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Celestia: What on Earth is a Modular Blockchain Network?

Blockchain technology is gaining worldwide adoption, and as more resources, talent, and funds pour into the cryptocurrency market, innovations have led to the rise of several blockchains. 

As promising as this shared immutable database is, its mainstream adoption is facing challenges due to issues with speed, cost, transparency, scalability, interoperability, security, and a steep learning curve. 

To overcome these challenges, new crypto projects are emerging to give online communities their own sovereignty. Celestia is one such modular consensus and data network built to enable anyone to easily deploy their own blockchain with minimal overhead.

What is Celestia?

Celestia is the first modular blockchain network that makes deploying a new blockchain effortless. 

It is a unique layer 1 blockchain which only orders transactions and verifies that the published data is available, allowing specialised blockchains to be deployed on top of it. Through this approach, Celestia is able to offer flexibility, interoperability, and scalability, yet unseen by existing blockchain designs.

Here, developers and communities can deploy their own custom-made blockchains at the “click of a button.” Celestia is a stripped-back minimalist layer-1 blockchain that offers users the infrastructure to easily deploy their own blockchain or layer-2 rollup.

In an interview, CTO and co-founder Ismail Khoffi said that their goal is to make deploying your own blockchain as easy as deploying a smart contract.  

Celestia is modularly-designed with customisable features, offering users the freedom to choose their execution environments as execution on Celestia doesn’t happen on the base layer but is outsourced entirely to a specialised layer. 

This way, users won’t have to depend on Celestia’s design and governance choices. They can choose a settlement layer, launch their very own, or even launch their own roll-up while benefiting from Celestia’s infrastructure and security.

What is a Modular Blockchain Network? 

In traditional monolithic architecture, developers can only use programming languages supported by the chain’s execution environment, and all applications run on the same process with shared gas resources. In contrast, Celestia-enabled modular architecture allows virtual execution environments, similar to virtual machines. Moreover, applications can be updated without main chain hard forks.

With its blockchain design, which is a minimal, modular consensus layer for rollups, Celestia is pioneering a new paradigm. Unlike the standard blockchains, which bundle consensus and execution, Celestia is decoupling them. 

Celestia allows developers to deploy their own execution layers to run on top by providing a pluggable consensus layer. This gives more customisability and sovereignty to applications built on its blockchain. 

Celestia introduces a Data Availability Layer to enable efficient scaling and allow L2 Rollups to do data sampling for needed transactions. For data availability proofs, Celestia uses a 2-dimensional reed-solomon encoding scheme so that only a small sample of data is enough to verify that the entire block has been published. In case data is encoded incorrectly, a data availability fraud-proof notifies the network of the same.

Celestia is actually perfectly suited for novel scaling solutions like rollups as they push state execution off-chain and rely on a base chain for consensus and data availability. 

As for cross-chain interoperability, light clients in Celestia do not make an honest majority assumption, making it truly secure and as simple as deploying a smart contract.

Moreover, here users can run different nodes, viz., a validator node, a bridge node, or a light client, to support the network.

Overall, Celestia is a minimal blockchain. As such, by decoupling the consensus and application execution layers, Celestia modularises the blockchain technology stack and unlocks new possibilities for dApp builders.

How does Celestia Help Developers?

The unique design of Celestia makes it highly beneficial for developers as, using its modular architecture, they can deploy a blockchain as easily as a smart contract. Celestia provides consensus and security on-demand, enabling anyone to deploy a blockchain without the overhead of bootstrapping a new consensus network.

The bootstrapping of new blockchains is an effortless process without the imposition of considerable time or monetary costs.

Developers are also free to choose their own execution environment, as Celestia does not impose any execution logic. While initially focused on the EVM and Cosmos SDK, Celestia plans to support all kinds of rollups. 

While popular blockchains like Ethereum are struggling with scalability issues, Celestia makes it simple with data availability sampling. Because Celestia does not validate transactions, its throughput is not bottlenecked by state execution like traditional blockchains. Celestia’s throughput scales with its number of users.

Blockchains built on top of Celestia do not rely on honest majority assumptions for state validity either. As such, all of them can interoperate with the highest security standards.

Celestia is basically giving rise to a new paradigm that is enabling new chains to be constructed in ways that were not previously possible. This translates to vast possibilities for individual chains and the main modular stack they are a part of. Different types of modular blockchains here can work collaboratively, varying in their purpose and architecture.

Celestia Project Timeline

Celestia is currently in the early stages of its development. In 2021, it built an MVP and launched a private devnet. Earlier in the same year, Celestia Labs closed a $1.5 million strategic seed fundraise with participants including Interchain Foundation, Binance Labs, Signature Ventures, Divergence Ventures, Maven 11, KR1, Dokia Capital, P2P Capital, Tokonomy, Cryptium Labs, Simon Johnson, Michael Youssefmir, Michael Ng, and Ramsey Khoury.

This year, the Celestia Testnet was deployed in May 2022. The Celestia Team is now planning to launch the Mainnet in 2023, with optimisations still to be done and bugs to be fixed before its launch. 

While there is no token yet, it is given that Celestia will launch a token in the future to secure the network via Proof of Stake (PoS) and pay transaction fees on the network. A fee-burn mechanism similar to EIP-1559 in Ethereum will also come into implementation, so burnt fees will offset new token issuance.


Blockchain is one of the most talked-about technologies today. It can potentially disrupt many industries, from banking, healthcare, and supply chain to insurance, data storage, and cybersecurity. By driving major changes, it creates new opportunities across industries.

With transparency and decentralisation at the forefront of the world movement, Celestia aims to offer a scalable modular infrastructure. It basically wants to be for decentralised apps what cloud computing is for the traditional web.

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