Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shares imaginative and prescient for layer-3 protocols


Whereas Ethereum-based layer-2 options have been centered on hyperscaling the community, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes layer 3s will serve a far completely different objective — offering “custom-made performance.” 

Buterin shared his ideas in a Saturday put up, offering three “visions” of what layer 3s might be used for sooner or later.

The Ethereum co-founder mentioned a 3rd layer on the blockchain is smart provided that it gives a unique operate to layer 2s, which have been used primarily to boost scaling through zero-knowledge (zk) Rollup expertise:

“A 3-layer scaling structure that consists of stacking the identical scaling scheme on high of itself typically doesn’t work effectively. Rollups on high of rollups, the place the 2 layers of rollups use the identical expertise, definitely don’t.”

However, “a three-layer structure the place the second layer and third layer have completely different functions, nevertheless, can work,” mentioned Buterin.

One in all layer 3’s use instances can be what Buterin describes as “custom-made performance” — referencing privacy-based functions which might make the most of zk proofs to submit privacy-preserving transactions to layer 2.

One other use case can be “custom-made scaling” for specialised functions that don’t wish to use the Ethereum Digital Machine (EVM) to do computation.

Buterin additionally mentioned that layer 3 may very well be used for “weakly-trusted” scaling by Validiums, a zk-proof expertise. Buterin mentioned this can be useful for “enterprise blockchain” functions through the use of “a centralized server that runs a validium prover and frequently commits hashes to chain.”

However, Buterin added that it’s nonetheless unclear whether or not layer-3 buildings might be extra environment friendly than the present layer-2 mannequin in relation to constructing custom-made functions on Ethereum.

Layer-2 Vs Layer-3 Community Structure. Supply: StarkWare.

Associated: A newbie’s information to understanding the layers of blockchain expertise

“One doable argument for the three-layer mannequin over the two-layer mannequin is: a three-layer mannequin permits a whole sub-ecosystem to exist inside a single rollup, which permits cross-domain operations inside that ecosystem to occur very cheaply, with no need to undergo the costly layer 1,” Buterin mentioned.

However, Buterin mentioned that as a result of cross-chain transactions might be executed simply and cheaply between two layer 2s which have dedicated to the identical chain, constructing layer 3s might not essentially enhance the effectivity of the community.

Buterin’s feedback on doable layer 3 use instances come as StarkWare’s newly produced recursive validity proofs seem to have probably put an finish to Ethereum’s scalability considerations.

Declan Fox, the product supervisor at Ethereum software program agency ConsenSys, not too long ago advised Cointelegraph that “with recursive rollups and proofs, we theoretically can infinitely scale.”

These recursive proofs have been effectively examined in manufacturing, with StarkWare co-founder Eli-Ben Sasson not too long ago telling Cointelegraph that its recursive proofs have rolled up as many as 600,000 nonfungible token mints in a single transaction on Immutable X and that 60 million transactions may quickly be on the playing cards “with extra engineering and tweaking.”


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