What Would Ethereum Layer 3 Look Like? Vitalik Buterin Has Some Ideas


key takeaways

  • Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin published a blog post outlining how the Layer 3 scaling solution works.
  • Layer 3 solutions cannot include stacked summaries, he said, as this would not result in efficient data compression.
  • Buterin outlines two possibilities: a layer 3 platform with special features and batch validator contracts.

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Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin doesn’t think stacking rollups will effectively scale Ethereum — but he still has some thoughts on the future of layer 3 scaling.

Buterin question rollup stack

Layer 2 platforms are still in their infancy, but Vitalik Buterin is already considering layer 3 extensions.

in a blog post titled “What kind of layer 3 makes sense?“, Buterin meditation Layer 3 scaling solutions can help Ethereum process transactions more efficiently.

The current throughput of the Ethereum mainnet is around 15 transactions per second. During periods of high activity, users face network congestion and extremely high gas prices because their transactions cannot fit into the available block space. November 2021, users paid Token swap up to $62.11 — a current operation cost About $1.36.

A layer 2 scaling solution called “rollup” is designed to alleviate this problem. Rollups outsource the computational data of a transaction to another chain and then publish an easily verifiable encrypted transaction proof to Ethereum’s mainnet. This allows transactions to be bundled together, saving a lot of block space.

Buterin before statement Aggregation can help Ethereum achieve a throughput of 100,000 transactions per second. Arbitrum, Optimism, Starknet, and zkSync are examples of rollups.

However, aggregation has limitations. Buterin said in his latest blog post that aggregates in their current form cannot simply be stacked together due to data compression issues.

Buterin argues that “data can be compressed once, but not again.” If the second compressor provides an advantage, the logic of the second compressor can often be put into the first, he said.

Tier 3 offers alternatives

Rather than stacking rollups, Buterin suggests assigning different uses to layer 2 and its potential layer 3.

In this case, layer 2 will be used for scaling. Meanwhile, Layer 3 will support other features such as privacy-centric chains, non-EVM platforms, custom scaling solutions for specific applications, or verification (which is another rollup).

Buterin also suggested that a layer 3 system could be created by modifying the way aggregates currently operate. Some rollups, called ZK-Rollups Need to verify their state root proof (a type of encryption key) themselves.

Instead, Buterin advocates a new approach that involves “batch validator contracts” that specialize in validating these proofs. This will significantly reduce the gas price of these scaling solutions without having to build a full EVM system as an intermediate layer. In effect, ZK-Rollups will be layer 3; there is no need to build layer 3 on top of them.

Buterin also stated that no matter how layer 3 solutions are built, they will allow sub-ecosystems to grow within layer 2.

In fact, cross-domain operations can happen without having to go through the Ethereum mainnet — meaning transactions will become cheaper. This is certainly good news for Ethereum users.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this article owns BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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