Rapid Rollup Communications with Omni

Hi Everybody!

Yesterday we announced the Omni Network:

Omni uses EigenLayer to secure rapid communications between rollups built on Ethereum. I wanted to post here to let the community know that you’ll see us building on EigenLayer and also contributing to open source modules that will accelerate growth of the EigenLayer ecosystem.

We’re building in the open so please reach out if you are curious about the protocol and especially if you are another team building an EigenLayer secured middleware service as we’ll likely be able to accelerate one another’s development through working collaboratively on open source modules.

Omni Overview

Rollups have drastically lowered transaction fees on the Ethereum network, however this has come at the cost of liquidity fragmentation. As Ethereum embraces a modular future, there is now a great need for a communication layer between rollups so that developers can once again develop global liquidity network effects in their applications. In order to make this possible, we are building Omni — a specialized infrastructure layer that provides cheap, fast and secure communications for the entire modular ecosystem of Ethereum. Any specialized infrastructure layer that is built to serve the Ethereum community must ultimately derive its security from Ethereum. Through leveraging restaking provided by EigenLayer the Omni network is building the first interoperability layer for Ethereum, secured by Ethereum.

Ethereum’s Modular Future With EigenLayer + Omni

Interoperability solutions of the past have relied on a variety of mechanisms to facilitate “cross-chain” communications. There is a long history of designs from innovative builders across the industry that have pushed the interoperability space forward and we have deep respect for all of these teams. However, never before has a team built an interoperability protocol specifically designed to operate across modularized components of the Ethereum network. There are two primary reasons that a specialized infrastructure network like Omni is just now possible:

  1. The invention of restaking
  2. Layer 2 adoption

The Invention of Restaking

Omni relies on the restaking of $ETH from validators to provide economic guarantees for any cross rollup communications — and downstream of this Omni leverages the security of smart contracts on Ethereum L1 for dispute resolution. Previously, it has not been possible to build an infrastructure network around Ethereum with these security properties. Now it is through restaking — Omni is designed as an independent, specialized infrastructure layer that facilitates rapid cross rollup communications while still ultimately deriving security from Ethereum itself. We will be building in the open, consistently releasing our development milestones alongside open source software packages and modules to accelerate the ecosystem of developers contributing to the creation of a more free and open global economy.

Layer 2 Adoption

Ethereum’s modular future is here. Activity on layer 2 networks recently surpassed that of Ethereum’s layer 1 network and this trend is only going to accelerate. There could not be a better time to build a network like Omni. The future is clear, we are going to build an open, permissionless internet of value for the world with Ethereum at the foundation and specialized infrastructure networks like rollups and Omni on top to scale these values to people across the world.

Future Work

We’ll be working to deliver one of the first networks secured through restaking $ETH. Throughout that process you will see us collaborating with EigenLayer in the following ways:

  • Battle testing iterative versions of the testnets to ensure production readiness of both EigenLayer and Omni
  • Developing open source cosmos SDK modules to make it easier for other teams to combine the power of restaking with the flexibility of the cosmos SDK
  • Furthering key areas of research centered specifically on:
    • Out of core protocol implementations of single slot finality
    • Cross domain MEV

We’re proud to be working with EigenLayer as one of our core technology partners — without the invention of restaking a network like Omni could not exist. We believe deeply in contributing to the future of Ethereum alongside teams who share our values of creating an open, permissionless internet of value for every person and we are proud to be building towards this future with one of the most innovative teams in the crypto industry.

How to get involved

  • Comment here on the forum! This forum is great for potential applications of EigenLayer so if you have any initial thoughts / responses it would be great to see that here in the comments for the community to discuss.
  • Follow Omni on twitter for the latest updates
  • The Omni website
  • The Omni docs
  • DM me on Twitter (@0xASK)

Excited to be an early part of the EigenLayer community and building in an ecosystem with such talented people!


First and foremost, congratulations @austin_king on the recent announcement of Omni Network! It is evident that your team has put considerable thought and effort into addressing the challenges of rollup interoperability and composability faced by the Ethereum ecosystem today. The idea of leveraging both Ethereum and Cosmos technologies to achieve a balance between security and performance is certainly ambitious and intriguing. Additionally, the idea of programmable interoperability (i.e., doing arbitrarily complex actions across rollups in a single transaction) would definitely bring forth new possibilities for developers/users. All very exciting!

