Polygon (MATIC) on Ethereum L3s: “L3s Don’t Make Any Sense”
  • Polygon Labs doubles down on its criticism of Layer 3 chains.
  • The company claims that Layer 3 chains deliver all the benefits expected from Layer 2, without the drawbacks.
  • The company further argues that the only real benefit of a Layer 3 chain accrues to its parent Layer 2.

As Ethereum’s roadmap becomes increasingly rollup-centric, the emergence of Layer 3 chains, a new type of rollup that uses a Layer 2 chain as the settlement layer instead of a Layer 1 chain, has sparked discussion.

In recent months, these discussions have drawn input from various corners of the crypto industry, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Polygon (MATIC) Labs CEO Marc Boisrond.

In a recent blog post, Polygon (MATIC) Labs reiterated its CEO’s views, arguing that these new types of rollups are largely useless.

Just a gimmick?

“L3 doesn’t make sense” “We’re thrilled to be working with Polygon on this exciting new game,” Polygon co-founder Brendan Farmer said in a clip shared on the official PolygonX account on Thursday, May 23. Blog Post We compare the potential benefits of Layer 2 and Layer 3 chains built with the CDK and connected to AggLayer.

In a blog post, Polygon Labs argued that Layer 3 networks don’t actually offer any new scaling benefits, and simply replicate the current fragmentation issues faced by Layer 2 chains.

The only real benefit of a Layer 3 chain, the company says, comes to Layer 2 at the expense of users.

Polygon (MATIC) Labs Busts Layer 3 Myths: Is Consolidation the Answer?

As Polygon Labs highlights, the benefits of Layer 3 include increased customizability, reduced costs, improved interoperability, and easier onboarding, but the company says all of these benefits can be achieved with Layer 2, leveraging the tools provided by the Polygon stack.

Polygon Labs argues that the claim that layer 3 chains are more customizable than layer 2 chains is false. The company argues that layer 2, especially layer 2s built with its CDK, can be customized in any way without the drawbacks of losing sovereignty that layer 3 chains have. Layer 3 chains, they argue, are subject to the layer 2s they are built on top of.

This sovereignty argument again supports the company’s claim that layer-3 chains have a cost advantage over layer-2 chains. Polygon Labs argues that layer-3 chains can be subject to “exploitative fees” from their parent layer-2 chains, but that zero-knowledge-based layer-2 chains connected to Polygon’s AggLayer can further lower fees by aggregating proofs.

Polygon Labs argued that the purported interoperability gains come at high costs to developers and users due to the aforementioned exploitative fees. The company also noted that this is another problem solved by AggLayer, an interoperability solution that promises near-instant and atomic transactions.

Finally, regarding easy onboarding via centralized exchanges, Polygon Labs emphasized that in this case, the Layer 3 chain relies on the Layer 2 chain to connect to as many exchanges as possible. In contrast, with AggLayer connected chains, the new Layer 2 chain can onboard users from any other exchange connected to the Layer 2.

Furthermore, Polygon Labs argues that Layer 3 chains have failed to deliver on their promises and face shortcomings including a reliance on Layer 2 rather than Ethereum for security, a lack of sovereignty and governance, and continued fragmentation beyond connecting to a single Layer 2 ecosystem.

The company said Layer 2 pushed for Layer 3 because it wanted to increase demand for block space and was building outside of ZK Technology.

Back side

  • Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Claims Layer 3 chains don’t make sense as a scaling solution, but they could be useful for other purposes, such as a data availability layer.
  • The projects promoting Layer 3 chains are competitors of Polygon Labs.

Why is this important?

Layer 3 chains are one of the latest trends in the Ethereum space, and recent discussions about them may help users gain a deeper understanding of how they work.

For more details on the Ethereum Layer 3 debate, read here.
Vitalik Buterin dismisses Layer 3 hype: “It’s not a magic solution for scaling”

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