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Offchain Labs and Espresso Systems Partner to Bring Transaction Ordering Technology to Ethereum Rollups

Today, Espresso Systems and Offchain Labs announced that they have formed a partnership towards bringing decentralized and open shared sequencing technology to Ethereum rollups. The collaboration will see the teams undertake joint research on Timeboost, a transaction-ordering design previously proposed by Offchain Labs, and will support technical integrations between the Arbitrum technology stack, Timeboost ordering, and the Espresso Sequencer.

Espresso Systems is the lead developer of the Espresso Sequencer, a platform designed to decentralize sequencing for Ethereum rollups, offering developers and users across different rollups a more seamless and secure path to interoperability while maintaining the fast response time available to users today. Espresso Systems, with the support of Offchain Labs, is now prioritizing integration with the Arbitrum technology stack, aiming to support any Arbitrum technology chain that chooses to leverage its decentralized, shared sequencer platform including support for distributed Timeboost ordering.

Timeboost is a new transaction ordering policy designed by Offchain Labs that relies on sealed-bid priority gas auction ordering. The Timeboost system limits harmful forms of MEV (frontrunning) while supporting efficient markets allowing chains to internalize other forms of MEV like backrunning. Timeboost prioritizes user experience and ensures the timely processing of all user transactions. In collaboration with the Offchain research team, Espresso Systems will develop a production-ready, open-sourced, and distributed implementation of Timeboost that can be adopted by any network, including any Arbitrum chain and can integrate directly with the Espresso Sequencer.

The Espresso Sequencer itself is a consensus protocol that supports proposer-builder separation (PBS). This enables other advanced transaction ordering policies to be implemented at the builder level, such as MEV auctions and rebate protocols like SUAVE. Rollups can choose to enshrine a builder protocol (like Timeboost) or, by default, use PBS. Espresso Systems is glad to lend its research and development resources to support a variety of ordering approaches that align with user needs, such as Timeboost.

The Espresso Sequencer recently released its third testnet and currently supports the OP Stack, the Polygon zkEVM stack, and has a dozen independent rollup teams working on integrations with the technology. Support for the Arbitrum technology stack will enable Arbitrum chains to integrate with the Espresso Sequencer and further Espresso’s implementation of a neutral and open protocol that is compatible with all of Ethereum’s rollups.

Ben Fisch, co-founder and CEO of Espresso Systems, said of the partnership: “We are excited to have Offchain Labs’ support in bringing an open, freely accessible shared sequencing platform to all ecosystems on Ethereum and it is a pleasure to partner with their team to improve user experience on rollups as we innovate on transaction ordering policies. Offchain Labs has pioneered many of the breakthroughs behind the most widely-adopted scaling solutions in the industry, and it is a privilege to partner deeply with them.”

“We’re thrilled to work with the Espresso team on researching Timeboost and bringing shared sequencing technology more broadly to Ethereum rollups,” added Steven Goldfeder, Co-founder and CEO of Offchain Labs. “The technology will enable fair and efficient ordering policies and open possibilities for deeper integrations among rollups which opt to participate in shared sequencing.”

Offchain Labs and Espresso Systems will be sharing a roadmap soon for their research and implementation of the Timeboost builder module and for the ability to integrate the Espresso Sequencer with Arbitrum technology chains. The two teams look forward to the advancement of the partnership as they share a vision for the decentralized, and user-aligned future of shared transaction sequencing on Ethereum rollups.

Follow along with the work @OffchainLabs and @EspressoSys on Twitter and on the Arbitrum Research Forum for more.

About Espresso Systems

Espresso Systems is the lead developer of the Espresso Sequencer, a platform offering decentralization, speed, scale, and interoperability to rollups. The Espresso Sequencer currently has testnets that are compatible with the OP Stack and the Polygon zkEVM ecosystems with 10+ rollup teams actively building integrations. Espresso Systems is backed by over $30mm from funds including Electric Capital, Greylock, and Sequoia.

About Offchain Labs

Offchain Labs is a venture-backed, Princeton-founded company that has dedicated over five years to blockchain research and development. As the original contributors to Arbitrum, Offchain Labs has been instrumental in revolutionizing the industry through this leading network scaling solutions. The team continues to build upon this foundation by innovating and enhancing products such as Prysm, Arbitrum Orbit, Stylus, and Arbitrum Nitro. In October 2022, Offchain Labs acquired Prysmatic Labs, the leading consensus client for Ethereum, further cementing Offchain Labs alignment with Ethereum.

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