Stateless Infrastructure

Source Stateless Infra from Polynya

What is Stateless Infrastructure

For this blog: stick with blockchain = any chain achieving real-time strict global consensus (including rollups); stateless infra = not a chain, no consensus (or loose consensus), but decentralized complements that interact with the above mentioned blockchains.

Current statement:

  • in blockchain world, we have been attuned to honest-majority assumptions, trust running as many nodes as possible is import
  • outside of blockchains, things operate with an honest-minority assumption, as long as there’s one honest party
  1. Servers - This one’s obvious and a well-known quantity.
  2. Servers with redundancy - Add redundancy and the ability for anyone to spin up a server, and you get some decentralization but also retain the max efficiency of traditional servers.
  3. These are maximally decentralized constructions, running peer-to-peer, but there’s no consensus (or loose consensus)
    • run with an honest-minority assumption, and even a network with 10-100 nodes is perfectly decentralized
    • can be certain types there’s one node, thx validity proofs don’t need more (storage proof)
    • Stateless infra can enable a lot of features incorrectly attributed to blockchains, but without the burden of consensus
    • can have a state but not a real-time strict consensus state with strict state transitions associated with blockchains

Why do we need stateless infra

Current statement:

  • blockchains are extremely inefficient, requiring tens of thousands of time overheads over a server for the same compute
  • validity proof and DAS aim to be a solution for more efficiency


  • zk tech can scale up to a million chains with universal synchronous composability and shared-security = million time improvement over monolithic chains, but it’s not enough
  • take a hybrid approach, while retaining decentralization
    • run on p2p with client running on each person’s computer
    • stuff that needs to be coordinated on servers → moved to a p2p stateless infrastructure
    • struff that needs verifiability but no consensus→ run on ZK coprocessors
    • stuff that needs strict global consensus → run on zkR/validiums

= parallelizing across multiple cores and multiple machines is much easier with stateless infra, which can lead to exponentially higher scale.

Decentralisation of Stateless infra vs Blockchain


  • need to achieve strict global consensus (difficult process) + expensive Sybil resistance mechanism with honest-majority assumptions
  • block production mechanism is at best a plutocracy (proof-of-stake) and at worst a corporatocracy (proof-of-work) → mitigate by node running but still operate with honest-majority assumptions + need thousands of nodes to achieve any level of resilience for the consensus-forming process

Stateless Infra:

  • most of them will be fine with honest-minority assumptions → as long as there’s one node, it’s all fine
  • they can be much more decentralizeds with much fewer nodes + fewer points of failure and centralization = In short, if strict global consensus is not required, peer-to-peer stateless infra is both more efficient and more decentralized than blockchains.

Relation between social networks and their third-parties

Source Social networks are getting stingy with their data, leaving third-party developers in the lurch from Ivan Mehta

Prev statement - open network

  • compagies enable third-party access to those APIs and enable them to build on top of these platforms, offering a new experience leverage by that platform

Current statement - restricted social network

  • big companies decide to change their terms to shut out third-party exp on top of these platforms (Twitter, Redit…)
    • why: social networks realized that they were sitting on massive troves of data
  • shuttered free access to its API and raised prices for other tiers = platform monetize their data of their social networks
    • limited experience, high pricing
  • social networks want to protect their data from AI

Potential future statement - new wave of social networks

  • support third-party app, no real restrictions apart from rate limiting and pagination (prevent abuse of the API)
  • provide same tools and APIs to third-party devs as the ones they use to build their official apps
  • this new wave is also powered by big companies; their positions as side- parties are not always clear, and that can reserve surprise in the future

Personal comment:

On the other side, with a decentralized social network like Farcaster, we see full support for new clients and third-parties to build on top of the network. Zora is also a good example of an open network (hyperstructure) that supports third parties to leverage a new experience around the base protocol.