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Does Solana Really Need an L2? Co-founder Gives Full Answers

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Solana logo displayed on a smartphone; chart graph
Solana | Shutterstock




Solana logo displayed on a smartphone; chart graph
Solana | Shutterstock



Anatoly Yakovenko, one of the driving forces behind Solana Labs, recently looked into the technicalities of the blockchain ecosystem's ambitious pursuit: synchronizing a global atomic state machine. 


Amidst the ongoing debate regarding the necessity of Layer 2 solutions on Solana, Yakovenko firmly reiterated the platform's commitment to scaling Layer 1. He confidently projected that this scaling could be accomplished through potential hardware upgrades in the foreseeable future.

Yakovenko's Bold Stance: Dismissing Layer 2 for Solana

In response to Steven Goldfeder, Co-Founder of Offchain Labs, who hyped Ethereum and its Layer 2 projects, Yakovenko made a lighthearted statement.


He quipped, "Solana is Ethereum." This statement was Yakovenko's way of presenting Solana, often referred to as the Ethereum-killer, as an equivalent to Ethereum itself.


Yakovenko recently wrote a post reiterating Solana's core vision, which focuses on expanding the atomic global state machine.


He also argued that Layer 2 solutions are insignificant in achieving this goal. According to him, these solutions are external execution environments that cannot ensure atomic composition with the Layer 1 state.


Although technologies like side chains, data availability validating bridges, and zero-knowledge proof vanadium are innovative, Yakovenko emphasized that they don't contribute to expanding the atomic global state machine.

MartyParty's Perspective: Extending the Conversation

Building on Yakovenko's assertions, blockchain educator MartyParty shared additional insights. He suggested that the "only logical next level of consciousness" could utilise Solana as Bitcoin's Layer 2 solution.


MartyParty elaborated that if Solana were employed as a Layer 2 solution for Bitcoin, it could potentially fulfil the long-standing promise of the Lightning Network. This promise revolves around making Bitcoin spendable for nearly free and achieving near-instant transactions.


Despite the room for creating Layer 2 solutions on Solana, Yakovenko emphasized their lack of relevance in the ecosystem.


He reiterated Solana's primary focus on directly scaling Layer 1 to enhance the single virtual machine instance without necessarily adding additional layers.


Yakovenko optimistically noted that this enhancement might be achievable through future hardware upgrades, minimizing the necessity for Layer 2 integration.

The Continual Evolution of Solana: Challenges and Progress

Solana is often hailed for its high throughput and low transaction costs and remains at the forefront of blockchain innovation.


However, amid the ongoing discussions regarding the need for Layer 2 solutions, the question lingers: Does Solana truly require an L2 protocol?


As Solana's network status remains robust, boasting high throughput and efficient transaction processing, developers within the ecosystem continue to explore various projects. 


Solana blockchain projects have shown innovative concepts and applications, leveraging the platform's capabilities to introduce novel solutions across decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more.


However, the debate surrounding Layer 2 solutions persists, revealing contrasting viewpoints within the blockchain space. While some advocate for exploring such solutions to enhance scalability and transaction speed potentially, Yakovenko's perspective emphasizes the insignificance of Layer 2 in Solana's trajectory.