Although Ethereum’s layer-2 solutions were focused on hyperscaling, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum believes that layer 3s will be able to provide “customized functionality”.
Buterin shared his thoughts on Sept. 17, posting three “visions,” of how layer 3s would be used in the future.
According to the Ethereum co-founder, a third layer is only possible if it serves a different function than layer 2s. Layer 2s were used primarily to increase scaling through Zero-Knowledge Rollup technology.
A three-layer scaling structure that involves stacking the same scaling schemes on top of each other is not recommended. Rollups on top rollups are not a good idea, especially if the two layers of rollups have the same technology.
Buterin said that a three-layer architecture in which the second and third layers serve different purposes can be feasible.
Layer 3 would include what Buterin calls “customized functionality”, which refers to privacy-based applications that use ZK proofs in order to submit privacy-preserving transactions at layer 2.
Another example would be “customized scale” for specialized applications, which don’t need to use the Ethereum Virtual Machine to compute.
Buterin said layer 3 could also be used to “weakly trust” scale through Validiums, which is a ZK-proof technology. This could be useful for enterprise blockchain applications, according to Buterin. It would use a “centralized server that runs validium provers and commits hashes regularly to chain”
Buterin said that layer-3 structures may be more efficient than the existing layer-2 model for building custom applications on Ethereum.
Layer-2 Vs Layer-3 Network Architecture. Source: StarkWare.
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Buterin stated that a three-layer structure is better than a two-layer one. This allows for sub-ecosystems to be contained in a single rollup. It also allows cross-domain operations within the ecosystem to occur very cheaply without having to go through layer 1.
Buterin stated that cross-chain transactions are possible between layer-2s who have committed to the same chain. Therefore, adding layer 3s might not improve the network’s efficiency.
StarkWare’s new recursive validity validation proofs seem to have put an end to Ethereum’s scaling concerns. Buterin made the comments about possible layer 3 uses cases.
Cointelegraph was recently informed by Declan Fox, ConsenSys’ Product Manager, that the software company uses recursive rollups to prove its claims.
These recursiveproofs have been thoroughly tested in production. StarkWare co-founder Eli-Ben Sasson recently told Cointelegraph that StarkWare’s recursiveproofs have rolled up 600,000 NFT coins in a single transaction using Immutable X and that 60,000,000 transactions could be possible “with more engineering, tweaking, and even more.”