Winding down support for Akula project
Akula project (https://github.com/akula-bft/akula) was started last year when we realised there is large amount of interest in a high-performance Ethereum implementation in Rust after the sun-setting of OpenEthereum. We also had “know-how” from our multi-year work on Erigon. The start was very challenging, because most of the initial building blocks had to be written from scratch, and practically by a single individual, Artem (https://github.com/vorot93). That includes EVM implementation, bindings for the embedded database MDBX, fast RLP library, entire devp2p implementation, to name a few. More developers joined the project later, to bring about things like downloader for blocks and headers, and computation of the state root in a similar fashion to Erigon.
From our point of view, this is an amazing progress, done by a very small team in reasonably short time. Of course, now that Akula have some real users, it also needs to deal with support issues.
Recently, it has come to our attention, that there is another Ethereum implementation in Rust, with nearly identical scope as Akula, and with some of the same/similar building blocks. It will be open sourced and presented to the public very soon. After discussing the matter, we have come to a decision to unwind our technological, managerial and financial support for Akula. We think that the other project will, after it is open sourced, become better supported and more popular, and will very quickly match and overtake Akula in functionality. Therefore, we do not see how Akula will be able to attract future funding from grants (and this is how it is funded now), and consequently, it does not make sense to spend our scare resources on it. We also know that the entity behind the new project has resources and influence incomparable to ours.
Of course, we cannot “close” or “shut down” Akula project, because it is public and open-source, so anyone is able to fork it and continue development. However, we are winding down the management of the project and the technology transfer.