Hyperchains - Update!

Wen Hyperchains?

The update that you’ve all been eagerly waiting for! ~3months ago, we introduced you to Hyperchains, a layer-2 scaling solution for Stacks that we at Hiro have been building and it comes with the promise of high throughput, low latency workloads, so you can build fast and reliable experiences for your users.

TL;DR: We are live on TestNet and on target to launch our first NFT Use Case on TestNet in July 2022!

Federated vs. Truly Decentralized

It’s worth noting that the initial version of Hyperchains will be a Federated model. This will be the initial step in our hyperchains evolution. We are taking an iterative approach to building & rolling out this layer-2 solution, and there eventually will be versions that cater to multiple use cases ranging from federated to decentralized. However the complexity increases as we drive a more decentralized version. The Stacks mainchain itself will remain decentralized; anyone who wants to benefit from the improved performance can opt-in and hop on a hyperchain and experience life in the fast lane.
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Under the hood

Aaron has a brilliant primer coming up soon on the inner workings of the Hyperchains contract, especially how deposits and withdrawals work through the Layer-1 smart contract.

Interacting with a hyperchain is exactly like interacting with a different network of the Stacks blockchain– transaction formats, RPC interfaces, and the Clarity VM are all the same (much like the difference between interacting with testnet and mainnet).

To deposit into a hyperchain, users submit an L1 transaction that invokes the deposit method on the smart contract. Similarly for withdrawals, when a user is finished interacting with a hyperchain, they submit an L1 transaction that invokes the withdraw method on that same smart contract.

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Blocks, Microblocks and Statuses

Digging further, the status of transactions will parallel that on Layer-1:
Pending → In Microblock → Confirmed in Anchor Block

Microblocks will come with a finality guarantee in this version of Hyperchains.

One of the biggest driving factors has been increased throughput and low latency transactions. For higher-throughput, hyperchains allow for bigger blocks with more operations. We are expecting to see a 4X increase in throughput and reduced confirmation times from the current ~10mins → 1min.
To establish more concrete performance metrics, come help us test this on TestNet! Details are listed at the end of this post.

Here’s a high-level timeline for our launch to mainnet.
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Tune In

Still can’t get enough of Hyperchains? Tune in to our various channels and events for more detailed information

Hop on the monthly developer call, happening today, May 26th, 2022 at 16:00 UTC & join a live discussion.
Register here!

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Test, test, test

If you are rather keen on giving this a spin and providing early feedback, you’re lucky; we are looking for teams interested in testing out hyperchains! If you are interested, join in on the discussion and we will reach out to you to coordinate any testing.

See you on a Hyperchain soon!


The 10minute—> 1minute is not exactly Solana like transaction speed. Was this a typo? Or an example at what we can expect during testnet but once in Mainnet we get the Solana like speed?

Do you know how many times the Solana chain has gone down?
I think there may be drawbacks to having near-instant Tx confirmations.
But we will have to see how things shake out.
Aaron’s video said minimum 4x improvement.

How many times Solana has gone down has nothing to do with the question I am askiing.

sure, but it’s part of the design. I’m just saying that there is likely good reason(s) for the chosen block time, Tx latency/confirmation, etc. My guess is it’s related to the time needed to propagate the Stacks microblocks on the main chain. Personally, I think comments like “Solana-like speed” is arguably exaggeration for marketing purposes. But I also think Solana’s own speed claims are also marketing exaggerations. :wink: Anyway TPS is a pretty much worthless metric when we are talking about a smart-contract platform and transactions that can vary widely in size and compute-complexity.

As far as I know, I’ve told you before that you can get hyperchain speed in a centralized chain.
Doesn’t tx confirmation occur every few seconds?
I don’t think the DApp will be that fast if it’s 4 times Stacks right now

While near instant confirmations are nice most use cases arguably/probably don’t need them. hmm?
Instant money/value transmission has already been delivered with Bitcoin Lightning and centralized tradfi solutions. I mean if you’re making a DeFi trade or buying an NFT a one minute conf is fine right?
Maybe a game or other realtime app needs instantaneous?

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onstacks.com currently has stacks at 66.89 transactions per block. Is that accurate? If a block is ~10 minutes, that’s ~0.11 transactions per second.

Is the expectation that hyperchains 4x’s that number? Or that they 4x a theoretical number that we aren’t yet hitting on the base chain?

yes it’s probably accurate.
"4x throughput" is referring to an increase over the current v2.0 base/Layer-1 blockchain’s maximum throughput, which is not happening now or shown by Onstacks.com
Throughput takes into account not only the number of transactions (TPS), but the size of the transactions and possibly also their compute complexity (how hard they are to process) as these things can vary a lot with smart-contract transactions.

My understanding was the 4x throughput was basically the default to start and actual speed would be determined by how you use the hyperchains? More centralized hyperchains could be much faster for example.

Muneeb, “These are initial values for testing. Hyperchains design can theoretically give comparable performance to the new L1s. We’ll find out how they perform as testnet goes live and we start pushing the boundaries on network capacity and latency.”


Note: hyperchains have been renamed subnets, due to the trademark for “hyperchains” already being registered. Learn more here**