Cryptocurrencies
02
Feb
celestia

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What is Celestia (TIA)?

Celestia is the first modular blockchain on the market. Celestia was founded by British Mustafa Al-Bassam, who has an interesting background as a hacker. Modularity and DAS (Data Availability Sampling) technology are at the core of Celestia’s technical implementation. Using Celestia requires downloading a compatible wallet.

TIA tokens entered the market on October 31, 2023, when Celestia’s MainNet was launched. You can invest in Celestia by buying its native TIA token. Buying TIA tokens is easy on major cryptocurrency exchanges.

What is Celestia (TIA)?

Celestia is the first modular blockchain on the market. It offers a data availability layer for application developers that can be connected to multiple processing layers. These processing layers are different types of blockchains, and they are called sovereign chains in the Celestia architecture. Sovereign chains can have different purposes and also utilize different technologies.

Cosmos and Polkadot are examples of projects that connect independent blockchains through a shared consensus layer. Their limitation is the requirement for uniform technical implementation.

The interoperability category of Cosmos and Polkadot is probably the most appropriate classification for Celestia because there are not many modular blockchains on the market yet. This means Celestia is not a competitor to smart contract platforms like Ethereum or Solana.

The table below contains basic information about Celestia.

FeatureInfo
Founder Mustafa Al-Bassam
Category Data availability layer
Ticker TIA
Circulating supply 162 million TIA
Max supply 1 billion TIA
All-time high (date) $20.26 (Jan 15, 2024)
All-time low (date) $2.03 (Oct 31, 2023)

You can follow the real-time price of Celestia from this page: Celestia (TIA) price.

Celestia’s native token is also called Celestia and uses the ticker TIA. The token entered the market with Celestia’s MainNet launch on October 31, 2023, immediately gaining great popularity among investors. Celestia quickly rose to the top 50 list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Due to its innovative implementation, Celestia can be considered a project with great potential. It offers promising solutions to the scalability problems of traditional blockchains. Celestia is an attractive option for applications that require high performance and efficiency without forgetting decentralization at the consensus level.

History of Celestia

Celestia was founded by British Mustafa Al-Bassam, who has an interesting background as a hacker. Al-Bassam is one of the founders of a hacker group called LulzSec. LulzSec made several attacks on the servers of global corporate giants and also took down the CIA website.

Al-Bassam was arrested in 2011 but did not serve time in prison because he was a minor at the time of the incident. After his arrest, Al-Bassam left the world of hackers and studied telecommunications technology at a university in London.

Mustafa Al-Bassam first learned about Bitcoin in the early 2010s and was interested in scaling blockchains. He launched a startup called Chainspace in 2017 and was part of the Ethereum community. Al-Bassam and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin have also published a research paper together.

Celestia’s roots date back to 2019 when Mustafa Al-Bassam published a research paper called LazyLedger. In this document, Al-Bassam described how DAS (Data Availability Sampling) technology could improve the scalability of blockchains.

Al-Bassam assembled a team around LazyLedger to build an implementation of DAS technology. Ishmail Khoffi joined him from the Cosmos core team with John Adler, the inventor of the Optimistic Rollups technology. Quite a capable trio!

Below is a picture of Celestia’s founders.

celestia founders

Celestia was known as LazyLedger during its inception. However, in June 2021, the LazyLedger name was abandoned, and the project was rebranded as Celestia. Celestia means heavenly in Latin.

The year 2022 was very important in Celestia’s history. At that time, the project convinced significant investors and collected enough capital to complete the development work. Several big-name venture capitalists, such as Polychain Capital, Galaxy, and Coinbase Ventures, backed Celestia.

During 2022, Celestia took huge leaps forward from a technical point of view, as its Testnet started operating in the summer of the same year.

Celestia’s MainNet was launched on October 31, 2023. Below is the official announcement on X.

On the same day, Celestia released its TIA native currency, distributed to the market as an airdrop according to various pre-defined criteria.

Celestia has garnered investor attention by being the first modular blockchain to utilize DAS technology. The launch of its MainNet has been called the beginning of the era of modular blockchains.

Celestia’s technology

Modularity and DAS (Data Availability Sampling) technology are at the core of Celestia’s technical implementation. Next, let’s go through the content of these terms in more detail.

Modularity

Modularity means that Celestia separates the processing and consensus layers. These layers are at the core of every cryptocurrency and are normally part of one blockchain.

Ethereum is a good example, as it updated its consensus layer in 2022 (The Merge) by moving from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake consensus. The update was possible because transaction processing and validation (consensus) are separated. However, this is not the same as Celestia’s modularity.

Celestia separates consensus & data storage into a separate blockchain from the processing layer. The image below helps to understand the solution.

celestia modularity

As you can see in the picture, a processing layer can be built on top of Celestia’s consensus & data layer using different technologies. Ethereum Layer 2s can use Celestia, but it can also be a Cosmos sidechain or a blockchain built on Solana EVM. The processing layers of Celestia can even use different programming languages.

