Who will be the front runner when the Layer 2 track is about to explode?

I still remember when we first mentioned ETH expansion a few years ago, the first thing that came to mind was Layer 2, and in Layer 2, the first thing that came to mind was Lightning Network, State Channel, Plasma…

After tossing for a few years, I found that it was of no use, and many project parties and capital could not wait, so there were a lot of Alt L1 (replacing Layer 1), from the earliest EOS, Tron, IOST to the present. BSC, Sol, Avax, Near, FTM…

Fortunately, Layer 2 has finally found its direction, and Rollup was born, and V God directly set the tone, and let’s not do anything about sharding! ETH takes the Rollup plan first!

OK, then Roll up!

Then we naively thought that there would only be one Rollup solution. Later, we found out that there are actually OP series and ZK series. The saying “short-term OP, long-term ZK” is popular in the industry.

But it’s okay, OP only has one (Optimism), ZK has two (Starkware and Matter Labs), 3 sets of solutions, okay, it’s still acceptable.

Later, Arbitrum was born, followed by Hermez, Aztec, OMG to do Boba, Metis forked Optimism, and Polygon to buy a package solution for Layer 2.

There are too many Layer2s, and the projects are running out…

Then a few days ago, Arbitrum released their sidechain Anytrust, which has better performance and cost, and whose security is covered by Rollup.

Let’s analyze it below, aside from the special-purpose Layer2 such as Lrc, and the privacy-oriented Layer2 such as Aztec, there are many ways to play the universal Layer2 alone.

Fake Layer2

Polygon has always advertised itself as a Layer 2. However, except for the local currency Matic, which uses Plasma technology, other Erc20s are sidechain bridges, so Polygon is still just a sidechain for now. This is also one of the reasons why Polygon in the technical circle is often dissed by various kinds.

However, they have done a good job in marketing and the market value has been raised, so they have money. Through various acquisitions in the past two years, Polygon is expected to transform into a chain of L2 solutions in the future.

It’s not that we don’t roll, we just roll again after a while.

Traditional Optimistic Rollup

The famous Arbitrum and Optimism should be known to everyone.

OP uses fraud proof technology to ensure the security of transactions. The DA (data availability) and settlement required by Rollup all take place on ETH L1, which also leads to the fact that although the current performance of OP is much better than ETH, it is still an order of magnitude away from serving the Web2 crowd. There is a big gap, and the cost is still relatively expensive (1-5 US dollars).

The advantage is that it has good compatibility and can be used now. Arb’s L2 transaction volume and ecosystem also firmly occupy the top spot in the entire L2 world.

Who will be the front runner when the Layer 2 track is about to explode?

Traditional ZK Rollup 

Bigger Starkware and Zk-sync, impossible not to know.

The ZK system uses more advanced cryptographic proofs to ensure the security of transactions. DA (data availability) and settlement are also on ETH L1. Not surprisingly, these two star players should be launched this year.

What about performance? Relative to OP, you have to see it before you know it. In theory, there should be little difference. In terms of cost, it is definitely cheaper than OP, probably about an order of magnitude cheaper.

Castrated Zk Rollup

Starkware’s Validium and Zk-Sync’s Zk-Porter.

This is the solution that the two star players came up with for higher performance and cheaper costs, of course, at the expense of some security.

The method is that the settlement is still in ETH, but the DA is placed on its own POS node or committee (so that the original data does not need to be stored in ETH), in exchange for a substantial increase in performance, and the cost can be reduced by an order of magnitude, is it safe? Of course, it will be a step down from the traditional ZK-Rollup, after all, DA is not on ETH.

But the advantage is that even if the nodes conspire, your funds still cannot be stolen, or frozen at most. That’s how powerful Rollup is!

L3 & L4 

The recursive Rollup proposed by Starkware uses the Starkware mainnet for DA and settlement, and then sets a layer of Rollup below, and the final settlement recursively returns to ETH L1. In the future, Appchains such as IMX and DYDX will most likely appear as L3.

And according to this recursive model, you can also have L4, or even L5… In theory, the performance can be improved infinitely, and the cost can be reduced infinitely. In the future era when the blockchain will serve billions of people, it is likely to be based on this model.

Hybrid Rollup 

This is represented by EVMOS and Celestia of Cosmos, which integrates Cosmos into the expansion circle of ETH.

For example, they made a Rollup chain called Celestiums, the DA of this chain is in Celestia, and the settlement is in ETH.

Of course, the more common combination in Cosmos’ own ecosystem should be DA in Celestia and settlement in EVMOS. In short, with the blending of Celestia and EVMOS, Rollup has more mixed options for expansion.

The side chain that takes the Rollup to the bottom

This is what I said above, the Anytrust chain that Arbitrum just released is also a very interesting idea.

The performance and cost are basically comparable to ordinary side chains. What are the characteristics? – As long as two of the 20 nodes are honest, we can run!

How to do it? Usually, only 19 nodes sign together to generate a block, which basically has nothing to do with ETH L1 (only upload a root hash to ETH L1, minimal cost). When the 19 signatures cannot be collected, it will return to the Rollup mode, and the previous block of 19 signatures will be used as a Check-point to start the Rollup.

What is the advantage of doing this? Naturally, the performance is greatly improved and the cost is greatly reduced. Basically, there is no difference between the side chain and the BFT side chain, which requires 2/3 honest nodes. AnyTrust only needs two honest nodes in 20 nodes. Just do it.

The disadvantage is naturally that if 19 nodes conspire together, you will be Barbie Q, and the funds will be stolen from you. As mentioned above, like Validium or Zk-Porter, even if the nodes conspire, they can’t steal your funds. At most, they will be temporarily frozen for you, so it is regarded as a system that does not have such high security requirements, but has high performance requirements. an option.


The above solutions have different considerations in terms of security, TPS, and cost.

Without considering the multi-chain recursive scheme of L3 (infinite TPS, infinitely low cost), in terms of single chain, my personal feeling is as follows:

The safest should be traditional Zk-rollup;

The lowest cost should be Polygon and AnyTrust;

The highest TPS should be Validium and Zk-porter.

At that time, for developers, which chain to deploy on will depend more on security, performance, or cost.

For our users, there will be more terrifying liquidity fragmentation problems and unseen projects. Imagine that each Alt L1 and each L2 will give you a few Dex, a few loans, and a few calculations. Steady, derivatives and machine gun pools, thinking about it is a big head.

Coupled with the various Alt L1s, the Warring States Period of the blockchain is completely here!

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/who-will-be-the-front-runner-when-the-layer-2-track-is-about-to-explode/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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