2022 has been a year of building in the Orbs project; in March, the community celebrated Orbs’ third anniversary since mainnet and token launch. Thank you to all developers, contributors, researchers, guardians, delegators, community members, partners, and others who helped make 2022 a successful year.
At the start of 2022, we identified key components of Orbs 3.0: These included how Orbs fits into web3, Multi-chain staking (PoS V3), and Orbs as a layer-3 (L3). The below will lay out the project's progress on each of these pillars since the beginning of 2022 and how they will continue to propel forward the Orbs project in 2023.
At the start of 2022, we sought to define Orbs’ place in web3; this was dubbed Orbs 3.0. Orbs 3.0 is the overarching framework for the project. The components are comprised of multi-chain proof-of-stake (PoS), L3 Orbs, and web3.
With regards to web3, both at the beginning of the year, and now, Orbs has been based on the philosophy that web3 is the pursuit of creating permissionless applications where users can have a stake in the project, participate in governance votes, own their data, and can monetize their stake.
Everything created for the Orbs project in 2022 was aligned with this philosophy and furthers the web3 narrative.
For those unfamiliar, the Orbs protocol is decentralized and executed by a public network of permissionless validators (dubbed "Guardians") using Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus. The Orbs protocol relies on the ORBS token, which provides a system of incentives used to elect Guardians in a secure and decentralized manner.
In response to community feedback to mitigate gas spikes, in 2022 we launched multi-chain staking on Ethereum and Polygon, dubbed PoS V3. The upgrade allowed the Orbs network to utilize the available blockchain stack to its fullest potential, the security of Ethereum as the base layer, and the scalability & low fees of Polygon as a layer 2.
After a year of multi-chain staking being live, there are 191 million ORBS staked at the time of writing on Polygon with an additional 775 million ORBS staked on Ethereum. This past year, the number of Guardians has also grown, with 7 new Guardians helping to secure the network and fostering community growth.
At the start of the year, we explained to the community what Orbs as a layer 3 protocol meant and defined the goal of positioning Orbs onto the existing blockchain stack; and to have a fully functioning use case by the end of 2022.
Since then, we’ve developed Orbs’ two main L3 execution services: Orbs Lambda & Orbs VM. Orbs Lambda functions as a decentralized serverless cloud and Orbs VM as a Docker-based decentralized virtual machine. This technology has been able to power L3 DeFi applications such as The Open DeFi Notification Protocol & dTWAP.
DeFi notifications is the first in-house use case developed for L3 Orbs. Since its inception at the beginning of the year, it has been integrated with 30+ dApps, and successfully audited over 200,000 on-chain transactions, with 3,500+ active users receiving notifications across 6 different chains. This a remarkable achievement for something launched just in this past year with a very small target audience.
Taking this one step further, the newest and now deployed use case of Orbs operating as an L3 is dTWAP. This is a major step forward for Orbs L3 as it is the first use case that adds capabilities to dApps with significant TVL. First deployed on SpiritSwap, and now within striking distance of going live on SpookySwap and Pangolin, the entire community can celebrate this achievement and get excited about this integration pipeline.
In this arena, the project’s goal for 2023 will be to integrate dTWAP with additional major dexes, establish Orbs as a major player in DeFi, and solidify the network’s position as an L3. With these ambitions in mind, a high priority will be to launch other Orbs DeFi layer 3 use cases during 2023.
In alignment with the project’s core web3 philosophy, Orbs governance was introduced and launched in August. Since its launch, there have been three governance proposals, some directly affecting Orbs PoS V3, with another in progress. Accounting for all four votes, over 1.5 billion $ORBS participated. This signified the community's confidence in the project & reflected their high level of engagement.
The first proposal asked the community if they’d like to reinstate a minimum amount that Guardians (validators) must self-delegate. The vote went down to the wire with just 54% of the vote saying yes and 46% disagreeing. Following the first proposal, the community then voted on the amount minimum self-delegation should be, with 3% self-delegation winning with 56% of the total vote.
The third vote this year was on Orbs improvement proposals which created a forum on GitHub where anyone in the Orbs ecosystem can suggest improvements to the Orbs protocol and following a discussion can be voted on via Snapshot.
Lastly, Orbs has further solidified its position as blockchain-agnostic by integrating with the TON blockchain, the first non-EVM chain the Orbs project is building on. For a brief history lesson, the Durov brothers, the founders of Telegram, released a whitepaper for a blockchain in 2018 and began working on it until 2020 when it was forced to shut down operations by the SEC. However, since it was all open-sourced, a group of enthusiasts continued the project and are now being integrated with Telegram in modern-day 2022.
TON has the potential to onboard Telegram’s 500M+ monthly active users onto the Blockchain. The approach to integrating Orbs and TON has been to build out core infrastructure components of the network, consult on best practices for L1s, and assist across all aspects of the project when necessary. Orbs recently released TON Minter, which became the official way to deploy Jettons on the TON chain (Similar to ERC-20 tokens). Despite launching at the beginning of the month, the tool has already seen significant usage, with 4,300 developers mining more than 470+ tokens. Additionally, Orbs released TON verifier at the end of the year, which verifies the source code of TON contracts powered by Orbs L3.
The Orbs team has attended meetups, hackathons, and more in an effort to build a close relationship with the foundation. Tal Kol, Orbs CTO, has become a TON ambassador, showcasing the close ties between Orbs and the foundation. Our goal for Orbs on TON is as the network is further developed, Orbs will be positioned to become a major player in the ecosystem to power decentralized applications. This has huge potential for bringing usage to Orbs, especially if TON can onboard the next generation of users into web3 this coming year.
In summary, this past year has been a period of significant building and development growth for the Orbs ecosystem. The project has not only achieved all of the goals for this year but also surpassed them in some areas. The entire Orbs community can look forward to continuing the web3 philosophy and establishing Orbs as a major layer-3 throughout the entire blockchain ecosystem in 2023. If you’re in the area, be sure to meet during the Orbs team’s conference attendance in Austin Texas, Korea, Japan, and elsewhere in 2023.