Gossipsub may not be the best option for Eth 2


See https://github.com/w3f/messaging/ for an alternative with Whisper v2.0.

For reference, this is the gossipsub spec.



  • it’s not specified or implemented yet


What are the advantages of the alternative (W3F’s) approach?


I’ve edited my post with pros and cons and made it a wiki.


Gossipsub has a different purpose to Whisper v 2.0.

Following is a reply from Jeff Burdges of the Web3 Foundation which cleared up misunderstandings on my part:

We have four unrelated “messaging” projects in the works:

There is gossipsub work for libp2p being handled entirely internally at
Parity. It’s nothing to do with “messaging” in any conventional sense,
just about replacing p2p broadcasts with a more efficient strategy. You
should ask the rust-libp2p developers for more information on this.

In Polkadot, we have an interchain message passing protocol (ICMP) for
polkadot that is 100% about blockchains authenticating blocks, and
nothing to do with normal “messaging”. We also have a more directed
chunk distribution process used in the availability game for polkadot,
where nodes must send very different messages to all other nodes, so
basically the extreme opposite of gossipsup but still all libp2p work.

Finally, the w3f/messaging repo you found exists for cordinating our
work on mix networks. At first blush, mix nets are only for messages
between two individuals, or from an individual to a blockchain, as they
do not obviously support group messaging.

In fact, we do want to support group messaging in the mixnet, but never
via gossip of course. As a rule, gossip protocols are never anonymous
because they cannot provide cryptographic unlinkability.*

We’ve encountered problems with adding important functionality, like
header encryption, to the current best-of-breed group messaging
cryptography like MLS: https://messaginglayersecurity.rocks
We’ll therefore focus on the 1-to-1 case this year, as that presents
enough problems all by itself.