The idea behind the modular implementation is to remove the limitations that plague traditional blockchains. These are often called monolithic blockchains. Celestia can provide cheap, fast, scalable, and distributed data storage, allowing app developers to focus on other areas.

Data availability sampling (DAS)

In addition to the modular structure, it is important to highlight the previously mentioned DAS, i.e., data availability sampling. DAS is a technology that reduces data storage and processing requirements for a blockchain.

With the help of DAS, network nodes maintaining Celestia’s blockchain do not need to download the entire transaction data when they validate transactions. They can be validated only with a small sample of the data.

A random sample is created when an event is recorded in Celestia’s sovereign chains. The sample contains only the most important information about the event, such as the time stamp, the type of event, and the parties to the event. This enables the operation of DAS and brings excellent scalability and performance to Celestia combined with low fees.

DAS is an important part of Celestia’s success story. It allows the blockchain to scale safely when the number of users grows, even if the amount of data increases significantly. DAS also improves Celestia’s decentralization, as the node’s hardware requirements are significantly lower than Solana’s.

The following quote is from Celestia.org:

When implemented in blockchain designs like Celestia, data availability sampling enables light nodes to contribute to both the security and throughput of the network with significantly cheaper hardware than that of full nodes.

Thanks to this, running a node is a reality for many people. The same argument is used a lot for Bitcoin as well.

Celestia wallet

Using Celestia requires downloading a compatible wallet. By far, the most popular wallet is Keplr Wallet. Keplr is available both as a browser extension and as a mobile wallet. You can download it to your mobile device from the App Store and Google Play Store.

You can find more information about the wallet on the keplr.app website.

keplr

Keplr Wallet is a very versatile wallet. It supports not only Celestia but several other blockchains. The wallet’s user interface is also clear and beginner-friendly.

The wallet allows the user to send and receive cryptos and use the distributed applications of the Celestia ecosystem. Staking Celestia’s TIA token is also possible via Keplr Wallet.

Celestia’s TIA Token

TIA tokens entered the market on October 31, 2023, when Celestia’s MainNet was launched. Next, let’s review its use cases and features.

Celestia’s TIA token has the following uses:

  • Paying for transaction fees (gas fee).
  • Paying for the use of the data layer
  • Staking in Celestia’s Proof of Stake consensus

TIA also serves as Celestia’s governance token. TIA token holders can influence Celestia’s development through voting.

Inflation is set in Celestia, so there is no theoretical maximum supply of TIA tokens. Inflation is 8 percent in the first year, after which it decreases annually by 10 percent until inflation reaches a level of 1.5 percent.

celestia inflation

At the MainNet launch, one billion Celestia TIA tokens were created. Of these, 200 million went to public distribution, and the rest to ecosystem development, the team, and early-stage investors.

  • Early backers, series A&B: 19.7%
  • Early backers, seed: 15.9 %
  • Initial core contributors: 17.6%
  • Public allocation: 20%
  • R&D ecosystem: 26.8%

During the MainNet launch, 267 million tokens were unlocked (the public allocation and 67 million tokens from R&D), of which a little more than 160 million were circulated when writing the article. The vesting schedule of the TIA token is discussed in more detail in the next paragraph.

Celestia as an investment

You can invest in Celestia by buying its TIA native token. The first months of the TIA token were a big success, as its value increased by hundreds of percent during the end of 2023. Good timing contributed to this, as the entire crypto market rose in the last quarter of 2023.

From an investor’s point of view, it is important to be aware of the TIA token’s vesting schedule, i.e., the schedule when tokens are unlocked. Token unlocks allow early-stage investors to cash out their profits. If the market is not trending upward and many investors want to cash out, these actions can hurt the TIA price.

celestia tia vesting

For investors, 30 October 2024 is an important day. That day will mark a significant unlocking of tokens, and more than 500 million TIA tokens will be released to the market the following year. In the first years, Celestia’s inflation is also quite high.

It is good to remember that the project has only been on the market for a short time. Celestia’s potential as an investment depends on how well it utilizes its unique technical implementation. If Celestia can truly solve the scalability issues of traditional blockchains, it can potentially become one of the most prominent blockchains on the market.

Celestia’s advantage will be its status as the first modular blockchain. However, the competition is getting tougher very quickly. Modularity looks like it will be one of the hottest buzzwords in 2024. Celestia already has competitors in this sector and can also be seen competing with projects like Cosmos and Polkadot.

Celestia’s weakness is the simplicity of its data layer. A mere data storage is not enough to solve anything. Celestia needs to attract app developers to build blockchains and dapps on top of it. If Celestia succeeds in this, the demand for the TIA token will increase significantly, and Celestia can become the leading data availability solution on the market.

How to buy Celestia (TIA)

Buying Celestia’s TIA token is easy from major cryptocurrency exchanges. By far, the best liquidity for the TIA/USDT trading pair can be found on Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange on the market.

Buy Celestia on Binance

ByBit and Kraken are also popular exchanges for buying Celestia. You can store Celestia’s TIA tokens at the exchange where you bought them. For long-term storage, it is recommended that you download a wallet. The aforementioned Keplr Wallet is well suited for this purpose.

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