RFP 9 - Cost of Pre-Confirmations & Creating a Market for Sequencers Distributing Pre-Confirmations

Researcher: TBD


The aim of this initiative is to create a market for sequencers that distribute pre-confirmations to users and applications. To accomplish this, we must first determine the existing costs of pre-confirmations.

This research will thus contribute the following:

  • A model for a market where sequencers distribute pre-confirmations

Background & Problem Statement


Core background concepts/definitions are as follows:

Pre-Confirmations (preconfs):

Pre-confirmations are a growing concept in the rollup space. Many rollups offer pre-confirmation of their blocks before they are committed, i.e. before they are sent down to a data availability (DA) layer. Some mechanisms for enabling pre-confirmation of rollup blocks are as follows:

  • Soft finality is guaranteed over rollup transactions before they are posted to a DA layer based on the consensus between node operators on a shared settlement layer or sovereign rollup. This only works for rollups where transaction settlement occurs on a separate layer from the DA layer.
  • Sequencers are required to post collateral that can be penalized by the rollup if they do not post the block to the DA after a certain timeframe.

Technical details of various pre-confirmation models can be found in the references attached at the end of this document.

Pre-confirmations act to speed up the user experience. Based rollups, for example, can offer pre-confirmations. Justin Drake of Ethereum Research states that Based preconfs offer a competitive user experience for based sequencing, with latencies on the order of 100ms.

However, pre-confirmations have a limited security model, as there is a limited ability to make guarantees to many participants simultaneously.

Problem Statement

The problem here is that the benefits of pre-confirmations are not adequately capitalized upon with existing markets. Moreover, there is a limited amount of pre-confirmations that can be given simultaneously.

Thus, the question that this research aims to address is as follows:

  • How much do pre-confirmations cost?
  • How can pre-confirmations be distributed by sequencers?

Plan & Deliverables

Expected outputs/deliverables are as follows:

  • A greater understanding of how pre-confirmations are currently priced
  • A model for a market where sequencers distribute pre-confirmations to users and apps

The plan for achieving this output is outlined below:

Experiment 1: Determining costs of pre-confirmations

To address the first research question above, we will look at data from various rollups to understand the costs of existing pre-confirmations.

Experiment 2: Developing a model for a pre-confirmations market

Using the data from the experiment above, we will create a pre-confirmations market wherein sequencers distribute pre-confirmations to users and protocols alike in a manner that is fair, secure, and accurately priced. Thus, users and protocols can benefit from faster experiences as they interact with rollups, thanks to pre-confirmations.


How to Participate

If you’re a researcher who believes that you would be a good fit to contribute to any of the Composable RFPs, please reach out to Composable’s Lead Research Associate, Sydney Sweck, at sydney@composable.finance. In the email, be sure to include:

  • The RFP number(s) you’d like to contribute to
  • Your relevant background experience
  • How you think you could contribute to the research