Why Vitalik Buterin Favors Layer-1 Blockchains Over Layer-2 Solutions?

Vitalik Buterin feels easier to deal with layer-1 bugs as compared to layer-2 bugs because the latter creates a lot of complexity.
Why Vitalik Buterin Favors Layer-1 Blockchains Over Layer-2 Solutions?

Key Insights:

  • Vitalik Buterin criticized the complexity of L2 solutions.
  • He feels bugs in L2 solutions are more risky than in L1.
  • Might have been promoting the upcoming Dencun Upgrade in Ethereum.
  • The upgrade adds blobs which will reduce transaction fees and help in scaling.

In a Tweet, the Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, said that he feels easier to deal with layer-1 bugs as compared to layer-2 bugs because the latter creates a lot of complexity. Further, he feels layer-1 bugs are a lot easier to resolve as compared to layer-2 bugs where people might lose a lot of money.

His statement originated from his X profile (formerly Twitter) where he was replying to a tweet by Salvatore Ingala who himself was taking part in a debate on the need for layer 2.

Vitalik Buterin's Tweet

In a debate where users were talking about how layer-2s offer solutions to layer-1 blockchain's incompetencies, Vitalik joined and replied to Salvatore Ingala.

He remains more confident in the simplified layer-1 blockchains (Ethereum, Bitcoin) transactions as compared to layer-2 scaling solutions (Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, Base, Shibarium, etc.).

Vitalik Buterin added that the challenge of bug risks in layer-1 blockchains is very much more manageable than bug risks in layer-2 solutions. We assume he might be referring to the case when Shiba Inu's blockchain Shibarium (a layer-2 solution) crashed on its first launch, only to be restored 12 days later with help from Polygon, another layer-2 solution.

Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin

Layer-1 vs Layer-2

Layer-1 refers to those blockchains which have a highly decentralized structure, and high security but have a very slow transaction speed. This transaction speed is boosted by Layer-2 solutions, where they validate layer-1 transactions by taking them off the layer-1 blockchain.

Layer-2 blockchains can do so because they make a compromise on decentralization in favour of increased transaction capacity. Often, these layer-2 solutions have a very few number of validators as compared to layer-1 blockchains.

Some argue that though layer-2s help increase the L1 transaction speed, yet, they are highly risky and centralized. Adding to this, Vitalik said that layer-2 solutions have increased the complexity of how transactions are validated.

Why Do We Need Layer-2 Solutions?

The need for Layer-2 solutions like Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism and others rises because of Ethereum's ultra-slow speeds. When blockchains like Solana have achieved a theoretical TPS of 100k, Ethereum still has a slow speed of 10-15 TPS.

This makes the cost of the single transaction so high that layer-1 blockchains like Ethereum are charging as high as $118 for transactions. Below is a full list of what other transactions cost on the blockchain.

Latest Gas Fees Cost on Ethereum, Source: <a href='https://etherscan.io/gastracker' target='_blank' rel='noreferrer noopener'>Etherscan</a>
Latest Gas Fees Cost on Ethereum, Source: Etherscan

Is Vitalik Buterin Promoting Ethereum's Dencun Upgrade?

The Dencun Upgrade aims to drastically reduce gas fees on Ethereum. It adds a special feature to each block called the blobs.

These blobs will do the same thing as layer-2 solutions, i.e., roll up multiple transactions into a single one. Multiple transactions will be recorded on the blobs and only the summary of these transactions will be recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.

Since these individual transactions will be validated at once, they will not require as much gas fees as validating each transaction. The data in these blobs will be destroyed after three months.

The implementation of this overall procedure to roll-up transactions within the chain itself is called the Dencun Upgrade or technically the Proto-Dank Sharding. This upgrade is a part of a bigger Ethereum scaling upgrade called as The Surge, which aims to scale Ethereum's transaction speed to 100k transactions per second.

It appears that Vitalik Buterin might have been promoting this special feature of Ethereum.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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