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Exploring Velas' Sealevel Runtime Environment

Welcome to the latest edition in our series, Exploring Velas' Innovative Technologies. Throughout this series, we delve into the cutting-edge technologies propelling Velas forward as a leading blockchain platform, reshaping the landscape of decentralized applications (DApps) and pushing the boundaries of blockchain innovation.

Today, we'll embark on a journey to understand Velas' Sealevel Runtime Environment, a game-changing innovation that propels smart contracts to new heights, the problem it solves, its significance in the blockchain landscape, and how it outshines its predecessors. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of Velas' Sealevel Runtime Environment and discover how it transforms the landscape of decentralized applications.


The journey of blockchain technology has been marked by a continuous quest for innovation and improvement. From its humble beginnings as the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain has evolved into a multifaceted ecosystem with far-reaching implications across industries. It has also transformed the way we conceptualize, store, and transfer value using decentralized consensus mechanisms and cryptographic techniques to enable trustless and transparent transactions. It is fostering a new era of digital sovereignty and autonomy, enabling everything from peer-to-peer payments to decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

However, while the foundational principles of blockchain remain steadfast, the practical implementation of these concepts has given rise to a myriad of challenges and complexities. One such challenge lies in the execution of smart contracts—the self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code. These smart contracts form the backbone of decentralized applications, enabling a wide range of functionalities, from decentralized finance (DeFi) to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and beyond.

As the demand for decentralized applications continues to grow, so too does the need for robust and efficient execution environments capable of handling complex computations, managing state transitions, and ensuring secure and reliable transaction processing. This is where blockchain execution environments come into play. 

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the intricacies of blockchain execution environments, exploring the challenges they seek to address, the solutions they offer, and the implications they have for the future of decentralized innovation. Through a comprehensive examination of Velas' Sealevel runtime environment, we will uncover the groundbreaking technologies and capabilities that are shaping the next generation of blockchain applications.

Understanding Blockchain Execution Environments

Execution environments serve as the underlying infrastructure for running smart contracts and processing transactions on a blockchain network. They provide a framework for deploying, executing, and interacting with smart contracts and play a crucial role in ensuring the integrity, security, and efficiency of blockchain-based transactions and computations. 

However, not all execution environments are created equal. The design choices, architectural considerations, and underlying technologies employed in these environments can have a profound impact on their performance, efficiency, and usability. From single-threaded runtimes to parallel processing engines, the evolution of blockchain execution environments has been driven by the need for greater scalability, throughput, and flexibility.

Blockchain Execution Environments

Blockchain execution environments are software platforms or frameworks that enable the execution of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) on a blockchain network. They provide developers with the tools and capabilities needed to write, deploy, and execute code in a decentralized and trustless manner.

At the foundation of a blockchain execution environment is a virtual machine or runtime environment that interprets and executes smart contract code. This runtime environment is responsible for ensuring the deterministic execution of code, maintaining consensus across the network, and managing interactions with the underlying blockchain infrastructure.

Ethereum Virtual Machine

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is one of the prominent and most popular blockchain execution environments launched with Ethereum blockchain in 2015. It is renowned for pioneering the concept of smart contracts, a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement directly written into code. This innovation has enabled a wide range of decentralized applications to be built on the Ethereum blockchain, including decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, and decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

The EVM serves as the runtime environment for executing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, enabling developers to write code in high-level programming languages like Solidity and deploy it directly onto the blockchain. However, despite its pioneering role in the development of decentralized applications, the EVM has inherent limitations that have hindered its scalability and performance. 

One of the most significant drawbacks of the EVM is its single-threaded nature, which means that smart contracts are executed sequentially, one after the other. This sequential processing model not only limits the throughput of the Ethereum network but also results in higher transaction fees and longer confirmation times during periods of network congestion.

Moreover, the design of the EVM's storage model poses challenges for concurrent execution and parallel processing of transactions. In the EVM, each smart contract maintains its own storage space, leading to potential conflicts and bottlenecks when multiple contracts attempt to access or modify shared data concurrently. This limitation further exacerbates scalability issues and constrains the capacity of the Ethereum network to handle a growing volume of transactions.

Despite efforts to optimize the performance of the EVM through techniques like gas optimization and layer 2 scaling solutions, these approaches have only provided incremental improvements and have not addressed the underlying architectural limitations of the EVM.

In light of these challenges, there has been a growing recognition of the need for more efficient and scalable blockchain execution environments that can support the next generation of decentralized applications. These environments aim to overcome the limitations of existing systems like the EVM and pave the way for a new era of blockchain innovation and adoption.

Enterprises and research groups have attempted to solve the problem of blockchain execution environments by introducing novel approaches and architectures. However, many of these solutions have struggled to achieve widespread adoption due to various factors such as complexity, lack of compatibility, and inadequate performance.

Introduction to Velas' Sealevel Runtime Environment

Velas' Sealevel Runtime Environment represents a groundbreaking solution to the scalability and performance challenges that have plagued traditional blockchain platforms. By leveraging innovative parallel processing techniques and a unique account model, Sealevel introduces a new era of efficiency and scalability to the world of decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts with its hyper-parallelized transaction processing engine designed to scale horizontally across GPUs and SSDs. 

How Sealevel Works

Sealevel leverages innovative technologies and design principles to achieve parallel transaction execution on the Solana blockchain. Transactions specify upfront the state they will read and write while executing, enabling the runtime to identify non-overlapping state transition functions within a block and execute them in parallel. This approach, known as parallel execution, optimizes the scheduling of read and writes to the state across an array of RAID 0 SSDs, enhancing transaction throughput and efficiency.

