25 April, 2024



A16z Crypto Launches Ethereum Light Client Helios

08 Nov, 2022

22 Nov, 2023

American venture-capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z),  announced the launch of Helios, a Rust-based Ethereum Light client, which provides fully trustless access to Ethereum.

With the recent switch to Proof of Stake, Ethereum was able to introduce its light client protocol, creating new possibilities for efficiently communicating with the blockchain and verifying RPC endpoints with the least amount of hardware.

Helios is a Rust-built Ethereum light client that provides trustless access to Ethereum. Helios converts data from an untrustworthy centralized RPC source into a verifiably secure local RPC. It collaborates with centralized RPCs to provide authenticity verification without maintaining a complete node.

In his tweet response to research engineer Noah Citron from a16z, Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin stated:

“Amazing to see more and more companies in the Ethereum ecosystem contributing and building infrastructure! Great work by a16zcrypto.”

Helios has an execution layer and a consensus layer, just like all other Ethereum clients. However, Helios tightly couples both layers so that users only need to install and run one piece of software.

The Helios consensus layer connects to an untrusted RPC and uses a previously known beacon chain blockhash to verifiably sync to the most recent block.

The Helios execution layer employs these authenticated beacon chain blocks in conjunction with an untrusted execution layer RPC to validate arbitrary chain state information such as account balances, contract storage, transaction receipts, and smart contract call results. These components provide users with fully trustless RPC without needing a full node.

The tradeoff between portability and decentralization is a common pain point, but our client – which we’ve made available to the public to build on and more – syncs in around two seconds, requires no storage, and allows users to access secure chain data from any device (including mobile phones and browser extensions)

reads a16z’s recent blog post.

Users can use Helios as their RPC provider in MetaMask and access dapps trustlessly without making any other changes. Furthermore, Rust’s WebAssembly support enables app developers to embed Helios easily inside Javascript applications such as wallets and dapps.

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