A set of solutions built on top of a public blockchain to extend its scalability and efficiency, especially for micro-transactions or actions. Examples include Plasma, TrueBit, Lightning Netw
A set of solutions built on top of a public blockchain to extend its scalability and efficiency, especially for micro-transactions or actions. Layer-2 or second-layer solutions increase the throughput
and transactions per second
of a blockchain by creating additional blockspace or recording transactions in a more efficient manner. Examples include Plasma, TrueBit, Lightning Network
Layer-1 solutions increase a blockchain's scalability and, therefore, its utility. Without them, blockchains often suffer from congestion, slow transaction speeds and high fees. Layer-2 solutions direct transactions away from the mainnet
and towards its cheaper and faster alternatives.
There are several popular layer-2 solutions for blockchains like Bitcoin
The Lightning Network is a second-layer solution for the Bitcoin blockchain. It allows for much higher transaction speeds and near-instant settlements of payments at quasi-zero costs. The Lightning Network enables users to open channels between parties, where they can send Bitcoin without settling the transaction on the mainnet. Upon closing the channel, the final state is broadcast to the Bitcoin mainnet.
Learn more about the Lightning Network in our article What Is The Lightning Network?
are second-layer solutions for the Ethereum blockchain. They process transactions off-chain before publishing a compressed version of the new state of the blockchain to the mainnet. Cryptographic proofs check the accuracy of optimistic rollups. Optimistic rollups greatly reduce gas fees. The Optimism protocol uses them to scale Ethereum.
also reduce gas
fees while improving transaction speed. They submit cryptographic proof of the veracity of unprocessed transactions without knowing the content of the transactions. This allows the mainnet to process more data and improve the utility of the blockchain.
are separate blockchains that process transactions faster and leverage the security of the main blockchain to secure transactions. An important sidechain layer-2 for Ethereum is the Polygon ecosystem