5 Best Ethereum Layer 2 Blockchains to Boom in 2024

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Explore top-tier Ethereum Layer-2 blockchains that are revolutionizing the 2024 blockchain landscape, offering enhanced scalability and a more user-friendly experience.

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Top Ethereum Layer 2 Blockchains by TVL. Source: Defillama

Blockchain technology has come a long way since Bitcoin was introduced in 2008. It has grown from just a payment network to supporting areas like DeFi, GameFi, NFTs, and the metaverse. As it becomes more popular, scalability has become a big challenge. Traditional blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin process only about 7 to 15 transactions per second, much slower than systems like Visa.

To solve this, Layer 2 solutions are being developed. These include rollups, plasma chains, and sidechains, which enhance scalability, speed, and efficiency. Built on top of networks like Ethereum, these solutions are capturing billions in value and are expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most promising Ethereum Layer 2 blockchains that are shaping the future of decentralized applications and faster transactions in 2024.

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Top 5 Layer 2 Blockchains To Watch in 2024

We have selected these as the top 5 Ethereum layer 2 blockchains based on a few factors: the total value locked (TVL), their revenue (transaction fees in the last 30 days), their unique value proposition, and developer activity.

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Top Ethereum Layer 2 blockchains to watch in 2024. Source: Pink Brains

1. Arbitrum

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  • Throughput: 2,000-4,000 TPS
  • TVL: $4.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $2.37 billion+
  • Technology: Optimistic Rollup

Leveraging Optimistic Rollup technology, Arbitrum achieves a remarkable throughput of up to 4,000 TPS, which is ten times faster than Ethereum’s mainnet, while also reducing gas fees by about 95%. As of January 2024, it leads the Ethereum Layer-2 market with over 51% of the total value locked (TVL).

Arbitrum Rollup is an Optimistic roll-up protocol that provides Ethereum-level security with faster speeds and lower transaction costs for Web3 dApps. The ecosystem includes components like Arbitrum One, Nitro, Nova, AnyTrust, and Orbit.

It’s easy for developers to use and focuses on decentralization and community governance. The ecosystem supports various DeFi protocols, NFT marketplaces, and gaming platforms. The native token, ARB, is crucial for yield farming, trading, and governance. Despite being a newer Layer-2 solution with some risks, Arbitrum’s strong development team and active community support make it a major player in the Layer-2 space, with a market cap of over $4.1 billion and more than 530 dApps.

2. Optimism

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OP Mainnet is a Layer 2 Optimistic Rollup network designed to utilize the strong security guarantees of Ethereum while reducing its cost and latency.
  • Throughput: 2,000 TPS
  • TVL: $1.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $3 billion+
  • Technology: Optimistic Rollup

Ranked 2nd in top TVL Layer 2, Optimism acts as an extension of Ethereum, offering the same strong security but with much lower costs. It uses Optimistic rollups to bundle many transactions into one, which makes them cheaper than on the Ethereum mainnet.

As the second-largest Ethereum Layer 2 solution, Optimism has $1.1 billion locked in its smart contracts. It supports various protocols like Synthetix, Uniswap, and Velodrome, making it a lively center for blockchain activities.

But Optimism is more than just a blockchain platform; it’s a new way to fund the ecosystem sustainably. It uses revenue from protocols to support public goods, aiming to create a sustainable future for Ethereum. This innovative approach makes Optimism a leader in the blockchain space.

3. Manta Network

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The first EVM-equivalent ZK-application platform that is scalable and secure through Celestia DA and Polygon zkEVM.
  • Throughput: 4,000 TPS
  • TVL: $573 million
  • Market Cap: $903 million
  • Technology: zk Rollup

Tailored as Ethereum scaling solution, Manta is the first EVM-equivalent ZK-application platform that is scalable and secure through Celestia DA and Polygon zkEVM.

It has two main parts: Manta Pacific, an EVM-compatible Layer-2 platform for fast transactions, and Manta Atlantic, which focuses on private identity management using zkSBTs (zero-knowledge Succinct Biometric Tokens). At its core, Manta uses zero-knowledge cryptography to verify transactions while keeping user data private. It also features Universal Circuits, making it easy for developers to create privacy-focused DeFi apps.

Manta Network is highly scalable, handling 4,000 TPS on Manta Pacific. Its EVM compatibility makes it user-friendly for developers. The network also connects well with Ethereum and other blockchains through various bridges and Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocols.

The native token, MANTA, is versatile, used for staking, yield farming, trading, and network governance. Since its launch, Manta Network has quickly grown in popularity. By January 2024, it became the third-largest Ethereum Layer-2 network by TVL, reaching $573 million.

