The Celestia blockchain serves as a foundational platform for the creation of other EVM-compatible networks
, streamlining the process to be both cost-efficient and user-friendly. The project is built upon the Tendermint
consensus algorithm, operating as part of the Cosmos
ecosystem. Let's examine the modular blockchain Celestia, its future prospects, and the native token, TIA.
The Origin Story
Originally dubbed Lazy Ledger, the project assumed its new identity as Celestia in the summer of 2023, with an ambitious goal to facilitate the launching of new networks more effectively. The existing approach of deploying Layer 2 solutions atop established blockchains like Ethereum does address these issues to some extent but often at the expense of either security, decentralization, or scalability.
Additionally, the deployment of a Layer 2
network is not only a multi-year endeavor but can also be exorbitantly costly. Celestia allows sidestepping this by divorcing the consensus mechanism from the execution of transactions, allowing each to function as an independent module. This separation offers subsequent applications the versatility to be tailor-made in their programming, adjustments, and operational settings while leveraging the Celestia foundational layer.
The team steering Celestia's course comprises:
- Mustafa Al-Bassam, CEO of Celestia Labs
- Ismail Khoffi, CTO;
- John Adler from ConsenSys, also playing a role in Ethereum 2.0's development;
- Nick White, co-founder of Harmony.
This ensemble of professionals is steeped in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, each bringing a wealth of knowledge in cryptography and software engineering.
According to analytics platform Crunchbase, Celestia Labs has raised an aggregate of $56.5 million. These funds sprang from five rounds of investment, pooling resources from 38 distinct investors including names like Polychain, OKX Ventures, Binance Labs, Bain Capital Crypto, Interchain Foundation, and Blockchain Capital, among others.
Particularly of interest is the venture capital garnered from OKX Ventures and Binance Labs, which was secured just two weeks before the project's token was slated to list on October 16, 2023. The details of the token allocation for this funding round and the average price per token have remained under wraps.
Investment statistics for Celestia. Source: Crunchbase.com
Features and Unique Aspects
Celestia offers its clients a proprietary modular blockchain, designed to meet any individual requirements for necessary functionalities. The platform’s users can:
- Rapidly deploy their own cryptocurrency network in a matter of minutes, as easily as creating smart contracts.
- Scale the network to accommodate an increasing number of users.
- Create applications and decentralized apps using any virtual machine, including EVM.
- Launch a sovereign and independent blockchain, which benefits from both its own operations and the infrastructure provided by Celestia.
The features of the Celestia modular blockchain. Source: celestia.org
Unlike standard monolithic blockchains, Celestia does not execute transactions but rather orders and publishes data about them. This delineates the consensus
level from the execution of applications, providing several advantages:
- Developers can easily change the programming environment and choose from an extensive list of languages for smart contract development.
- Each application maintains its own sovereign space.
- Applications and protocols can be upgraded without the need for significant code modifications, particularly eliminating the need for hard forks.
Monolithic blockchains vs the Celestia modular network. Source: celestia.org
Celestia also features a data availability sampling mechanism. This system allows for the verification of block data without the need to download the entire block's data. It is achieved by having a light node (i.e., a node
within the Celestia network) conduct several rounds of data verification within the block, selecting random fragments. When the integrity of a block is confirmed with 99% certainty, further verification is deemed unnecessary, and the block is considered to be fully accessible and verified. This method is efficient in saving both energy and time for transaction verification.
The native TIA token is used for fee payment within the network and to protect transactions via staking. At the time of writing this article, the TIA token has been trading on exchanges for only a few days, but this has been enough time to assess the market data of the asset:
- Asset price – $2.24
- Market capitalization – $320 million
- Circulating supply – 141 million
- Maximum supply – 1 billion
- Average daily trading volume – $330 million
- All-time high – $10
- All-time low – $1.9
Currently, the TIA token is available on many centralized exchanges, including WhiteBIT, Binance, KuCoin, Gate, BingX, Mexc, OKX, Bybit, and other platforms. The full list of exchanges can be found on CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap under the "Markets" section.
TIA Price Dynamics. Source: coingecko.com
Celestia distributed a Genesis Drop meant for over 570,000 wallets. The main criteria for receiving drops included regular use of Layer 2 networks, staking of various tokens, participation in GitHub, and investors in their grant programs, etc. Test network users and node holders were also contenders for the drop. You can read about the specific criteria for the airdrop in the relevant article
Since only a third of the participants claimed their coins by the required date (October 17th), Celestia tripled the payouts for the rest of the users. The drop ranged from 50 to 500 TIA, which means users claimed from $150 to $1500. Celestia node holders could earn up to 10,000 tokens.
The TIA tokenomics initially had only 15% of the total coin supply in circulation at the time of listing. The next batch of coins will be released in 11 months.
TIA Tokenomics. Source: cryptorank.io
Although the project's capitalization is quite substantial, there are nearly no applications or new blockchains that make use of the modular network technology so far. The protocol can be more thoroughly evaluated after it has been operational for some time, perhaps in 3–6 months.