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Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Has a Layer 3 Vision to Unleash Full Power of Crypto

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 Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin always seems to be looking a step into the future – or three. While layer 2 (L2) is currently still developing, Buterin contributed to the layer 3 (L3) discussion, arguing that these could serve a different purpose(s), leaving scalability to L2s.As a reminder, layer 1 is the base layer.

Ethereum itself is an L1 chain and one of the most used blockchains presently. L2 solutions are built on top of these blockchains to reduce their on-chain burden.To this, in his blog post titled What kind of layer 3s make sense?, Buterin ‘adds’ another layer, writing:“If we can build a layer 2 protocol that anchors into layer 1 for security and adds scalability on top, then surely we can scale even more by building a layer 3 protocol that anchors into layer 2 for security and adds even more scalability on top of that?”He warns, however, that these concepts are not as simple as they sound and that there is often something in the design that is not stackable and can only give “scalability boost once.”Other issues can emerge too, including, but not limited to, limits to data availability and reliance on L1 bandwidth for emergency withdrawals.L3s, though, are not a Buterin-invention, and others too are already discussing their utilization.

Newer ideas, such as the one proposed by blockchain startup StarkWare, Buterin says, focus more on assigning different roles to L2s and L3s, instead of just “stacking the same thing on top of itself,” arguing that:“Some form of this approach may well be a good idea - if it's done in the right way.”While scaling can be relegated to L2s, L3 could be used for:Per Buterin, this seems “fundamentally reasonable,” but he argues that some large questions with very

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