Scalability is critical to the long-term viability of today’s blockchain. If you’re familiar with the blockchain space, or even a beginner looking to get started, you’ve probably heard the terms “layer-1” and “layer-2.” SmartOSC will help you understand the Layer 1 vs Layer 2 blockchain meaning and comparison in this article.

1. Layer 1 vs Layer 2: What’s the meaning of they?

1.1. About Layer 1?

Layer 1 vs layer 2 blockchain meaning and comparison

The base blockchain is also known as the Layer-1 network. Layer-1 refers to blockchain because it serves as the ecosystem’s primary network. On-chain networking is another term for these Layer-1 scaling solutions.

Some crypto protocols, in other words, are layer-1 because they can process and complete transactions on their blockchains. They also have the native tokens that they use for transaction fees.

The main advantage of layer-1 is that no changes to the existing architecture are required.

The project development team is usually in charge of introducing Layer-1 networks. Depending on the scaling solution, the community will generally require a hard network fork or a soft fork, along with minor compatibility changes. One example is the Bitcoin network’s SegWit update.

The more significant changes, such as increasing Bitcoin’s block size to 8MB, necessitate a hard fork. The hard fork resulted in two versions of the blockchain, one with and one without updates. Sharding is another method for increasing network size. It is accomplished by dividing the blockchain’s operation into smaller parts that can process data concurrently.

1.2. About Layer 2?

A layer 2 network or technology operates on the underlying blockchain protocol to improve scalability and efficiency. This solution requires transferring some of the blockchain protocol’s transactional load to adjust the system architecture at layer-2 scaling. It then handles the network processing load and simply reports the results to the main blockchain.

By abstracting the majority of data processing into separate architectures, the leading blockchain that serves as the base layer becomes less congested and, as a result, more scalable.

2. Layer 1 vs Layer 2 blockchain: What’s the difference?

Layer 1 vs layer 2 blockchain meaning and comparison

The primary distinction between layer-1 and layer-2 scalability solutions is their role and emphasis on the blockchain.

Layer-1 exists to improve blockchain architecture, whereas Layer-2 exists to build third-party networks on top of the main blockchain.

In large-scale protocol upgrades, Layer-1 can provide the most effective solution. However, this method requires convincing the validator to accept changes via a hard fork.

Layer-2 is a quicker way to increase scalability. However, using third parties may cause users to lose the level of security provided by the original blockchain.


Layer 1 vs layer 2 blockchain is simply two sides of the same scaling solution. As a result, they have devised a strategy to make the blockchain network faster and more accommodating to a rapidly growing user base.

These strategies do not outperform one another. And many blockchain networks are experimenting with layer 1 and layer 2 scaling solutions on blockchains to achieve increased scalability while maintaining security and adequate decentralization. More information on blockchain development services can be found on our website. Click here to begin exploring Layer 1 and Layer 2 Blockchain development with SmartOSC.

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