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Celestia, a data availability layer for blockchains, was launched last October to much fanfare. The platform takes a modular approach to blockchains, allowing developers to post data onto it without the need for smart contracts or execution. This makes it extremely useful for scaling roll-ups and other layer two technologies.

Celestia co-founder Mustafa Al-Bassam and COO Nick White join Unchained to discuss what Celestia is and how it works, how data availability sampling allows for more scalability, how Celestia compares with other data availability layers, whether Celestia could become a data availability layer for Bitcoin, and comparisons between Celestia and Solana.

Show highlights:

  • Mustafa’s background and how his project called Lazy Ledger ended up becoming Celestia
  • Nick’s vision for modular blockchains
  • Why Mustafa believes in the “10,000 roll-up” endgame
  • Why Mustafa thinks that gaming and NFT chains work better on a modular blockchain
  • What Celestia is and how it resembles the publication of an article in a newspaper
  • What data availability sampling (DAS) is and how it works to ensure that the data is available and accurate for validators
  • How DAS allows for more scalability
  • What types of applications can be built with this type of modular architecture
  • Mustafa’s explanation of the concept of Blob stream and blob space
  • How a roll-up can be an independent or sovereign layer, not just a layer 2 to a layer 1
  • How Celestia competes with other DA layers, like the future EigenDA
  • The role of the TIA token in the Celestia ecosystem
  • How Mufasa hacked the CIA when he was 16 years old and how he transitioned into crypto
  • Whether Celestia could become a DA layer for Bitcoin layer 2 roll-ups
  • Whether Solana could end up becoming an Ethereum layer 2 using Celestia for data availability
  • The proposal to extend the functionality of Celestia without smart contracts in the base layer

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Modular vs. monolithic