The Teleporter Avalanche subnets

The Teleporter - A new age to Avalanche subnets

This technical article gives an introduction to how Avalanche subnets are designed to work with the Avalanche Warp Messenger (AWM), how the Teleporter enhances the communication of the messaging protocol, and the breakthrough this technology brings for narratives building on the Avalanche network, especially the Game-Fi sector.

Subnet Overview

Every subnet deployed on the Avalanche network is designed to enable specific application functionalities to be met, unlike monolithic networks where applications run on the main network, subnets make applications to be designed on another chain with integrations to the main avalanche network.

With full customizability, subnets are built to meet specific demands abstracting the need for the Avalanche main network to carry out data availability processes, consensus, security, and execution/initiating transactions all at once.

As a Semi-Modular chain, the avalanche P-chain runs all subnet-level operations from providing an index of every validator set, to adding validators and recording accept validators public pair. Where the public key verifies the signatures of a transaction and the private key for signing incoming arbitrary messages for sub-level interactions.

Through this concept, cross-chain communication between subnets is made possible.

How the Avalanche Warp Messenger enhances cross-chain communication between subnets

For cross-chain communication, two subnets need to interact with each other: an origin chain and a destination chain. The AWM as a primitive layer enables sub-level network communication by warping the arbitrary messages sent from the origin chain to the destination chain through BLS signature aggregation.

When adding a validator to the avalanche network, the P-chain responsible for this action records the validator's public key with an identifier to its private key which signs every message on delivery. Processing of messages from the origin chain takes three steps: message signing, signature aggregation, and message delivery.

In a typical concept, a message has to be signed by each of the individual validators, and in cases where the validator set is large, its network becomes congested.

With the Avalanche Warp messenger, through BLS aggregation, the public key pair responsible for signing transactions is aggregated into one single signature (more like a shorter key that can easily sign all outgoing messages). Destination chains on the other hand receive a signed message and verifies the authenticity of the transaction by relying on the information given by the P-chain.

The authenticity of an arbitrary message depends on the following:

  • Staked weight of validators
  • BLS public key.
  1. Staked weight of validators: The combined staked weight of a subnet depends on the total amount of AVAX staked by the validators. A good percentage of validators may sign a message let's say 68%. Subnet B may receive the message and decline the message. Subnets are designed with different rules. Just like Subnet B, it may be designed to authenticate transactions with at least 80% of the staked weight of validators.
  2. BLS Public Keys: This is an aggregation of the public keys of the validators represented by a short multi-signature. During authentication, the destination chain looks up the BLS public key via the details on the P-chain.
A graphical representation on how two subnets sends, receives and verifies interaction with the avalanche warp messenger
Visual explanation on how Avalanche Warp messenger interacts with two subnets

The Teleporter, A new age?

The teleporter is a cross-subnet protocol built on the avalanche warp messenger to enhance and facilitate communication between subnets. The teleporter on a superficial level sounds similar to that of a teleporter with few differences.

  1. It is implemented as a smart contract.
  2. Introduction of incentives for message delivery (happens on the Origin subnet).
  3. Replay Protection and other functions.
A non-descriptive image
The Teleporter

Implementation as a smart contract

The teleporter is solely implemented to ease the flow of Dapp developers while communicating with subnets.

Through the functionalities of the teleporter, functions are implemented within to call a contract TeleporterMessenger which invokes a smart contract on another teleporter-compatible subnet. Manual authentication is disabled and transactions run by interacting with smart contracts. Click here to read more on how the smart contracts interact between subnets.

Incentives for message delivery

Through this mechanism, messages are sent on a smart contract level hence gas fees must be paid for transactions to be processed. Relayers are optionally incentivized to broadcast transactions to the destination chain after a contract call has been initiated.

Replay Protection

This is enabled by the teleporter protocol ensuring that messages are not sent twice to the destination chains and reducing incentivization possibilities to relayers.

Closing thoughts

Our previous article highlights were given on various subnets built on Avalanche.

The teleporter is a highly crucial and scaling development, especially for gaming chains. For example, a gaming subnet could send a message to another gaming subnet to initiate a cross-game trade, update player status, or share game state information.

The arbitrary message could include details about the trade, such as the items being exchanged, the players involved, and any other relevant information. The receiving subnet would then verify the message using the BLS Multi-signature (as explained earlier) and process the message accordingly, ensuring that the transaction or update is valid and secure.

This interoperability isn't limited to public subnets but private subnets as well and subnets built for other ecosystems can create an interaction between subnets from one ecosystem to another.

Through better user experience, onboarding becomes possible moving forward, this gives room for Avalanche to be considered as a chain for all possibilities.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this site should be construed as a financial investment recommendation. It’s important to understand that investing is a high-risk activity. Investments expose money to potential loss.



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