ByBit’s new Layer-2: Mantle Network Opportunity Deep Dive | Weekly Digest

July 3, 2023

Welcome to another Crypto Weekly Digest brought to you by VirtualBacon. This week’s edition will focus on the Mantle Network, a new layer-2 network built by the major Crypto exchange ByBit, and will soon launch its token and mainnet through a merger with the BitDAO project.

We will dissect the architecture of the Mantle Network, its operating mechanics, and importantly, its unique value proposition in comparison to the existing layer-2 solutions.

What Is Mantle Network?

Mantle Network, proposed in 2022, is an Ethereum layer-2 network that combines optimistic rollups with a robust data availability solution. They call this a “modular” approach that combines different advantages of varies Layer-2s.

Functioning as an Optimistic Sidechain, Mantle offers similar Ethereum compatibility as Arbitrum and Optimism but operates as an independent chain. This means developers can leverage Ethereum's smart contracts and tools with minimal disruption, boosting its adaptability.

Despite its efficiency, it's worth noting Mantle's sidechain design does bring about some decentralization trade-offs. In essence, Mantle Network is redefining the way we perceive blockchain, pushing the boundaries of performance and compatibility in the Layer-2 ecosystem.

The Technology Behind Mantle Network

The Mantle Network champions a robust infrastructure featuring its Modular Blockchain Rollups, which optimize blockchain operations by segregating execution, consensus, settlement, and data availability into distinct layers. This multi-layered structure paves the way for a dramatic cut in gas costs and an uptick in overall performance, securing the network and lightening the computational burden on validators.

To allay security concerns associated with roll-up architecture, Mantle has integrated EigenLayer's data availability solution, EigenDA. It incentivizes nodes to provide data availability services on the network, bolstering data accuracy and paving the way for $MNT staking opportunities.

In its approach to fraud proofs, Mantle leverages an innovative methodology. It encompasses the creation and verification of fraud proofs via EVM instructions, promoting interoperability with Ethereum clients and reducing trust dependencies.

Mantle also provides a streamlined transaction lifecycle, achieving low transaction fees through batch processing of transactions. Coupled with this, data availability nodes ensure data accessibility while earning $MNT rewards. To ensure secure and verifiable transfers between Mantle and Ethereum, the network employs bridging protocols, facilitating seamless integration and broad recognition within the blockchain system.

How Are Bybit, BitDAO & Mantle Related?

The Mantle network is developed and backed by Bybit Exchange, and operates under the governance of BitDAO, a prominent Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). This relationship aligns with BitDAO's mission of democratizing web3 and lowering barriers for users and developers alike. Mantle is designed to leverage the BIT tokens, intrinsic to the BitDAO ecosystem, for transaction processing, project funding, and staking rewards.

Bybit, a major supporter of BitDAO, has demonstrated a keen interest in fostering the development of Mantle. Its continuous contributions to the BitDAO treasury solidify the partnership, promising a dynamic progression of Mantle, with the backing of the BitDAO community. In addition, Bybit aspires to introduce its users to Dapps built on the Mantle network, making innovative strides toward immersive Web3 trading experiences.

This unique triad of Bybit, BitDAO, and Mantle generates a synergistic impact, driving the Web3 landscape toward greater decentralization and lower costs, while delivering value to the BitDAO community and enhancing the utility of BIT tokens.

Importance of the Bybit, BitDAO, and Mantle Alliance

BitDAO boasts one of the most substantial DAO treasuries in the cryptocurrency industry, estimated at around $3.5 billion. 71% of this total value is held in BitDAO's native token, BIT. This impressive financial reserve can be primarily attributed to BitDAO's strategic alliance with the centralized exchange, ByBit.

With BitDAO merging with Mantle, this huge financial resource becomes directly available to fortify and expand the Mantle ecosystem.

Additionally, ByBit's consistent support and its vast user base of 15 million+ users offer a sizable and immediate audience for Dapps building on Mantle. These intertwined relationships not only amplify the potential growth for Mantle but also underscore the shared commitment towards fostering a decentralized future.

