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Ava Labs Announces Scalability Solution Vryx to Boost Avalanche’s Transaction Speed to 100,000 TPS

Ava Labs, the developer of the Avalanche blockchain platform, has unveiled the details of its scalability solution Vryx, as part of its plan to achieve a transaction speed of about 100,000 transactions per second (TPS) on the Avalanche network.

In its latest research paper, Ava Labs outlined the idea of the scalability solution Vryx, which aims to help the Avalanche blockchain increase its transaction speed to 100,000 TPS. The company has already started implementing the scalability method, which is expected to reach a benchmark in the next few weeks.

The scalability method will be enabled on the first HyperSDK testnet, which is planned to launch in mid-Q2. HyperSDK is a framework for building high-performance blockchains with virtual machines, enabling them to deploy smart contracts. Vryx will be used to support the blockchains built with HyperSDK, also known as hyperchains, and the goal is to gradually apply this technology to the main blockchain platform over time.

The core idea behind Vryx is the concept of splitting the parts of the transaction process and running them in a pipeline manner, which means that a transaction block can still be verified while the next block is being developed. This type of strategy has been used by other blockchain platforms such as Aptos and Sui.

Ava Labs’ spokesperson said, “Since launching HyperSDK more than a year and a half ago, Ava Labs has been obsessed with providing the best scalability for anyone building their own blockchain on Avalanche. Today, we are taking a big step closer to that goal with the introduction of Vryx. Many have asked how Avalanche HyperSDK will achieve such high throughput goals with its first launch. And Vryx is our answer.”

Vryx is based on the Avalanche consensus protocol, which is a novel approach to achieving consensus in a network of unreliable machines, where failures may be crash-fault or Byzantine. The protocol’s fundamentals were first shared on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) in May 2018 by a pseudonymous group of enthusiasts going by the name “Team Rocket”. Avalanche was later developed by researchers from Cornell University led by Emin Gün Sirer and doctoral students Maofan “Ted” Yin and Kevin Sekniqi.

Vryx is also a fortified decoupled state machine replication (DSMR) construction, which means that it performs replication, sequencing, and execution of transactions independently, unlike “traditional” blockchains (like Bitcoin) where syntactically and semantically valid transactions are sequenced, executed, and replicated simultaneously in each block.

This newly rediscovered approach (originally popularized in the early 2000s) of “decoupling” state machine replication (DSMR) is not without tradeoffs. As a consequence of performing replication prior to sequencing and execution, it is no longer possible to enforce semantic verification of replicated transactions. This means that the fee-paying transactions per second (fTPS) of DSMR constructions can be far less than the replicated TPS (rTPS), causing participants to waste valuable resources replicating and verifying invalid transactions (iTPS = rTPS – fTPS).

Vryx mitigates these adversarial issuance attacks for profit-maximizing builders and ensures that any transactions they replicate pay fees, restoring fTPS = rTPS. Vryx enables the HyperSDK to take full advantage of DSMR pipelining without sacrificing the robustness of traditional state machine replication (SMR), which can enforce full syntactic and semantic verification.

Because Vryx only introduces additive constraints to DSMR replication and execution (and does not require any changes to consensus), most of its techniques could be incorporated into previously proposed and adopted DSMR constructions to defend against adversarial users.

In early January, Patrick O’Grady, the VP of Platform Engineering at Ava Labs, presented Vryx (slides linked) at the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3) Winter Retreat. He also shared a series of tweets explaining the main features and benefits of Vryx1

For those curious, Vryx is an extension of previous research on scaling throughput in the HyperSDK and familiarity with that work, and the open questions it presents, provides useful context around Vryx.

The price of AVAX, the native token of the Avalanche blockchain, is fluctuating around $32, up slightly more than 3% in 24 hours. AVAX is one of Ethereum’s rivals, aiming to unseat Ethereum as the most popular blockchain for smart contracts. AVAX is the main utility token used by projects and smart contracts on the Avalanche platform.

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