There have been many discussions about how the blockchain can release unlimited business opportunities.Although all this buzz has not yet fully translated into tangible results, the explosive growth of decentralized finance and Irreplaceable tokens (NFT) The market has set standards for achievable goals and how blockchain can truly affect the most conservative industries.
Therefore, unlike two or four years ago, developers, entrepreneurs and companies are not just blindly joining the trend. This is no longer about what blockchain can do. The questions being raised now focus more on how to best use the technology to get the best results. Therefore, the blockchain has slowly evolved from a buzzword to a mainstream adoptable technology. If this does not mean real growth and development, then what is it?
However, this does not mean that it has been smooth sailing so far. Since we started to view blockchain as a viable technology to support mainstream applications, the throughput performance of blockchain, especially those that are widely adopted, has been subject to strict scrutiny. Understandably, scalability is still the criterion for judging whether the blockchain network is ready to accept enterprise applications.
Using Ethereum as a case study, it is safe to say that many Ethereum users have directly dealt with the shortcomings of the non-scalable blockchain infrastructure. According to my experience, high transaction fees caused by network congestion are potential transaction disruptors for retail investors.For ordinary users, there is no way to prove that the payment is as high as 70 USD As a cost of executing a single transaction, it may not even be worth $100.
It is worth noting that the inability of Ethereum to expand accordingly has stifled the establishment of the DeFi and NFT fields to a certain extent, and retail investors and traders interested in executing low-value transactions are often forced to wait and see. Even Vitalik Buterin recently admitted the seriousness of this situation, Notice If the goal is for NFT-supported social networking projects to flourish on the Ethereum network, then the current expansion and charging system is unsustainable.
Therefore, the question is: how do blockchain developers deal with this recurring problem?
Is the first layer enough?
I believe that the ultimate goal is to solve the trilemma of the blockchain, that is, to find a balance between decentralization, security and scalability. Normally, the blockchain must sacrifice one of these three characteristics. In most traditional blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, the adopted infrastructure design sacrifices scalability for security and decentralization.
It must be said that Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most popular blockchains, not only because they are the first of their kind, but also because they have established themselves as the most decentralized and secure blockchains. The internet. Essentially, their lack of scalability makes up for other core blockchain needs. Although this was sufficient in the early days of its operations, the influx of blockchain applications has undoubtedly put tremendous pressure on the layer 1 chain to develop and integrate infrastructure with a focus on scalability.
Although newer blockchains can be adjusted more easily by implementing a scalable infrastructure from scratch, it is much more difficult for those with existing infrastructure to do the same. As witnessed by Ethereum, it may require a complete overhaul of existing infrastructure. The transfer of the multi-billion dollar existing blockchain economy to the new blockchain infrastructure comes with a lot of risks. Many things can go wrong, especially because it has never been done on this scale before.
So, usually, the obvious choice is DApp developers and users Select expandable Concentrated level 1 chain. It is expected that over the years, the list of layer 1 chain solutions trying to take advantage of the rapid increase in demand for blockchain infrastructure has increased-notably Binance Smart Chain, Tron, and EOS. However, as we have discovered, decentralization does not seem to be the most suitable of these options. In the face of the aforementioned blockchain trilemma, most of the alternatives to Ethereum and Bitcoin have solved the speed problem of decentralization. Therefore, this becomes a matter of preference and a question that developers are willing to weigh.
Maybe the third more advantageous option is to go Second layer solutionWith this, developers can at least be sure that they have access to all the bits and pieces needed to create the best blockchain application.
Is the second layer solution a direct answer to the blockchain trilemma?
The scalability flaws of the Ethereum blockchain force the solution to build a network on top of the existing network and take up some of the transaction and computational load that blocks the main network. The multi-level approach ensures that developers continue to enjoy the high liquidity of the Ethereum blockchain while avoiding bottlenecks related to the ecosystem.
The idea is to perform all calculations and scalable payments off-chain, and intermittently record the final state of such activities on the layer 1 blockchain. Whether it is optimistic aggregation, state channels, plasma, or zero-knowledge rollups (zk-rollups), the goal is always the same: avoid the obvious limitations of decentralized blockchains.
Already, polygon (previously called Matic) Gained a lot of attraction As an ideal second layer solution for Ethereum applications, we hope to enable a scalable platform that is not affected by network congestion. For example, the Polygon version of SushiSwap, Sushi, recorded a 75% user growth in the first week of September. according to To DappRadar.Unless recently Plummet In the event on Polygon, I think this is a temporary setback, and users have realized the possibilities offered by the second layer of solutions, especially in the area of retail DeFi.
Interestingly, it is not only the DeFi field that is undergoing this dynamic transformation. The NFT market has also begun to migrate to the second tier with specific solutions It is said that Only 24 hours after launch can save more than 400,000 US dollars in gas costs. In July, OpenSea Announced integration with Polygon Realize gas-free transactions in its NFT market. Please note that Polygon is not the only second-tier solution that has caused a sensation. Other sensational second-tier infrastructures are Celer Network and Arbitrum.
The influx of second-tier adoption leads me to believe that developers have adopted multi-layer blockchain infrastructure as the ideal architecture for creating a first-class blockchain experience.If this trend continues, it seems certain, at least until Ethereum 2.0 goes live, the layer 2 applications Will become equally valuable As their tier 1 counterpart. Therefore, it is a reasonable choice for developers who want to improve the existing blockchain infrastructure or build new decentralized applications.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are only those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Andrei Sergenkov He is an independent researcher, analyst and writer in the field of cryptocurrency. As a firm supporter of blockchain technology and a decentralized world, he believes that the world is eager for this decentralization of government, society and enterprises. He is the founder of BTC Peers, an independent media organization.