ByBit's association with Mantle is much like the success Binance experienced with Binance Smart Chain. The numerous tokens introduced on these platforms often gain significant traction, demonstrating the potency of this model. Similarly, ByBit is setting the stage to facilitate direct interaction between its users and the Mantle ecosystem. This could attract a variety of projects to integrate with Mantle, seeking to capitalize on ByBit's user base and replicate Binance's prosperous path. The collaboration between Mantle and ByBit aims to foster a mutually beneficial environment, advantageous for both entities and their users.

ByBit’s Revenue Buybacks of $BIT token

The BIT token, the sole exchange token for ByBit, has already been a part of large buyback and burn campaigns powered by the exchange’s revenue.

A proposal was previously brought to BitDAO's community, which successfully sought approval for a $100 million token buyback program. The approved plan entailed the purchase of BIT tokens at a rate of $2 million USDT daily over a span of 50 consecutive days, starting from January 1, 2023. The initiator of this proposal saw a unique opportunity in the then-current market value of BIT, citing it as a significant discount and an advantageous avenue for capital deployment on BIT-related products.

This program has had significant implications for Mantle, substantially reinforcing its potential and stability. The Mantle token ($MNT), following the rebranding, now benefits from three distinct revenue streams; ByBit's income, the BitDAO treasury-backed initiatives, and the activities directly occurring within the Mantle ecosystem. Such robust backing underscores the strong future prospects of Mantle, building on and enhancing the already solid foundation set by BitDAO.

The $BIT to $MNT Token Migration

The BitDAO community recently approved a significant proposal, BIP-21, through an off-chain governance voting system known as Snapshot. The proposal called for a rebranding of the BitDAO ecosystem to unify the governance structure (BitDAO) and the product (Mantle) under a single banner - Mantle. Following its approval, the BIT token will be replaced by a newly minted Mantle token, streamlining the project's identity and operations in preparation for a Layer-2 mainnet launch.

BIP-21 proposal by BitDAO.

After the proposal's approval, the BitDAO ecosystem is moving towards adopting the Mantle brand with the BIT token transforming into MANTLE. Importantly, all existing ownerships, governance rights, and treasury status associated with the BIT token will be retained under the new MANTLE token.

Starting from June 22, 2023, Bybit will work with Mantle to implement the conversion of BIT to MANTLE tokens. For users, a crucial date is July 17, 2023, when a snapshot of all BIT holdings will be taken, and new MANTLE tokens will be airdropped at a 1:1 ratio. A manual conversion feature for BIT to MANTLE will also be enabled on the same day, marking a new chapter in the Mantle ecosystem's evolution.

The token migration and launch details are shown below:

The BIT token, soon to be renamed as MNT, will play a key role within Mantle's ecosystem. The token will be primarily used for handling gas fees, enabling staking, and propelling ecosystem growth. As a testament to its importance, BIT already sits in the top 75 of all crypto tokens.

The strategic positioning of Mantle could be intriguing to many. As it is poised to function like an unofficial layer-2 chain for ByBit, it differentiates itself from the copy-paste layer-1 offerings of competitors like Huobi Eco Chain or OKX Chain. ByBit and BitDAO is putting a ton of effort into the creation of the Mantle project by implementing a long-term solution as a modular layer-2 blockchain that natively interoperates with Ethereum.

On top of this, the rebrand of the entire project and its token to Mantle, means that ByBit will no longer have an official token and instead will be fully supporting an in-house layer-2 project. This includes continued exchange revenue buybacks, potential exchange listings of the Mantle Ecosystem tokens, and DAO funding through the 3 billion dollar BitDAO initiative.

This approach is highly similar to the early days of the Binance Smart Chain, and I would put the Mantle Network at the top of the exchange-backed blockchain projects right behind Binance Smart Chain. Mantle is miles ahead of other exchange chains like HECO, OKX chain, Kucoin chain etc. Even Cronos network is looking like a low effort in comparison. I believe Mantle can become a serious contender in the Layer-2 space and I’ll be watching this rebrand event closely.

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