June 25, 2024
Solana layer-2 Ethereum


Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko has expressed confidence that their blockchain can handle the growing demand for decentralized applications (dapps) without needing layer-2 solutions like those employed by Ethereum.

Solana Doesn’t Need Layer-2 Solutions

In a post on X, Yakovenko argued that Solana’s design, which utilizes a hybrid consensus mechanism, enables it to scale efficiently without relying on additional layers. The co-founder explained that their goal is to eventually synchronize a global atomic state machine “as fast as the laws of physics allow.” With this stance, Yakovenko appears to be downplaying the role of layer-2 off-chain options like Arbitrum and Base.

“Solana aims to synchronize a global atomic state machine as fast as the laws of physics allow,” Yakovenko said on X. “In this end state, any layer-2, side chain, or zero-knowledge proof Valadium amounts to the same thing. They are external execution environments that cannot ensure atomic composition with the rest of the layer-1 state.”

Despite the position Yakovenko takes, the co-founder said the floor is open for developers to create layer-2 solutions. However, it won’t be necessary because the network can handle such demand without such workarounds. 

Ethereum Is Confident Layer-2s Will Be Key To Scaling

This stance contrasts Ethereum’s approach, which increasingly relies on layer-2 solutions to alleviate congestion and high transaction fees. Layer-2 options such as Optimism and Arbitrum have gained popularity for their ability to offload transactions from the mainnet while maintaining compatibility with existing smart contracts. 

Solana price trending sideways on the daily chart | source: SOLUSDT on Binance, TradingView
Solana price trending sideways on the daily chart | source: SOLUSDT on Binance, TradingView

To quantify their role in scaling Ethereum, L2Beat data shows that the layer-2 solutions have a combined total value locked (TVL) of over $20 billion. The largest of them is Arbitrum, which manages $10 billion of assets when writing on January 5.

Layer-2s total value locked | Source: L2Beat
Layer-2s total value locked | Source: L2Beat

Though Yakovenko’s comments reflect Solana’s focus on providing a high-performance, low-cost environment for apps, there have been instances when the network froze, calling its reliability into question. To resolve this, the platform plans to upgrade its client, adding the Firedancer for increased node reliability and performance. 

On the other hand, Ethereum seems to be going the layer-2 route. During their developer call, it was decided that Ethereum’s gas limit won’t be increased further from the 30 million gwei level. This, analysts concluded, meant the delay of on-chain scaling ambitions for off-chain methods, specifically off-chain and sidechain rails.

Feature image from Canva, chart from TradingView

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