Arbitrum To Launch Nitro Upgrade on August 31

Nitro is a major upgrade for Arbitrum expected to enable faster transactions and lower fees.

Arbitrum, a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum, has said that its network will undergo a significant upgrade, called Nitro, on Aug. 31 — its one-year anniversary.

Offichain Labs, the company behind Arbitrum, confirmed the news following the successful migration of the Arbitrum Rinkeby testnet. 

Developers can now prepare their contracts and front-ends for migration and testing.

Arbitrum uses optimistic rollups to speed up transaction times and cut costs on Ethereum. It does this by bundling multiple off-chain transactions together in large batches before submitting final results to Ethereum. As one of the most popular scaling solutions, its total value locked (TVL) stands at $860M at the time of writing.

What is Nitro? 

Nitro is a major upgrade for Arbitrum meant to bring faster transactions, lower fees and a better user experience for building applications. Arbitrum calls Nitro the “most advanced rollup stack ever built.”

According to Offichain Labs, Nitro at its core is a new prover, which can do Arbitrum’s classic interactive fraud proofs using WebAssembly (WASM) code. That means that the L2 Arbitrum engine can be written and compiled using standard languages and tools, replacing the custom-designed language and compiler used today.

In normal execution, validators and nodes run the Nitro engine compiled in native code, switching to WASM if a fraud proof is needed.

On Aug. 24, a shadow fork migration will be implemented as a final dress rehearsal before the mainnet migration. It will run as a parallel chain that continues to receive incoming transactions from the main chain, Arbitrum One, for observation and testing purposes.

Arbitrum abruptly paused its Odyssey program for new users a week after launch due to the heavy load of transactions and spiking gas fees. The program is expected to resume once Arbitrum makes the transition to Nitro.

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