What Is Layer 2 Scaling for Ethereum? The Best Layer 2 Protocols Explained


Layer 2s also compromise quite heavily on decentralization and security, however this is mostly mitigated by the fact that there are security guarantees provided by the Ethereum L1. The party responsible for submitting batches of transactions to the Ethereum network must post a bond of ETH that can be taken away, or slashed, if their submission is discovered to be fraudulent. A developer might adopt a sidechain over a payment or state channel if they need even more flexibility and control over their underlying infrastructure. They enable participants to conduct more complex operations than sending simple payments back and forth. Payments made with an L2 channel are much faster because they don’t require broad network consensus to verify.


Reduces ethereum layer 2 scaling solutionss since it publishes minimal data on Ethereum and doesn’t have to post proofs for transactions, except in special circumstances. Uses a simulation of the Ethereum Virtual Machine , which allows it to run arbitrary logic and support smart contracts. Publishes full transaction data as calldata to Ethereum Mainnet, which increases rollup costs. In July 2022, Polygon also announced the launch of Polygon zkEVM, a zero-knowledge version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Its aim is to reduce transaction costs and improve Ethereum’s scalability before the switch to proof-of-stake.

Layer-1 vs Layer-2 Blockchains

ethereum layer 2 scaling solutions rollups are therefore “optimistic” in the sense that transactions are assumed to be valid by default if they pass certain initial parameters. One of the first widely discussed layer 2 scaling solutions, state channels use multi-signature contracts to enable participants to transact quickly and frequently off-chain, settling back to layer 1 for finality as required. Every base network has its own mechanism for nodes to reach a consensus, such as proof-of-work and proof-of-stake . However, there’s a very common concept in the industry known as the blockchain trilemma, where a network can achieve two of the three main goals – security, scalability, and decentralization – but not all three together.

High https://www.beaxy.com/ fees are a costly deterrent for users trying to perform transactions on dapps. They also undermine the value proposition of blockchains as a tool for making cheaper and faster payments. For years Ethereum has maintained its status as the leading smart contract blockchain.

Layer 1 vs Layer 2 Scaling Solutions

Afterward, an equal amount of assets are produced on the sidechain and deposited in your wallet. The net result of these improvements is an increase in transactions per second rates. Although estimates vary, many expect L2s and sharding to push Ethereum’s TPS into the thousands.

Since the blockchain is also distributed, it potentially protects users fromnetwork attacksand other instances of fraud and cybersecurity threats. When a new block generates on-chain, it’s added to each network node’s ledger and usesdistributed ledger technology . The blockchain is a database that stores information from transactional records in a universal ledger.

Layer 2 can also help solve problems related to privacy, confidentiality of transactions, and data custodianship. And it can help avoid the need for businesses to deal with cryptocurrency tokens and price volatility when paying for transactions. Zero-knowledge rollups, or ZK-rollups, bundle transactions off-chain and generate a cryptographic proof, known as a SNARK. In contrast to optimistic rollups, ZK-rollups run computation off-chain and submit these validity proofs to the layer 1 chain. Plasma chains are separate blockchains that anchor to Ethereum, sometimes called child chains, as they operate as smaller copies of the Ethereum mainnet.

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Polygon is technically a sidechain at the moment, but it will be transitioning to a ZK-EVM rollup architecture in the near future. Sidechain operators may offer flat rate pricing for variable durations of chain operation . Sidechains are also relatively immune to this problem because they do not depend on the L1 chain. But transferring tokens or data to/from the L1 chain is still subject to the capacity of L1. Transactions on L2 are umpired and secured by L1, which still acts as a common frame NEAR of reference and ensures globally consistent transaction ordering and state management. Applications can interoperate easily within an L2 instance, and can transact across L2s via cross-chain messaging.

The Polygon network is expanding exponentially, irrespective of the current decline in the growth of the market. The value of the native token of the Polygon network, i.e., Matic, is currently fluctuating around the $2 price range. In addition, Polygon has also collaborated with many significantly popular partners such as Umbrella Network, Kambria Open Innovation, Graphlink, and Mogul Productions, alongside many other prominent names.

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Zero-knowledge means that all verifiers can know they have the same information without it actually being disclosed. When thinking about Layer 2 protocols, it’s easy to believe they only apply for end-users like crypto traders and yield farmers. However, decentralized app developers building on Ethereum, spend small fortunes on smart contract executions during test phases alone. Arbitrum is aimed at helping developers get their Ethereum-based projects off the ground at low costs. Whereas an Ethereum transaction might take 10 minutes and a painful amount of ETH for gas fees, L2 transactions happen instantly with nearly-free fees. Polygon, previously known as Matic, is an emerging platform for developing Ethereum-based blockchain networks and connecting them together.

The evolution and the continued increase in the number of applications and users on the Ethereum network is responsible for surge in the load on the network. However, as the load increased the capacity of the Ethereum BNB network stayed limited until the Merge finally took place last year; which is a boost that the ETH developers team gave the network to increase its scalability. With all the incidences, the cost of using the Ethereum network increased pretty significantly as more and more users started competing with each other for adding more transactions to the Ethereum network.

Layer 1 scaling involves making changes to the blockchain network and rewriting the base layer. The “on-chain” description means scaling upgrades to Ethereum are executed on the blockchain itself. Because miners have finite computational power, they are often forced to prioritize transactions with higher fees.

What are the largest L2s on Ethereum?

1. Polygon. One of the largest Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solutions in the cryptosphere, Polygon is a sidechain running in parallel to the Ethereum blockchain. Among its main functions are faster transactions and lower transaction costs.

From complex enterprise tech transformation to the innovative project launch, our team supports businesses at different stages of their projects.Come along, we’ll help you get an edge and play big on the global market. It is worth highlighting that even ahead of the Merge, Arbitrum deployed an upgrade called Arbitrum Nitro to help settle a larger number of transactions in fewer Ethereum blocks, resulting in significant savings. Similar to what ImmutableX was able to build for game developers, other application specific protocols, such as Loopring and dYdX, were developed to create simpler ways for developers to build DeFi products. “You might have your ENS name, on-chain identity verification, your NFTs that you use in games,” says Brown. “Our presence in the metaverse is made up of these small transactions and interactions.”


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