Crypto Glossary: Layer-1 Blockchain
Layer-1 Blockchain: A Layer-1 (L1) blockchain serves as the foundational layer within the blockchain technology stack. It establishes the fundamental infrastructure and protocols that govern the entire network, forming the basis upon which additional layers can be built. Bitcoin and Ethereum stand as prominent examples of Layer-1 blockchains, providing the essential framework for the broader blockchain ecosystem.
Consensus Mechanism: At the core of a Layer-1 blockchain is a consensus mechanism, a protocol that validates and records transactions securely on a public, immutable, and trustless ledger. Common consensus mechanisms on Layer-1 blockchains include Proof-of-Work (PoW), Proof-of-Stake (PoS), and Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS). These mechanisms ensure the integrity of the distributed ledger, fostering trust among participants in the network.
Infrastructure Components: Layer-1 blockchains form the base for all processes within the network. Their infrastructure comprises various components, including consensus mechanisms, data structures, and networking protocols. These elements collectively contribute to the secure, efficient, and decentralized processing of transactions on the blockchain.
Foundation of Blockchain Network: Referred to as the “core” or “foundation” of the blockchain network, Layer-1 blockchains play a pivotal role in maintaining the distributed ledger, validating transactions, and safeguarding the network against malicious actors. They provide the necessary groundwork for the development of applications, protocols, and additional layers within the blockchain ecosystem.
Security and Immutability: Layer-1 blockchains prioritize security and immutability. For instance, Bitcoin’s Layer-1 employs Proof-of-Work to secure its network, incentivizing miners to validate transactions through solving complex mathematical problems. This ensures that only valid transactions are added to the blockchain, contributing to the overall security and decentralization of the network.
Role in Layered Architecture: Layer-1 blockchains are integral to the concept of layered architecture in blockchain technology. They serve as the base layer upon which Layer-2 (L2) solutions, applications, and networks are built. The layered approach enhances scalability, efficiency, and functionality, allowing for diverse use cases and applications to coexist within the broader blockchain ecosystem.
Public, Immutable, and Trustless Ledger: Layer-1 blockchains operate as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), recording transactions securely on a public, immutable, and trustless ledger. The transparency and permanence of the ledger contribute to the integrity and reliability of the blockchain network.