Is layer 3 such a good idea? – The net Ethereal faced heavy congestion in the previous bull run. Obviously, whoever says congestion says a drastic increase in costs. To overcome this problem, many second layer (layer 2) solutions have emerged. Its objective is to improve the scalability of the network. Now that the second layers are beginning to democratize, we are seeing the emergence of a new narrative, that of third layer (layer 3) solutions.
Layer 2 and 3: what is it?
The net Ethereal It is the cradle of innovation. However, the blockchain has many limitations, especially in terms of scalability. Therefore, many initiatives have emerged to improve performance.
Among these initiatives, second layer solutions are the ones that have obtained the most enthusiasm. In practice, Layer 2 aims to deport some of the transactions and logic off the Ethereum mainchain to chains that evolve above the network.
For their part, these second layer solutions inherit Ethereum security. In fact, they regularly publish the transactions they record in compressed form on the Ethereum mainnet. This allows any external actor to freely consult the status of the network. Just take a look at the test posted on the mainnet.
Quickly, some developers imagined adding a degree of complexity to this diagram by proposing to stack these second layers. Thus, we have seen the layer 3 thesis emerge.
To keep it simple, layer 3 will inherit the security of layer 2, which in turn will inherit the security of Ethereum.
However, although these solutions may be of interest in certain cases, they are not suitable for all situations. This is what has recently been shown Vitalik Buterinthe co-founder of Ethereum in a Article on your personal blog.
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The limits of layer 3: the data problem
Vitalik Buterin loves the idea of layer 3. However, he still identified some limitations of this architecture.
In fact, layer 2, like the Rollups, allow scalability to be solved at two levels. On the one hand at the level of calculations to be carried out and on the other at the level of data management.
Therefore, the SNARK cheat tests help to reduce the calculations. These rely on a very small number of actors to process and verify each block. This allows the rest of the users to operate only a small amount of calculation.
“These systems, especially the SNARKs, can evolve almost without limits; simply create “a SNARK within a SNARK” to further reduce the number of calculations to a single test. »
However, the situation is not so rosy on the data management side. In fact, Rollups use different compression techniques to reduce the amount of data stored on the chain. However, the latter must also ensure that said data is available at all times so that users can access it to check the status of the rollup. Unfortunately, contrary to calculations, data compression cannot be repeated ad infinitum.
“Data can be compressed once, but cannot be compressed again. If so, there’s usually a way to integrate the second compressor’s logic into the first and get the same benefit by only compressing once. So “summary upon summaries” is not something that can really provide huge scalability gains. »
Layer 3: reduced interest in certain use cases
Be that as it may, Vitalik Buterin continues to stress the interest of these layers 3 in certain very specific use cases. So, to back up his statement, he relies on research done by the teams at Starkware, the company behind the second layer Starknet solution.
Three situations where layer 3 is of interest
In fact, depending on your work, layer 3 may be of interest in three different situations:
- Use L2 for scalability and L3 for custom functionality like privacy. In this architecture, the L3s allow the creation of an environment dedicated to a specific application.
- The use of L2 for general scalability and L3 for custom scalability. This architecture could allow developing environments that optimize scalability for a particular use case.
- Use L2 as the basis for trustless scalability and L3 for trustless scalability. In this case, L3 will be used primarily for data management and will leave the scalability layer to L2.
“A three-tier scaling architecture that involves stacking the same scaling scheme on top of itself typically doesn’t work very well. Rollups on top of rollups, where both layers of rollups use the same technology, certainly don’t work. However, a three-tier architecture can work, where the second and third tiers serve different purposes. “Validios” over “summary” make sense, although it’s not clear if they’re the best way to do things in the long run. »
For their part, second layer solutions continue to evolve to improve the experience of their users. They solve the centralization problems they face. So he meyesterday 2 Arbitrum recently released its Nitro update which aims to drastically increase its performance.
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