What is Celestia?

A complete beginner's guide to how Celestia works, its key benefits, and how anyone in the world can create their own blockchain in minutes.

Let’s walk through the basics, step-by-step.

Tell me about Celestia

Celestia is a modular data availability (DA) network that securely scales with the number of users, making it easy for anyone to launch their own blockchain.

Rollups and L2s use Celestia as a network for publishing and making transaction data available for anyone to download. For them, Celestia provides high-throughput DA that can be verified easily with a light node.

And by making the blockchain stack modular, anyone can launch their own blockchain without needing a validator set.

What is data availability and why does it matter?

Data availability answers the question, has the data for this blockchain been published? It is critical to the security of any blockchain because it ensures that anyone can inspect the ledger of transactions and verify it.

Users of a monolithic blockchain usually download all the data to check that it is available.

As blocks get bigger, it becomes impractical for normal users to download all the data meaning that they can’t verify the chain. Modular chains solve this problem by making it possible for users to verify very large blocks using a technology called data availability sampling.

Now what's data availability sampling?

Data availability sampling (DAS) is the new primitive that enables Celestia light nodes to verify DA efficiently. Instead of downloading all data, light nodes only download a tiny portion of each block.

Importantly, DAS allows Celestia to scale with the number of users (light nodes). So, as the light node network grows over time, Celestia can scale to the data throughput needed for millions of rollups without compromising on security for end users.

What are rollups and how do they work with Celestia?

Rollups are a relatively new type of blockchain. What makes them different is that they offload some of their work to a layer 1 like Celestia. The simple version is that rollups publish their transaction data to Celestia, which gets ordered and made available for rollup users to download. As a bonus, rollups receive some of Celestia’s security.

But rollups on Celestia aren’t quite the same as others. They are convenient to launch like layer 2s with the added sovereignty that layer 1s enjoy. We like to call these blockchains sovereign rollups.

And what is a modular blockchain?

Modular blockchains are a new paradigm in blockchain design. Instead of one blockchain doing everything, modular blockchains specialize and optimize to perform a given function. This specialization provides breakthroughs in scalability, flexibility, and interoperability, enabling developers to build blockchain applications for mass adoption.

Why Celestia?

Start fast

Deploy your own blockchain in minutes, as easy as a smart contract.

Use any VM

Unlock unique application features and use-cases.

Access dynamic throughput

Lower costs and support more users and your application grows.

What the Celestia community stands for

Modularism, not Maximalism

For years, crypto has endured a monolithic blockchain loop. Each new L1 has built a walled-off system, where competition is fierce and zero-sum. This leads to maximalism as they all fight over users in their ecosystems.

Modular blockchains create a collaborative environment with many connected chains. Each new user that a modular blockchain brings in creates value for the whole modular ecosystem, not just a single L1. Modular blockchains collaborate while monolithic L1s compete.

Modularism, not maximalism.

Layer 0 is social consensus

To us, the most important layer in blockchains is social consensus. Blockchains are a tool to allow communities of people to socially coordinate in a sovereign way. Thus, our vision stems from a deeply held core belief: communities have an inalienable right to independently self-organize.

Modular blockchains for sovereign communities.