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Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum Layer 3s & Performance

Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum Layer 3s & Performance

Layer 3 uses deposits and batch publishing to reduce costs.
Although Layer 3 doesn’t increase general scalability, it does provide customizable functions like privacy.
L3 solutions, such as validiums, support weakly-trusted scaling.
Lately, there has been a growing discourse over Layer 3 solutions, with prominent figures in the business participating in the topic. CEO of Polygon Labs Marc Boiron said last Sunday that Layer 3 solutions don’t really provide much value to the Ethereum ecosystem and aren’t necessary for scalability. Now, Vitalik Buterin, another co-founder of Ethereum, has a similar perspective on this matter.

Ethereum Layer 3s Don’t Significantly Increase Throughput

According to Vitalik Buterin, Layer 3 solutions can lessen some fixed costs related to batch publishing and deposits/withdrawals, but they do not significantly increase throughput by themselves.

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Buterin posted his September 2022 blog article, which describes the three distinct Layer 3s and their significance in the Ethereum ecosystem. He mentioned:

  • The main use of Layer 2 (L2) solutions is for general scaling, with an emphasis on improving the overall scalability of applications. Conversely, Layer 3 (L3) solutions offer personalized features including privacy protection. Instead of aiming for “scalability squared,” this strategy consists of a single application-scaling layer in the stack, with additional layers serving the particular functional requirements of various use cases.
  • L2 makes general-purpose scaling easier, and L3 provides customized scaling options. Tailored scaling can take on multiple forms: rollups that optimize data compression for particular applications by separating data from proofs and possibly replacing proofs with a single SNARK per block, or specialized applications that use computation methods other than the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  • In addition, L2 solutions address trustless scaling primarily via rollups, and L3 solutions address weakly-trusted scaling as demonstrated by validiums. Validiums use SNARKs to verify computations but give access to data to a committee or trustworthy third party. Validiums provide affordable scaling solutions in spite of having a lower security grade than rollups, which makes them especially well-suited for some applications—like enterprise blockchains.

“There are other, potentially “lighter,” ways to get the same cost savings that you get from L3s,” Buterin continued.

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