Nervos is a layered network built to support the needs of the decentralized economy. The team behind Nervos believes that the best way to construct a system is not to build an all-encompassing single layer, but rather to decouple concerns and address them at different layers. By doing this, the layer 1 blockchain can focus on being secure, neutral, decentralized and open public infrastructure, while smaller, layer 2 networks can be specially-designed to best suit the context of their usage. In the Nervos Network, the layer 1 protocol (the Common Knowledge Base) is the value preservation layer of the entire network. It is philosophically inspired by Bitcoin and is an open, public and proof of work-based blockchain, designed to be maximally secure and censorship-resistant, to serve as a decentralized custodian of value and crypto-assets. Layer 2 protocols leverage the security of the layer 1 blockchain to provide unbounded scalability and minimal transaction fees, and also allow for application-specific trade-offs in regard to trust models, privacy and finality.
The core principles that led to the design of the Nervos Network are the following:
• A sustainable, multi-asset layer 1 blockchain has to be crypto-economically designed to be a store of value.
• Layer 2 offers the best scaling options, bringing nearly unlimited transactional capabilities, minimal transaction costs and an improved user experience. Layer 1 blockchains should be designed to complement, not compete with layer 2 solutions.
• Proof of Work as a Sybil resistance method is essential for layer 1 blockchains.
• The layer 1 blockchain must provide a generic programming model for interactive protocols and blockchain interoperability, and to allow the protocol to be maximally customizable and easy to upgrade.
• To best allocate resources and avoid the “tragedy of the commons”, state storage has to have a clear and fine-grained ownership model. To deliver consistent long-term rewards to miners (regardless of transaction demand), state occupation must have an ongoing cost.
Nervos is an innovative and interesting protocol that, from the look of it, learned from the previous layers 1 blockchain in the sense that it is addressing scalability issues thanks to layers 2 from its first days and aims to provide a complete solution since its start. As for any Layer 1 protocol, the main work to do, besides building the product, is community building, both for developers and end users. Seeing their current Gitcoin hackathon, Nervos is dedicated to attract users to build on their protocol, so we will see in the coming times if it is enough to see meaningful adoption.