GC Alpha — Project Oxide II

5 min readApr 3, 2023


Part 2. Let’s focus on product.

Hello Geniuses, and welcome to Mumbai! We’ve talked about the technology side of Tezos optimistic rollups, and there are many great tutorials and educational materials around new Tezos rollup architecture, nodes, and more.

The truth is, most users will never need to know these implementation details. For example, most know generally that a Wi-Fi router helps connect them to the internet, but most don’t know (or care) how each packet of data is organized and sent to other servers.

It’s time to focus on product, and start thinking about how rollups will be used to create useful DApps on Tezos. We want to use this article to demystify the future state of rollups on Tezos (XTZ).

Rollup Experience on Tezos

created by @mooon640

Tezos’ optimistic rollup implementation sets it apart from well-known optimistic rollups like Optimism and Arbitrum. The Tezos L1 chain acts as the base for any number of rollups to be deployed, and also provides native interfaces for the key facets of Layer 2 architecture. Essentially, developers can now deploy their own Arbitrum on Tezos at any time.

Going further, rollups like Arbitrum have zero native guarantees from the Ethereum L1. These rollups are centrally controlled by admin keys, and are only as secure as their Solidity smart contract. We’re not going to dive into all of the issues here, but one can easily note major risks in this popular architecture.

We appreciate the efforts of these pioneering projects, but we believe Tezos enshrined optimistic rollups are the correct choice for serious Layer 2 developers.

Types of Rollups on Tezos

With Tezos open & enshrined rollup architecture, there are multiple ways to develop Layer 2 DApps. Let’s break them down.

Public Good Rollups

Example EVM Rollup/Sidechain

Public good rollups are best used for popular use-cases, like the EVM rollup. The EVM rollup is the highly-anticipated rollup that brings EVM compatibility to Tezos. Users will be able to make transactions, deploy EVM smart contracts, and make contract calls by sending messages to this rollup.

We call this a public good rollup because many users will be leveraging this publicly available rollup to deploy their own Layer 2 DApps. In this case, developers who want to use Solidity on Tezos will not need to write a kernel, deploy a rollup, or post commitments. This is a good thing; Layer 2 developers can simply use the existing rollup with their Solidity code.

We expect the EVM rollup to be supported by the major players in the Tezos ecosystem, and other important rollups like the Michelson rollup will likely follow this pattern as well.

From GC’s perspective, we want to try out these future rollups, but creating public good rollups like this is not our current goal.

Custom Execution Rollups

Example Custom Rollup Ecosystem

Tezos’ smart rollups allow for arbitrary execution of any WASM-compiled kernel code. Confused? That’s OK. Basically, rollup technology on Tezos goes further than just creating Arbitrum-style clones.

Custom Execution means that developers can make more innovative and futuristic rollup kernels that may serve only one specific purpose, rather than implementing a full internal blockchain & VM like the EVM rollup above.

For example, imagine a smart rollup focused completely on creating a Layer 2 orderbook for trading USD & XTZ. In this case, the developers can directly code their business logic in a flexible and fast programming language like Rust, instead of needing to rely completely on Solidity or Michelson running on a public VM.

Custom Execution opens up an entirely new frontier for Layer 2 developers. This type of rollup can provide benefits in gaming, high-frequency trading, and much more. They are also faster to develop & deploy since there is no need to add a full sidechain inside of the rollup.

GC will be focused initially on making Custom Execution rollups so that we can get fast and fun Layer 2 DApps shipped to our users.

Private/Custom Sidechains

Example GeniusChain with DApps

We define a Custom Sidechain as a rollup on Tezos that uses Custom Execution, but also implements an internal blockchain that runs on the side of the main Tezos L1. This final category is a hybrid of the first two types, and something GC is heavily focused on in our long-term goals.

We plan to start our Layer 2 journey by developing Custom Execution rollups that support one game or feature. Our issue is that we have plans for multiple Layer 2 DApps, and they will each need their own rollup if we only use Custom Execution rollups.

Our solution is to essentially make our own chain, which will run multiple GC-owned DApps.

The GeniusChain will eventually hold the logic for flagship games on SalsaDAO.io like the Rollup Casino, SpiceWorld, and SalsaStrike. There is an expensive bond requirement for running rollups on Tezos, so combining them all into one sidechain will decrease costs for GC while showing off some of the most interesting gaming technology in the crypto industry.

We hope today’s development update gives some more clarity to users on what development of rollups on Tezos will look like.

Next time, we’ll dive into the anatomy of a Layer 2 DApp on Tezos.