Ethereum has marked a commendable 22% upsurge in its worth as of September 2023, surpassing many substantial good contract blockchains, based on Will Ogden Moore‘s article on Grayscale weblog. The escalation is considerably credited to the appearance of Layer 2 options (L2s) which have been instrumental in bolstering Ethereum’s scalability, rendering the community 100 occasions less expensive for its customers. The endorsement of this paradigm got here with the launch of BASE, a Layer 2 blockchain on Ethereum by Coinbase in August 2023. This growth not solely accentuates the rising credence within the Ethereum ecosystem but additionally extends the dissemination of decentralized purposes to over 100 million Coinbase customers. Concurrently, main Layer 2 blockchains on Ethereum, specifically Optimism and Arbitrum, have overstepped giant Layer 1 blockchains like Solana in Whole Worth Locked (TVL), inching Ethereum nearer to turning into the predominant Layer 1 blockchain if this trajectory persists.
The essence of Layer 2s emanates from the burgeoning want to reinforce Ethereum’s scalability. The analogy of a congested freeway necessitating categorical lanes mirrors Ethereum’s state of affairs that propelled the genesis of Layer 2s. As transaction volumes swell, the community grapples with the shortage of block house and surging gasoline charges, which peaked at a median of $196 per transaction by Could 2022. This surge not solely impinged on the person expertise because of excessive prices and time inefficiency but additionally positioned Ethereum (~14 transactions per second) far behind rivals like Solana, able to dealing with as much as eight thousand transactions per second.
Layer 2 options ameliorate Ethereum’s inherent points by processing transactions from decentralized purposes, batching them, and transmitting a condensed model again to the principle community for settlement. This mechanism drastically trims charges, as much as 100x lower than on the principle chain, enhancing the usability and transaction capability of the Ethereum ecosystem whereas buttressing its community safety. Moreover, the incremental exercise on Layer 2s reciprocates worth to Ethereum with each transaction payment shared between the L2 and Ethereum community, alongside a minuscule burn of the whole ETH provide, enriching the ETH worth.
August witnessed a pivotal growth with Coinbase launching its Layer 2 scaling resolution, BASE, on Ethereum, extending the attain of dApps constructed on BASE Layer 2 to over 110 million customers within the Coinbase ecosystem. BASE’s launch has already proven a notable upturn, surpassing Ethereum and different Layer 2 rivals in day by day transactions inside a month, and additional propelled by the viral progress of decentralized utility pal.tech. Whereas presently centralized, BASE has expressed a progressive decentralization roadmap, aligning with the broader imaginative and prescient of Ethereum’s Layer 2 scalability agenda.
The earlier months have seen a constant rise within the utilization of Layer 2 scaling options, with the combination day by day energetic addresses on Layer 2 outpacing main Layer 1s. The TVL metric additionally displays a burgeoning belief in Layer 2s like Arbitrum and Optimism, which have surpassed Ethereum’s Layer 1 rivals Solana and Avalanche. The launch of the ARB token in March 2023 additional entrenched Arbitrum as a number one Layer 2, boasting a TVL of $1.69 billion, solely behind Tron and Ethereum.
Whereas Layer 2s are pioneering in scaling Ethereum, they’re at nascent levels of decentralization, posing sure dangers. The predominant mannequin entails a single entity working a “sequencer” for processing and batching transactions on Layer 2s, which might doubtlessly result in antagonistic outcomes resembling outage dangers. Nonetheless, the progressive decentralization plans shared by most Layer 2s purpose to mitigate such dangers over time.
Regardless of the overall consensus of a crypto market downturn since 2022, Ethereum’s ecosystem is burgeoning, courtesy of the Layer 2 options. The Layer 2 paradigm not solely validates Ethereum’s mannequin but additionally propels worth to ETH, attracting extra customers and builders. With BASE, Coinbase is doubtlessly paving the trail in the direction of mainstream adoption of Ethereum-based decentralized purposes. The collective developments in Layer 2s, regardless of the inherent centralization dangers, are deemed to foster competitors and innovation, positioning Ethereum to additional cement its dominance within the good contract blockchain realm.
Picture supply: Shutterstock