A DEEP DIVE INTO ARBITRUM ORBIT

Daniel Christopher
5 min readNov 2, 2023

DID YOU KNOW?

Arbitrum Orbit allows users to create their own dedicated chain that settles to one of Arbitrum's Layer 2 (L2) chains: Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, or Arbitrum Goerli.
You own your Orbit chain and can customize its privacy, permissions, fee token, governance, and more.

Key Features of Arbitrum Orbit:

  1. Launch a decentralized Nitro-powered blockchain network that benefits from Nitro’s fraud proofs, advanced compression.
  2. EVM+ compatibility via Stylus, and continuous improvements.
  3. Arbitrum Orbit offers gas price reliability to end-users.
  4. Permission access to control who can read your chain’s data and who can deploy smart contracts to your chain.
  5. Arbitrum Orbit offers a completely permissionless framework like Ethereum and Arbitrum One, you can implement your own permissions policies.
  6. Collect fees using a token that you choose to rapidly iterate on domain-specific mechanism designs and value capture opportunities.

Overview of Arbitrum Orbit

Arbitrum Orbit is a new product offering that lets you create your own chain that settles to one of Arbitrum's public Layer 2 (L2) chains.
Currently, Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, and Arbitrum Goerli are public Layer 2 (L2) chains that settle on Ethereum.
Ethereum is a public Layer 1 (L1) chain.

Arbitrum Orbit chains are deployable, configurable forks of Arbitrum's L2 Nitro technology stack that are tightly coupled to Arbitrum's L2 chain, Arbitrum Orbit chains also operate as tailored chains - chains tailored precisely to your exact use-case and business needs(Custom chains).
This feature makes available an option to progressively decentralize your applications and incrementally adopt the properties and security assumptions of Ethereum's base layer(This means you have full custody of how your chain operates from beginning to end).

Arbitrum Orbit also permits you continuous integration, modifications and improvements made to the Arbitrum Nitro stack (the code that powers the nodes that support Arbitrum's L2 and Orbit chains).

It is a stated fact that Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova implement the Arbitrum Rollup and AnyTrust protocols, respectively and every Arbitrum Orbit chain can be configured to use either Rollup or AnyTrust.

Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova are owned and governed by the Arbitrum DAO. With Orbit chains, you are solely responsible for the way that your chain is governed.
The Arbitrum DAO owns and governs the L2 chains that your Orbit chain can settle to.

Arbitrum's Rollup and AnyTrust protocols address this challenge by offloading some of the Ethereum network's heavy lifting to another decentralized network of nodes that support the Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova L2 chains, respectively.

Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova chains come with distinctive differences with respect to performance and independency. The choice between Rollup and AnyTrust represents a tradeoff between decentralization and performance:

Arbitrum One implements the Rollup protocol, which stores raw transaction data on Ethereum L1, while
Arbitrum Nova implements the AnyTrust protocol, which uses a data availability committee (DAC) to store raw transaction data, expediting settlement and reducing costs by introducing a security assumption.

Considering these 2 chains in question, varying projects can benefit from their own AnyTrust or Rollup chains that afford the same security, but with a higher degree of control over the chain's features and governance unlike public L2 chains and their protocols are governed by the Arbitrum DAO.

Arbitrum Orbit chains allows users to create personalized AnyTrust and Rollup chains using their desired infrastructure. Each Arbitrum Orbit chain is capable of supporting many times the capacity of Ethereum, and simultaneously benefit directly from Ethereum's security.

Using Arbitrum Orbit to Build:

Some of the the features to enjoy when using Arbitrum Orbit to build decentralized Applications include:

Dedicated Throughput:

For dApps that demands high-performance or consistent resource availability, running these dApps on its own Orbit chain significantly aids resource availability, so users don’t need to compete for computation and storage resources.

EVM+ Compatibility:

Arbitrum Orbit chains will use the same EVM+ compatibility offered by Stylus. This implies that users can deploy EVM-compatible smart contracts using Solidity, C, C++, and Rust without having to migrate away from the language and toolchain they are already using.

Independent Product Roadmap:

Arbitrum Orbit allows users to decouple their app chain’s roadmap from that of Ethereum and/or Arbitrum. This allows users implement cutting-edge features like account abstraction ahead of projects following Ethereum’s public roadmap.

Increased gas price reliability:

Many types of dApps rely on predictable transaction costs. Because Arbitrum Orbit chains are isolated from Arbitrum L2 and Ethereum L1 traffic, using Arbitrum Orbit chains means that you won't be significantly affected by other apps' on-chain activity, allowing your dApp's users to enjoy more reliable gas prices.

Account Abstraction:

Predictable gas prices make it easy to model and predict business costs, this makes it easier to experiment with traditionally cost-prohibitive mechanisms like transaction fee subsidization. This also makes it easier to further abstract the technical complexity of decentralized apps away from end-user experiences, allowing you to deliver decentralized experiences that feel familiar to nontechnical audiences (who may not understand or care about implementation details).

Customizable fee token:

Arbitrum Orbit chains can use any token users choose as the fee token, facilitating seamless integration with dApp's ecosystem.

Customizable Protocol Logic:

For users who wish to modify the logic of their chain's settlement, execution, or governance protocols in order to meet specific requirements. Arbitrum Orbit chains facilitate this, while benefiting from the security of Ethereum, through Arbitrum's DAO-governed L2 chains.

Nitro Extensibility:

In the future, Arbitrum Orbit chains will have access to all Nitro code upgrades, feature additions, and improvements, this allows the created Arbitrum Orbit chain the option to stay up-to-date and incorporate the latest and greatest in Ethereum scaling technology.

Decentralization Options:

Using Arbitrum Orbit, users can build an Arbitrum Rollup chain that uses Ethereum for data availability, or users can build an Arbitrum AnyTrust chain that uses a Data Availability Committee (DAC) to expedite the settlement of transactions to their Arbitrum Orbit chain’s base chain, making things even cheaper the builder and the end-users. Orbit chains can use either of these technologies.
Low prototyping costs Arbitrum Orbit chains can be easily created.

Security:

It's an established fact that Arbitrum technology powers the most secure L2s, and developers can use this same mature technology stack for your Orbit chain.

Flexible technology Options:

Arbitrum Orbit allows developers to choose between Rollup, AnyTrust, or custom technology stacks. This makes Ethereum and Arbitrum technologies more adaptable by allowing developers to incorporate only the elements of the technologies that they need.

Permissioned access:

Arbitrum Orbit allows the freedom to choose which contracts are deployed on your chain. As a developer you can keep it as open and permissionless as Ethereum, restrict contract deployment so that only your app can be deployed on this chain, etc.

Positive Additions from Arbitrum Orbit to Ethereum
Creation of new Chains using Arbitrum Orbit helps Ethereum move towards a multi-chain future. This is valuable for the following reasons:

  1. Scalability: Availability of Multiple chains help overcome scaling bottlenecks by dividing activity into opt-in environments with separate resource management.
  2. Flexible security models: With the availability of different chains, developers can experiment with different security models, allowing for tradeoffs.
  3. Flexible execution environments: With the availability of different chains, developers can experiment with more-or-less restrictive execution environments.
  4. Flexible governance: Orbit chains let you define your own governance protocols.
  5. Increased adoption of dApps: Arbitrum Orbit’s optionality reduces the cost of progressive decentralization for developers, it unlocks a new category of decentralized apps that are built under more autonomous, self-managed conditions.

For more information: Arbitrum Orbit Docs

Twitter | Discord | Website

--

--

Daniel Christopher

Exclusive Content Creator, Digital and Crypto enthusiast, Graphics/Infographics Designer, MEME expert.