It is likely that when you are looking for information about Blockchain technology you will find some terms that seem somewhat strange; And it is that as we have mentioned in previous articles, this technology is made up of a set of characteristics and processes that make it one of the best tools today to share information securely.
If in your search to learn more, you come across terms such as First layer or Application Layer. Do not worry, it’s not that you’ve got the wrong topic, it’s that thanks to the great advances that many projects have brought to the Cryptocurrency ecosystem, Blockchain technology has changed and is no longer the same as it was 10 years ago. When Bitcoin was born, the technology that revolutionized the way to transfer data in a secure and immutable way was Blockchain technology, but as Bitcoin became what it is today, many design problems came to light, these problems were somewhat complex to solve since the Blockchain of this Cryptocurrency required some technical changes.
It is because of these problems that future Cryptocurrency projects chose to solve these root problems and make improvements to the design of their own chains of blocks, this is how Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Solana and Bitcoin itself managed to improve their network and create what is known today as the application layers of a Blockchain.
The application levels of a Blockchain can be divided into different layers, until the moment this article is written, only Cryptocurrencies that allow the implementation of 3 layers are known.
These layers or sub-levels of a Blockchain were designed in order to help the scalability of the central currency and lighten the transactional weight of some networks, since without this layering, block chains tended to become congested with transactions, which opened the door to other problems.
Perhaps this is the most confusing part of this topic since not all chains of blocks are the same and some have more levels of sub layers than others; as in the case of Bitcoin where it only had one in its Blockchain and with the development of the Bitcoin Lightning Network, the second level of this network was created. We can find this example in other Cryptocurrencies, as well as new projects that have already thought about these layers from the beginning.
But now that it means that a transaction or some token works at Layer 1, Layer 2 or Layer 3, we will explain better each of these levels of a Blockchain network below.
Layer 1 or Level 1 of a Blockchain:
A level 1 network or that a transaction works in layer 1 is the same as saying that a transaction works in the base network of a Blockchain, that is, the first level of a chain of blocks is the same original Blockchain that started to work when the Cryptocurrency or project was created.
For example, Ethereum and Bitcoin are networks that were originally born with a single level, when talking about the Bitcoin or Ethereum network, they are generally mentioned as layer 1 since all transactions and operations are executed in their own base network, When these operations are many, this is where the application of a second layer comes in.
So it could be said that a Layer 1 protocol is one that is processed and executed on its own network, and has a native currency that is used for commissions and transactions within its Blockchain system.
Layer 2 or Level 2 of a Blockchain:
It is understood that a network is layer 2 or that a transaction works at the second level, when a transaction is executed using an alternative protocol to that of the base Blockchain network. As we mentioned before, level 2 of a Blockchain is used to help the chain of blocks not become congested and allow other functions that simply would not be viable when running on layer 1.
For example, the Bitcoin Lightning Network is a layer 2 protocol that was developed with the purpose of allowing much faster transactions, since due to the same design of the main network or layer 1 it was simply impossible to carry out these transactions without completely changing the Blockchain design.
Layer 3 or Level 3 of a Blockchain:
Also known as the application level, since it is the protocol that allows the well-known decentralized applications or Dapps to be executed, these applications can vary according to the design and the purpose that you want to give them.
Thanks to the development of Dapps and to the magnificent functioning of smart contracts, there are some Blockchains that make use of layer 3 in a very creative way, one of these developments is the famous Cryptocurrency video games where a massive number of transactions are carried out per second, which if executed in the first layer would collapse the entire system, which is why level 3 is used, but without losing communication with the first layer protocol, allowing transactional power and the different uses of layer 3 applications with security from layer 1.
At the moment, only two layers associated with the Bitcoin Blockchain network are known, layer 1 being the original block chain and layer 2 consisting of the Bitcoin Lightning Network protocol.
They are very useful since the scalability of a Cryptocurrency depends on them, where from layer 2 you can notice the great positive changes they bring, also thanks to layer 3 applications they open a range of possibilities thanks to the operation of the applications decentralized.
Of course yes, since the development of these applications not only allows us to create self-managed applications, but they bring great development within the ecosystem, which, when implemented in the different layers of different Blockchains, open up the possibility of what is known as “Cross-Chain” which is the communication between different chains of blocks.