What Is a Modular Blockchain?

Last Modified:
March 1, 2024

When a blockchain needs to process so many transactions at once, the network can become congested. When this happens, users need to wait much longer for their transactions to be completed. One way to solve this problem is to use modular blockchains, or blockchains composed of different “modules” that work in tandem to speed up tasks.

Blockchains carry out the following functions:

  • Executing transactions
  • Verifying and recording new data
  • Storing data and making it available to the whole network
  • Keeping the network stable and secure

Networks like Bitcoin, where all these functions take place in a single chain, are called monolithic blockchains. Because a single chain handles all the work, monolithic blockchains tend to get overloaded during peak user activity. When that happens, users may have to wait up to several hours to complete a transaction.

In contrast, modular blockchains split these functions across multiple chains. Each chain focuses on only one or two specific tasks. For example, one chain can be optimized for transaction execution, another for data verification, and yet another for data storage. These specialized chains operate simultaneously, resulting in faster transactions and higher network capacity.

Examples include:

  • Celestia - for making data available
  • ZK-Sync - for executing transactions

What are the benefits of a modular blockchain?


Compared to monolithic blockchains, it’s easier to optimize, customize, or upgrade the individual parts of a modular blockchain without affecting the whole system. 

Ease of Testing

It is easier to test new features in one part of the blockchain without impacting the rest of the network.


Dividing tasks between several chains results in less competition for resources and reduces the need for heavily energy-intensive hardware.


By mixing and matching different modules, blockchains can integrate features from other blockchains instead of building from scratch.

Overall, modular blockchains do more than just improve transaction speed. They make blockchains more efficient and customizable than ever before, and bring us a step closer to unlocking the full potential of the decentralized web.