The Arbitrum Foundation has announced that its “Orbit” program, designed for developers to create their own layer-3 blockchains on the Arbitrum platform, can now settle on the Arbitrum main network.

This development aims to further the decentralization of Arbitrum, the largest layer-2 network built on the Ethereum blockchain.

The Expansion of Orbit to Mainnet

Previously, new layer-3 networks created through the “Orbit” program settled only on an Arbitrum test network.

However, the Arbitrum Foundation’s recent announcement signals that these networks can now settle on the live Arbitrum main network, representing a significant milestone in the project’s evolution.

Arbitrum Orbit Program’s Background

The Orbit program was one of the first initiatives introduced by the Arbitrum Foundation when it was established in March. It was designed to facilitate the decentralization of Arbitrum and expand its ecosystem. In June, Offchain Labs, the primary developer behind Arbitrum, released documentation for Orbit, targeting developer-only networks or “devnets.”

Orbit empowers developers to create their dedicated chains, known as layer-2 or layer-3 networks, which can settle on various Arbitrum layer 2 chains, including Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, Arbitrum Goerli, and Arbitrum Sepolia. This flexibility allows for the creation of customized blockchain solutions on the Arbitrum platform.

Interoperability and Expansion

Several projects, such as Syndr, had previously chosen Arbitrum’s Orbit network for their development needs, settling on Arbitrum’s Goerli testnet. The move reflects a broader trend among Ethereum layer-2 network developers, including Arbitrum, OP Labs (behind Optimism), Polygon, and Matter Labs (zkSync), who are making their technologies available to builders.

This initiative aims to foster interoperability and compatibility among different blockchain networks, potentially enabling the cloning or modification of these technologies for diverse use cases.

Data Availability Layer Integration

Separately, the Arbitrum Foundation announced its collaboration with Celestia, a modular solution, to provide a data availability layer for Orbit.

This partnership allows apps built on top of Orbit to publish their data to Celestia once the solution goes live. This integration enhances the data management capabilities of the Orbit program.

Comparative Ecosystems

Arbitrum’s Orbit program is one of several customizable blockchain stacks that have emerged in recent months. OP Labs, a competitor of Arbitrum and the force behind the layer-2 chain OP Mainnet (formerly Optimism), offers a similar environment known as the OP Stack. This environment currently powers Coinbase’s layer-2 network, Base.

The extension of Arbitrum’s Orbit program to the mainnet also signifies a significant step toward the decentralization and expansion of the Arbitrum ecosystem. It aligns with the broader industry trend of making layer-2 technologies more accessible to developers. Hence, it helps fostering greater interoperability and customization in the blockchain space.

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