitigate today’s siloed and fragmented environment.

Jasper and Robbie pointed out the need to ‘rebundle’ blockchain technology. Modularity is to be the final unbundling of monolithic designs. ‘Rebundling,’ the technology, essentially means the rise of intent-based architecture supporting a chain abstraction layer wrapped around modular stacks. Ultimately, this design promotes developer optionality and improves the user experience via single-access interfaces.

Modular And Monolithic Architecture Is Set To Co-Exist

Wrapping up the discussion, the panelists discussed the future of blockchain design. Although speculators see fierce competition between modular and monolithic designs, the panel believes we will see coexistence as specific dApps lend themselves to different chain designs. Notably, the primary separation is that consumer dApps and composable ecosystems suit modular designs. Mary noted that modular designs’ lower fees and higher transaction speeds appeal to consumers. In contrast, dApps requiring higher security levels and lower transaction volumes could lend themselves to monolithic designs.

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If you missed the conversation, the episode recording is available on the SEDA Discord Channel. To connect with the panel, join their communities via the links below.


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The Rollup Co.

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SEDA is a modular data layer that allows any blockchain to configure & interact with custom data feeds for price data, RPC data, or any available API endpoint.