Sealevel doesn't execute transactions within the VM itself. Instead, it hands off transactions to be executed on hardware natively using industry-proven bytecode called the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF). This bytecode, optimized since the early '90s, has been deployed in production in millions of switches worldwide, demonstrating its ability to handle high-performance packet filters. By leveraging BPF, Sealevel ensures high-performance transaction execution on the Solana blockchain.

Understanding the Architecture of Sealevel

Parallel Processing for Enhanced Throughput

Unlike traditional blockchain platforms that process transactions sequentially, Sealevel empowers Velas to execute multiple smart contracts simultaneously. This parallel processing capability is similar to upgrading from a congested single-lane road to a high-speed superhighway, where thousands of transactions can be processed concurrently without impacting each other's performance.

Account Model for Enhanced Efficiency

A key aspect of Sealevel's architecture is its innovative account model, which distinguishes Velas from its predecessors. Unlike Ethereum's approach of allocating storage for each smart contract within its account, Velas adopts a bifurcated model. In this model, on-chain programs reside in immutable accounts containing only executable bytecode, while the program's state is stored separately in non-executable accounts. This separation of program execution from state storage minimizes conflicts and enhances transaction efficiency, allowing for smoother parallel execution.

Transaction Processing Mechanism

Sealevel introduces a novel transaction processing mechanism that optimizes the execution of smart contracts on the Velas network. Transactions specify upfront the state they will read and write during execution, enabling Sealevel to identify non-overlapping state transitions within a block. These non-conflicting transactions are then executed in parallel across multiple cores, maximizing computational resources and reducing latency. By efficiently scheduling read and write operations across an array of SSDs, Sealevel ensures rapid transaction processing without sacrificing security or decentralization.

Advantages of Sealevel to the Velas Ecosystem

In this section, we'll delve into the myriad benefits and advantages offered by Velas' Sealevel runtime environment, highlighting its transformative impact on decentralized application (DApp) development and blockchain scalability.

Unprecedented Transaction Throughput: One of the most significant advantages of Sealevel is its ability to deliver unparalleled transaction throughput. By leveraging parallel processing techniques and a sophisticated account model, Sealevel enables Velas to process thousands of transactions per second, far surpassing the capabilities of traditional blockchain platforms. This high throughput not only enhances the user experience by reducing transaction confirmation times but also opens up new possibilities for the development of high-performance DApps.

Scalability and Horizontal Scaling: Sealevel's architecture is designed for scalability, allowing Velas to seamlessly handle the growing demands of its user base and ecosystem. With its ability to execute multiple smart contracts concurrently and efficiently utilize hardware resources, Sealevel facilitates horizontal scaling, enabling Velas to maintain optimal performance even as network activity increases. This scalability is essential for supporting the widespread adoption of DApps and ensuring the long-term viability of the Velas network.

Enhanced Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness: In addition to its impressive performance metrics, Sealevel offers enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional blockchain platforms. By processing transactions in parallel and optimizing resource utilization, Sealevel minimizes latency and reduces the computational overhead associated with transaction processing. This increased efficiency translates to lower transaction fees for users and developers, making Velas an attractive platform for a wide range of applications, from microtransactions to large-scale enterprise solutions.

Improved Security and Reliability: Sealevel's innovative design principles also contribute to improved security and reliability on the Velas network. The separation of program execution from state storage minimizes the risk of conflicts and ensures that smart contracts operate in a secure and deterministic environment. Furthermore, Sealevel's transaction processing mechanism prioritizes efficiency without compromising on decentralization or network security, ensuring that Velas remains resilient in the face of potential threats and attacks.

Empowering Developers and Innovation: Finally, Sealevel empowers developers to unleash their creativity and innovation by providing a robust and flexible platform for building DApps. With its high throughput, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, Sealevel enables developers to focus on creating innovative solutions without being constrained by the limitations of traditional blockchain architectures. This developer-centric approach fosters a vibrant ecosystem of DApps on the Velas network, driving adoption and fueling the next wave of blockchain innovation.


In this comprehensive exploration of Velas' Sealevel runtime environment, we've delved into the revolutionary technologies powering decentralized applications (DApps) on the Velas blockchain. From its inception to its real-world applications, Sealevel stands as a testament to Velas' commitment to scalability, efficiency, and innovation in the blockchain space.

Through its parallel smart contracts runtime, Sealevel has shattered the limitations of traditional blockchain platforms, offering unprecedented throughput, scalability, and efficiency. By harnessing the power of parallel processing, Sealevel enables Velas to process thousands of transactions per second, rivaling and surpassing even the most established players in the industry.

But Sealevel is more than just a high-performance transaction processing engine; it's a catalyst for change in the decentralized ecosystem. By providing developers with the tools and capabilities to build complex, feature-rich DApps without sacrificing speed or efficiency, Sealevel empowers the next generation of blockchain innovation.

As Velas continues to evolve and grow, Sealevel will remain at the forefront of its development, driving progress and pushing the boundaries of what's possible in decentralized finance, gaming, NFTs, and beyond. With Sealevel as its engine, Velas is poised to revolutionize the blockchain industry and usher in a new era of decentralized innovation.

In conclusion, Sealevel represents the culmination of Velas' vision for a faster, more scalable, and more efficient blockchain ecosystem. With its unparalleled performance and groundbreaking capabilities, Sealevel is not just a smart contracts runtime environment—it's a game-changer for the decentralized world.