In reading through your docs, I had a few questions that I was hoping your team could answer:

  1. As I understand it, your approach would enable rollup composability without requiring rollups to use a shared sequencer, something that existing rollups would likely go for, since MEV capture via centralized sequencer is the primary source of revenue for rollups in existence today. However, I’d imagine that there is a trade-off space in which it may make sense for some rollups to use a shared sequencer to achieve cross-rollup interoperability/composability instead of a rollup communication network like Omni. Can you speak to the tradeoffs of your approach that aren’t suffered by the approach Espresso is taking with their shared sequencer?
  2. On that same front, how does Omni Network plan to address MEV? Are there any mechanisms in place to minimize the negative impact of MEV on users or potentially capture MEV for the benefit of users or restakers?
  3. As mentioned in Omni’s docs, the primary tradeoff of your design is the limited number of validators that Omni can support, due to the use of Tendermint consensus. While Omni’s security model relies on the value of ETH at stake (economic security, rather than decentralization security), could this validator limitation lead to centralization and potential collusion risks among validators?
  4. At this point in time, can you provide any rough estimates on the hardware requirements for a restaker to opt in to validating on Omni? Will Omni be able to maintain “lightweight” requirements for validators, ensuring compatibility with EigenLayer’s hope to attract lightweight services?
  5. Given the limited number of validators that Omni can support, are there any plans to explicitly incentivize a global distribution of nodes to prevent single points of failure or influence from specific countries, or are you figuring that this geographic diversification will naturally occur? If global distribution were to be incentivized, wouldn’t an oracle service need to be relied upon to identify node locations?

Once again, thanks for the post and for the work the Recursive team has done thus far! Looking forward to following the project as it develops!


Great question! I think you mostly nailed the distinction here:

Shared sequencers: heavy permissioned integration, and you get synchronous composability
Omni: simple permissionless integration, and you get asynchronous composability

Omni requires no work or changes from rollups to be integrated. Shared sequencers require rollups to alter a fundamental infrastructure layer of their operation. Having said that, I think we will almost certainly see shared sequencers hit production eventually (re: superchain) – Espresso team is doing awesome work and ultimately our solutions are actually highly synergistic.

This is a very interesting area of research right now. My cofounder @ttarsi and I have spent a great deal of time in the MEV space and think that cross domain MEV is likely to be one of the most impactful phenomena across the crypto industry in the coming years.

We really see two paths here:

  1. Design the Omni Network in a way such that it can internalize MEV to achieve:
    a) redistribution to users
    b) redistribution to protocol designers possibly as a new business model
    c) internalize it as cash flow for the network (for staker compensation, explicit network profit, etc.)
  2. Attempt to minimize MEV in a manner similar to https://shutter.network/

I think both paths have merit and are exciting opportunities for a new network like Omni, so you’ll see us collaborating with other teams pushing forward innovations on the MEV front as we approach mainnet.

Yes, with one important caveat. The critical downfall of Cosmos chains historically is that this centralization and collusion could overtake the economic security of the network – that is not the case with Omni as it still leverages Ethereum to ultimately discern truth about misbehavior and derive economic security. The most relevant factor is actually availability, if collusion were to happen and not be properly disincentivized it could cause the liveness of the network to degrade.

Omni nodes will have heavier requirements. I can’t tell you exact hardware specs required at this time, but I can tell you it will not just be a single docker container. Omni nodes need to run full nodes of the rollups that they operate on. I understand the interest in lightweight hardware requirements, but from my conversations so far with teams who want to restake for Omni this has not been an issue.

Correct – I saw that EigenLayer is working with Witness Chain which is working on a methodology for proving node location. I believe this project is in its earlier stages, but it is the first project I have heard that is attempting to make this possible. We care a lot about this. I am not aware of any methodology in production to day where we could integrate this at a protocol level (please let me know if you know of something) but we will be very intentional about ensuring that the Omni Network is an and open and neutral software platform.

I’ll leave a quote I wrote from a section in our gitbook that hopefully communicates how important this is to us:
“Downstream of this there is a secondary implication that is important to keep in mind as the network scales: geographic diversification. We are building an open and free economy for every human no matter which country they were born in. This is technology for humans, not nations. Some nations have made attempts to claim that decentralized networks belong to them based upon the grounds that some percent of nodes run within their territory. It will be essential to main a global distribution of nodes so that no single nation can claim a technology built for people everywhere is theirs to co-opt and control.”

Thank you! I really appreciate the interest, we have been building Omni internally for quite some time so it makes me quite happy to be out in public talking about it and have people genuinely curious.

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Very important. Thanks :wink: @mdesim01

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Thanks for the comprehensive response! Excited to hear more details and get more involved in the project as it develops!

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