Introducing Ronin: Axie Infinity's Ethereum Sidechain
From the early days of Axie Infinity, we’ve been obsessed with bringing fun gameplay and sound economic design to the world of blockchain gaming. Our community has grown tremendously and we’ve embarked on some truly novel experiments around ideas of true ownership and play to earn gaming. Along with this growth has come the ability to observe the major pain points in our community's experience playing Axie.
One issue that has been a perpetual thorn in our side is Ethereum network congestion. Network congestion is a tricky beast — with gas remaining low for months at a time only to resurface and slow our economy to a standstill.
Scaling Axie With Ronin
In order for Axie Infinity to reach our second, third, and fourth-degree connections (the friends and family of our friends and family) Axie needs a long term solution that makes participating in the Axie game & economy, fast, cheap, and seamless. We need it to be fun and easy!
That’s why today we’re announcing our work on Ronin — an Ethereum-linked sidechain made specifically for Axie Infinity. A Ronin was a samurai without a master in feudal Japan and Ronin represents our desire to take the destiny of our product into our own hands.
Benefits for Axie Players
Ronin will allow us to take the usability of Axie to the next level, setting us up to welcome the next generation of trainers, thinkers, and explorers to Lunacia.
Ronin will come with:
Fast & seamless transactions with almost instant confirmation.
Drastically reduced gas fees. In addition, rather than paying Ethereum miners — the gas fees could be retained by the community and used for things like tournaments & bounties.
The ability to withdraw Axie assets back to Ethereum Mainnet.
Simplified on-boarding for new users, through a customized wallet solution.
A block explorer for transparency and data accessibility.
Why We’re Building This
We believe that one-size-fits-all approaches to scaling leave much to be desired. Every product, every community has different needs when it comes to a scaling solution. In addition, the current scaling solutions are often designed for DeFi use cases or simple asset exchange whereas the needs of the Axie community are more complex (and interesting!).
We believe that it’s worth the extra effort building solutions to solve our community’s most difficult problems ourselves. A strong example of this is the in-house Axie marketplace. While Axies trade on a variety of other NFT exchanges — 97% of the volume flows through our marketplace. While we strongly believe in the Web3 ideals of openness and cooperation — we also believe that nobody is going to put as much care, thought, and intuition into products serving our community as us.
Security & Consensus
To help secure Ronin, we have recruited an all-star cast of partners from the traditional gaming, crypto, and nonfungible token space to serve as validators of our network. We’ll be announcing the Ronin validators as we get closer to launch.
The Future of Ronin
Here’s a message directly from Trung, CEO of Sky Mavis:
“We are very excited about the possibilities Ronin brings. Though it’s still in an early state, Ronin will continuously evolve over the years to serve the spirit and ethos of blockchain gaming. On the technical side, we are also looking into various solutions to further strengthen and scale Ronin. zKSyncs, for example, is looking promising, but it could take time until it’s production-ready — particularly for NFTs and games.”
As Vitalik himself just mentioned today, the current layer 2 implementations are “by and large limited to payments and DEX.” We are interested in contributing to the sustainable scaling of NFTs on Ethereum — an area that hasn’t gotten enough attention. Loom Network’s pivot away from NFTs has also expedited our plans to take control of our long term scaling strategy.
For those interested in learning more about the exciting state of Ethereum scaling, we recommend this excellent overview written by Anthony Sassano: Ready Layer Two — The Daily Gwei #11.
What does this mean for your Axies & Land?
Our plan for current Axie infinity assets (Axies, Land, land items) is to migrate them over to Ronin this year. The Sky Mavis team will handle migration for users, although users will be able to choose to do it themselves if they prefer. We will re-deploy all significant Axie-related smart contracts on Ronin. This will also represent an opportunity to upgrade our existing contracts to make the Axie user experience more intuitive.
Axies will be deposited via a smart contract on Ethereum. When Axies are inside the contract they will be usable on Ronin.
We will write a detailed blogpost about migration once we get closer to the event itself.
Get Involved with Axie!
The Axie community is always looking for new thinkers, creators, competitors, and builders!
Make sure to:
Pick up some Axies & Land.
Research the Axie ecosystem.
Stay tuned — we’ve got plenty of updates coming this year!