The scalability problem within blockchain has seen the rise of layer 2 solutions that seek to solve a variety of scalability issues that exist within layer 1 blockchain platforms today. Take the payments area as an example, today it’s clear that if decentralized blockchain platforms are to compete against their centralized peers like Visa and PayPal, they need to work on increasing the number of transactions per second (TPS) they can handle.
Layer 2 solutions exist on top of blockchains and aim to solve a variety of scalability issues, including scaling smart contracts, payments, and off-chain computation. The idea is to move the most significant load of work off-chain, guaranteeing security through the use of permissionless blockchain as anchors.
In this piece, we are going to take a look at four top layer 2 blockchain solutions for dApps in 2020.
Easily scalable and allowing instant blockchain transactions, Matic Network has brought massive scalability to Ethereum by using an adapted version of Plasma with PoS based side chains. Matic strives to solve the scalability and usability issues existing on layer 1 blockchains without compromising on decentralization, while leveraging on the existing developer community and ecosystem.
Matic Network is building crucial infrastructure that is needed to take dApps to the next level, consequently facilitating mainstream adoption. The network is currently one of the most adopted layer 2 platforms with a growing number of dApps that are building on their Beta-Mainnet. So far, there are over 40 dApps building on top of Matic, including the likes of Decentraland, Chainbreakers, Incento, and many more.
Matic is also continuously delivering on its development promises and recently partnered with Whitebit, one of the top digital asset trading platforms that is focused on security, liquidity, and execution speed. The collaboration will ensure MATIC holders experience the best trading terms on the exchange, such as low fees and bonuses.
Next under review is Celer Network, an advanced layer 2 scaling solution. The platform allows users to build fast, low-cost, secure, and easy to use blockchain applications. This platform was founded by experienced entrepreneurs who have PHDs from leading institutions around the globe.
Celer is the first off-chain operating network that has precise technology and economic architecture necessary to bring internet-level scalability to existing blockchains. The platform is horizontally scalable to billions of off-chain transactions per second, it’s decentralized, private and no trust is required.
The network is made up of a layered architecture with major technical innovations at every layer including:
- A first-ever provably optimal state routing algorithm that has 15 times higher transaction throughput than most state-of-the-art solutions available.
- A channel construct suite that has flexible support which handles generalized off-chain dApp state transitions that go beyond simple payments, and sidechain-like channels that have minimal fund lock-up and more.
- And finally, an off-chain operating system which massively simplifies the development and usage of off-chain apps on different platforms.
Additionally, this platform proposes a principled off-chain crypto-economics design that tries to balance the tradeoffs made to achieve scalability.
This platform is made up of a team of researchers who are focused on state channels as they try to scale the Ethereum blockchain. According to Magmo, the technology that allows several applications to move the bulk of their transactions off-chain already exists; the only barrier to adoption lies in understanding and applying state channel techniques.
Therefore, this platform works to ensure state channels are easily accessible to the Ethereum developer community. Magmo is supported by the Ethereum Community Fund and the Ethereum Foundation. Through a focus on simplicity and usability, the Magmo team was able to develop ForceMove, which is a simple yet powerful state channel framework that is suitable for general use.
Recently Magmo launched the Rock-Paper-Scissors game as its first ForceMove application. The app is entirely open-source, and it’s designed to act as the starting point for developers that want to integrate state channels into their products.
Loom Network functions as a service that is built on top of Ethereum, which allows developers to run large scale decentralized apps. Consequently, this will enable developers to build dApps with the trust and security of one of the world’s most secure public blockchains that has the computing resources needed to run commercial-scale services.
Remember how Filecoin tokenized disk space? That’s how Loom aims to be the tokenized app protocol of the new decentralized web.
Loom Network focuses on dApp scaling solutions for Ethereum, mainly social and game apps, so far being used to create the likes of Crypto Zombies, Delegate Call, Eth Fiddle, and many more.
The four platforms above are just a few examples of the many layer 2 solutions for dApps that exist today. Other honourable mentions include Provable, FunFair, Perun, Alacris, Transmute, PARSEC Labs, Raiden Network, Trinity, Liquidity Network, SpankChain, Taxa, Machinomy, TEEX, TrueBit, and many more.