A short guide to main layer-2s on Ethereum

A short guide to main layer-2s on Ethereum

Layer-2 networks on Ethereum are popping up like mushrooms after rain 🍄🍄🍄, and many are already thriving.

Ethereum is still the most trusted smart contract platform, and various layer-2’s are being built on it with the goal of combining Ethereum’s security with their own scalability solutions.

Yesterday yet another layer-2 has been announced by Coinbase, and this made us want to (re)count how many are there, both already running and still in the pipeline.

So let’s take a look (with the help of data from Nansen, DeFiLlama and CoinGecko):

➡️ Existing layer-2s:

📌 Polygon
The biggest layer-2 operating as a PoS blockchain, soon to be releasing a zkEVM.
– 595k daily active addresses (for comparison: Ethereum counts 410k)
– 2.8 million daily transactions (vs 1 million on Ethereum)
– $1.5 billion TVL (total value locked) in DeFi (vs Ethereum’s $53 billion TVL)
– $MATIC market cap: $12 billion

📌 Arbitrum
Layer-2 using Optimistic rollups and growing at a fast rate, notably thanks to its gaming and DeFi DApps
– this week, Arbitrum too surpassed Ethereum in daily transactions, crossing the 1 million threshold
– 120k daily active addresses
– $3 billion TVL
– no native token

📌 Optimism
Layer-2 using Optimistic rollups
– 73k daily active addresses
– 300k daily transactions
– $1 billion TVL
– $OP market cap $650 million

📌 ImmutableX
Layer-2 using StarkEx’s centralized zk-rollups solution and specializing in gaming
– $IMX market cap $792 million

📌 Loopring
Layer-2 using zk-rollups and specializing in payment/trading DApps
– $120 million TVL
– $LRC market cap $484 million

📌 Gnosis
One of the first Ethereum layer-2s, Gnosis Chain works as Execution-layer EVM with over 100 validators ensuring its decentralization. Despite that, the layer’s ecosystem is somewhat stagnating
– $75 million TVL
– $GNO market cap $278 million

➡️ Layer-2s to come:

📌 Mantle
With its testnet released this January by the biggest investment DAO BitDAO and the Bybit exchange, Mantle is a the“first modular layer-2 solution with separate execution, data availability, and consensus layers”
– Mantle will use BitDAO’s $BIT, market cap $767 million

📌 StarkNet
Decentralized ZK-rollup layer-2, launched in Alpha
$STRK is not yet released

📌 zkSync
Decentralized ZK-rollup layer-2, Full Alpha launch expected in Q2 2023
– token details still unknown

📌 Base
Built by Coinbase on the OP stack (developed by Optimism), Base will integrate Coinbase products first in a centralized way, with decentralization plans afterwards
– will not have a token