OpenWeaver, an open source framework for speeding data propagation across blockchains, has been released by web3 project Marlin. The launch of the protocol, which is compatible with multiple blockchains and programming languages, paves the way for faster and more secure crypto that networks that are less susceptible to manipulation by selfish miners.
The problem that OpenWeaver solves is a longstanding one that blockchain engineers have been working on for years. Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo developed relay network FIBRE to address the issue of high orphan rates on the PoW network. OpenWeaver builds upon this solution, providing a framework for speeding up the transmission of data across a distributed network. This ensures that all nodes can access the latest information pertaining to new blocks, and prevents hashpower from being siphoned away by mining orphaned blocks.
Greater Decentralization, Lower Latency
Because miners compete to find new blocks, speed is of the essence. This incentivizes clustering of miners around particular geographical zones to capitalize on low latency, but comes at the cost of centralization. OpenWeaver mitigates this by granting nodes faster access to data pertaining to the chain’s latest state, reducing clustering and resulting in a more distributed and global network.
Blockchain developers looking to utilize OpenWeaver for its performance enhancements can integrate it into full nodes using the supplied SDK or can connect via gateways. Marlin, the developers of OpenWeaver, have proposed additional use cases for the relay network, suggesting that it be deployed to support competitive DEX trading by enabling on-chain bids to be executed quickly, and supplying an edge in gas priority auctions. Another proposed use case is to support meta-transactions, such as a wallet provider paying the gas costs on behalf of a new user.
Accelerating the Transition to Web3
Relay networks such as OpenWeaver could play a key role in the move to web3 technologies, characterized by self-sovereignty of data, the use of digital keys to authenticate to dApps and websites, and distributed storage. Reducing latency and preventing bottlenecks will be critical if web3 is to provide a user experience that can match that of the centralized web with its hub-spoke model.
OpenWeaver uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), a TCP alternative that is commonly used by VoIP and gaming applications. UDP has been designed in such a way as to allow nodes to reconstruct data, even if some of the packets are lost in transmission. OpenWeaver also incorporates a compression layer that allows more data to be squeezed into blocks.
Suitable for both PoS and PoW networks, OpenWeaver is particularly effective at enhancing the latter. Slow data propagation across Proof of Work networks such as Bitcoin can result in the chain forking, as different groups of miners work on different versions of the blockchain. OpenWeaver’s relay network also makes it harder for secret miners to construct several blocks and then transmit them to all other nodes. Marlin is encouraging blockchain developers to utilize OpenWeaver as part of their broader goal to bolster on-chain scaling and increase network efficiency.