Nervos x Celer: Collectively Refine Layered Blockchain Architecture Towards Mass Adoption

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Nervos Network

Nov 17, 2018

We are happy to announce that Nervos Network, the Layer 1 for Layer 2 solutions, is joining forces with Celer Network, a coherent technology and economics architecture for off-chain scaling, to collectively refine the layered blockchain architecture and accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain technologies.

Why Layered Architecture?

Blockchain brings the unprecedented possibility of breaking down segregated financial silos and enabling endless powerful applications, but fundamental challenges remains. One of such is the often-referred “scalability trilemma” regarding the impossibility to achieve more than two from the three properties of scalability, decentralization, and security when building a blockchain system. As security is not an option, it’s often times become a trade-off between decentralization and scalability when designing a blockchain system.

To overcome this and many other fundamental challenges, we look beyond the simple pattern of directly building dApps on top of blockchain and introduce a new layer of scaling infrastructure, a.k.a. “Layer 2”, between “Layer 1” blockchain and dApps.

“Layer 2”, or more formally off-chain platforms, are infrastructures building on top of underlying blockchains to enable a new level of scalability, privacy and usability for the broader ecosystem. In the particular case of scalability, layer 2 platforms use the underlying blockchain as a “final resort” and move most of the transactions away from blockchain. Therefore, each of the off-chain transaction does not need to incur any global consensus process and is fundamentally low cost and low latency. This new kind of abstraction can even provide dApps with a new interface, including all of scalability, decentralization and security, where the layer 1 blockchains focus on decentralization and security and layer 2 platforms focus on scalability . This kind of new possibility is something that was never possible with a single-layer blockchain architecture design.

Nervos x Celer

Nervos Network is a blockchain network and DApp platform built with a layered architecture. The base layer, Nervos CKB (Common Knowledge Base) is a Layer 1 public blockchain that is optimized for Layer 2 solutions, with three primary goals: (1) to serve as a store of assets; (2) to serve as a Crypto Court; and (3) to be Layer 2-friendly.

Nervos CKB uses a RISC-V based virtual machine, a simple state model called the Cell Model. The whole architecture is a generalization of Bitcoin, which enables Nervos CKB to provide powerful data abstraction, broad consensus, and strong security — all without sacrificing decentralization.

Celer Network is a leading layer 2 scaling platform that enables fast, easy and secure off-chain transactions for not only payment transactions, but also generalized off-chain smart contract. Celer aims to be a coherent architecture to consolidate multiple off-chain scaling techniques including state channel, side-chain, and interactive computing and also encompasses the first-ever off-chain crypto economics suite to incentivize security, data connectivity and liquidity in the off-chain ecosystem.

Nervos and Celer share the layered blockchain architecture vision from the very beginning. As we are working on mutually complementary technology layers, we have also been keeping an eye on each other’s work with high mutual respect. We have been in constant discussion for the last few months about technology collaboration and integration. We feel this is a perfect match for both of us.

Jan Xie, Chief Architect of Nervos comments: “We are impressed by Celer Network’s coherent design of off-chain scaling technology and crypto economics architecture, fast production delivery speed and all-star technology team. We are excited to have Celer Network as our first layer 2 partner and look forward to continue working together to bring another layer of scalability on top of Nervos CKB.”

Dr. Mo Dong, Co-founder of Celer Network says: “Nervos’s vision of building “layer 1 for layer 2” resonates with us deeply. We have a long wish list for layer 1 to enable a more efficient and better UX for layer 2. With this opportunity, we hope to leverage great technology innovation provided by Nervos like RISC-V virtual machine, and also hopefully provide some feedback to Nervos’s design during our integration to enable entirely new possibilities in layer 2 together.”

How are Nervos and Celer working together?

We have been in constant discussion for the last few months and we have identified several collaboration points that we will work on in the next few months.

  • Integration. We will work closely to realize the initial integration of Celer Network’s generalized state channel functionality with Nervos CKB. We hope during the process, we can get a deeper understanding of each other’s technology stack and provide valuable feedbacks to each other’s architecture design.
  • Research. We will conduct research and examine possible new primitives to add in layer 1 blockchain to support layer 2’s continuous evolution in terms of cost, efficiency, privacy and user experiences.
  • Education. We will continue to raise the awareness of global blockchain community about the need for a layered blockchain and the technology, design pattern, and usage pattern around this thesis. After all, we need more developers and users to push the great potential of this architecture to mass adoption.

About Celer Network

Celer Network is an Internet-scale, trust-free, and privacy-preserving platform running on top of existing and future blockchains. It enables everyone to quickly build, operate, and use highly scalable decentralized applications through innovations in off-chain scaling techniques and incentive-aligned crypto-economics. For more information, visit and

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