4. Base – Coinbase Layer 2 Blockchain

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Base is a secure, low-cost, builder-friendly Ethereum L2 built to bring the next billion users onchain.
  • Throughput: 2,000 TPS
  • TVL: $729 million
  • Market Cap: NA
  • Technology: Optimistic Rollup

Coinbase‘s Base, a Layer 2 blockchain, is set to amplify Ethereum’s capabilities by boosting transaction speeds and slashing fees.

By using the OP Stack and Optimistic Rollups, Base can handle 2,000 transactions per second, making transactions almost instant. It aims to cut Ethereum’s gas fees by up to 95%, making it great for DeFi and NFT transactions.

Base leverages Ethereum’s strong security while processing transactions off-chain, keeping assets safe. It’s built with developers in mind, offering familiar tools and easy deployment. With support from Coinbase, Base benefits from top-notch security and a large user base.

Still in development, Base focuses on speed, low costs, and developer support. As it grows and becomes more decentralized, it could be a key part of Ethereum’s future, helping it become more scalable and efficient.

5. Mantle

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  • Throughput: 2,000 TPS
  • TVL: $177.13 million
  • Market Cap: $2 billion
  • Technology: Optimistic Rollup

Mantle stands out in the Layer 2 landscape by not just accelerating Ethereum transactions but also pioneering interoperability across various blockchain networks.

Built on the Op Stack, Mantle allows easy interaction between Ethereum and major blockchains like Solana and Avalanche, connecting previously isolated networks.

Imagine easily transferring NFTs or DeFi assets across Ethereum and other big chains without losing speed or security. Mantle makes this possible with its advanced cross-chain messaging, enabling smooth swaps and easy transfers across various blockchains. This boosts opportunities for developers and users and encourages wider DeFi adoption.

Mantle aims to be more than just a bridge. It wants to be a central hub for Web3 applications, especially in high-performance gaming and the metaverse. With low fees, fast transactions, and cross-chain capabilities, Mantle creates a perfect environment for these applications, attracting top developers and driving innovation in the Web3 space.

What are Layer 2 Blockchains in Cryptocurrency?

Layer-2 blockchains are essential enhancements designed to improve the performance and scalability of primary, or Layer-1, blockchains such as Ethereum. These protocols operate on top of the main blockchain, effectively reducing network congestion, decreasing transaction costs, and increasing processing speed.

Picture a streamlined highway where traffic moves effortlessly, transactions occur at unprecedented speeds, and fees are so minimal they’re almost nonexistent. This is the realm of Layer-2 protocols in the crypto world, acting as the high-speed lanes on the Ethereum blockchain, dramatically enhancing its performance and scalability.

How Do Layer 2 Blockchains Work?

The essence of Layer-2 networks lies in processing transactions off the main chain and then aggregating them into a single, comprehensive transaction on the main blockchain. This method greatly alleviates network congestion, shortens processing times, and lowers transaction fees.

Layer-2 protocols serve as an efficient traffic control system, redirecting transactions away from the main blockchain for separate processing. This offloading significantly eases the load on the main blockchain, resulting in quicker transactions, reduced fees, and enhanced overall capacity.

How Do Ethereum Layer 2 Scaling Solutions Benefit?

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Comparison table of best Ethereum Layer 2 solutions for 2024.
  • Fostering Growth in dApps and DeFi: Layer-2 protocols enhance the affordability, speed, and smoothness of decentralized applications (dApps) and DeFi platforms, broadening their potential and usability.
  • Enhancing Profitability for Users and Traders: These protocols offer a financial boon to traders and investors by substantially lowering transaction fees. This is particularly beneficial in DeFi activities like yield farming and trading, directly impacting profitability.
  • Facilitating Widespread Blockchain Adoption: Layer-2 networks are instrumental in driving the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. By making blockchain more accessible and user-friendly, these scaling solutions are extending its reach into various sectors beyond finance, including gaming and supply chain management, paving the way for broader acceptance and use.

Conclusions

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In wrapping up, it’s worth reflecting on insights from Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, regarding the Layer 2 space. In one of his recent discussions, Buterin highlighted an interesting trend: the growing diversity in Layer 2 projects. He predicted that this diversification would only increase over time. He also notes an intriguing shift where some projects, originally launched as independent layer 1s, are now gravitating towards the Ethereum ecosystem, potentially evolving into layer 2 blockchains.

“We are seeing a trend of layer 2 projects becoming more heterogeneous. I expect this trend to continue…”

Vitalik Buterin – Ethereum’s co-founder

In 2024, Layer-2 solutions will become more than just a passing crypto narrative; they’re a fundamental shift in the crypto world. Make sure you follow us and other top DeFi influencers to avoid missing any valuable insights.

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Disclaimer: This article serves informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Conduct your own research before making investmendecisions.