The blockchain ecosystem is expanding at an unprecedented rate, which has never happened previously for any technological intervention. Every day, new solutions, applications, and concepts emerge in the world of blockchain. Almost a decade ago, there were only a few dozen cryptocurrencies; but today, there are numerous cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks.
The growth and use of blockchain networks are heavily reliant on their scalability. This is where Layer 1 blockchain solutions come in handy. Let’s find out more about what Layer 1 blockchain entails in the sections below.
What is Layer 1 Blockchain?
A Layer 1 blockchain solution is essentially a collection of solutions designed to improve the design of base protocols. The subtle changes in the base protocol introduced by Layer 1 solutions aid in the overall system’s scalability. Scalability issues have plagued many popular blockchain networks.
Blockchain scalability refers to the expansion of a digital network in terms of speed in transaction processing and processing power to accommodate the addition of new applications and increased user operations. Scaling allows blockchain networks will be able to compete with centralized networks for transaction volumes, application development, and user engagement by providing greater processing capacity and capabilities. In simple terms, scaling refers to an increase in throughput rate, as measured by the number of transactions per second.
The introduction of Layer 1 solutions is one of the leading solutions for addressing the scalability problem. Layer 1 blockchains in use include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Litecoin, and Avalanche. However, Bitcoin continues to be the most affected by scalability issues, as the underlying network depends on an increase in the number of miners to ensure higher transaction throughput and volumes.
Types of Layer 1 blockchain solutions
A Layer 1 blockchain protocol must, at a minimum, provide decentralization, security, and scalability. Through various approaches, layer one blockchain networks can ensure better scalability results. Here are two types of Layer 1 blockchain examples based on the scalability approaches they use:
- Proof-of-Work or PoW, which is the traditional consensus mechanism for ETH and Bitcoin, intends to achieve both consensus and security by employing miners to decode complex cryptographic algorithms. However, PoW has two major drawbacks: it is slow and requires a lot of resources.
- Proof-of-Stake, or PoS, is a consensus mechanism that operates on the blockchain network. Users can use their stake to authenticate block transactions. PoS outperforms PoW in terms of transaction speed but falls short in terms of security. Through Ethereum 2.0, the Ethereum blockchain wishes to transition from PoW to PoS. Ethereum 2.0 refers to a set of upgrades that are currently being implemented to make the Ethereum blockchain more scalable and sustainable.
Sharding is an experimental approach in the blockchain space because it involves breaking up a network into a series of separate database blocks which are called shards,’ hence the term sharding, essentially making the blockchain more manageable. This approach also reduces the current requirement for all nodes to process or handle transactions in order to maintain the network because all ‘shards’ are processed in parallel sequence, freeing up more processing capacity for other processes.
Advantages of Layer 1 Blockchain Solutions
Layer 1 Blockchain has a few advantages which are as follows:
- The most obvious advantage of layer 1 blockchain solutions is undoubtedly scalability. Layer one blockchain solutions necessitate changes to the base protocol in order to improve scalability. As a result, layer one blockchain solutions essentially assist in upholding the key value propositions of blockchain technology. Furthermore, a layer 1 blockchain protocol provides high decentralization and security throughout and economic viability.
- Another significant feature of layer 1 blockchain solutions is the potential for improved ecosystem development. Layer 1 scaling solutions could aid in the incorporation of new tools, technological advancements, and other factors into base protocols. As a result, layer 1 scaling solutions can provide a critical foundation for innovation across the blockchain ecosystem.
- The next significant value advantage of entries in a layer 1 blockchain list is the selection of the appropriate blockchain. You can identify layer one blockchain solutions to improve scalability depending on the scope of your blockchain-based project and the desired use cases.
Blockchain adoption is gradually spreading across various industries and many real-world use cases. Layer one blockchain networks could usher in a new era of change with the help of changes to the base protocol. In order to ensure security and decentralization, blockchain networks struggle with scalability. On the other hand, developers may be able to create decentralized and secure blockchain networks without sacrificing scalability. Layer 1 scaling solutions improve throughput and alter community development norms. However, knowledge on Layer 1 solutions is extremely limited, and the more knowledge that is built on it, the more usable it will be.