Rollup for Specific Applications: Balancing the Tradeoff between Connection and Control

Variant Fund researcher Alana Levin elaborated on the pros and cons of using specific application Rollups and how applications can decide whether to build on specific application Rollups. She believes that the real turning point for specific application Rollups will come in 6-12 months.

The core of the decision to use a specific application Rollup is actually a simple question: Would users still use it if the application is on its own chain? The advantages of a specific application Rollup come from better control: the ability to abstract gas costs, limit congestion caused by other application activities on the chain, better experimentation with token usage, exploration of different economic structures, building custom execution environments, implementing access control, and so on.

There are many forms of connection, the two most important being attention and funding. Attention is related to native distribution. In my opinion, applications that currently have native distribution capabilities include Mirror, Zora, Manifold,, and OnCyber. Existing capital in the ecosystem can help eliminate barriers to adoption by users, rather than trying to convince users to bridge to a new ecosystem. As interoperability solutions improve, the trade-off between connection and control also becomes less severe.

The idea of application chains and Rollups is not new, but for a long time, we have faced the dilemma of having a lot of infrastructure being built without any users. My assumption is that the real turning point will come (at least) 6-12 months later. Games and social applications have the most obvious product market fit with a specific application Rollup. For applications that are less financially oriented, attracting attention is the most critical factor.


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