A Deep Dive into Blockchain Layers L0, L1, L2, and L3

Dhaval Soni
June 28, 2024
min read

Blockchain has turned out to be an unrest in data storage safety and trade with a decentralized future. However, the underlying structure is complex, with various layers working together to create this environment. This blog post goes deep into blockchain layers, introducing L0, L1, L2, and L3 and their importance in the whole scheme.

Breakdown of the Key Blockchain Layers

You can consider blockchain as a multi-layer cake. Each layer is essential in functioning correctly and safeguarding the system. Here’s a detailed breakdown of four key blockchain layers.

Layer 0: The Foundation (Infrastructure & Protocols)

Referred to as the “invisible layer,” Layer 0 is the base for building blockchain applications. It consists of hardware underneath, the Internet, and communication protocols used by blockchains. You can think of it like electricity powering a network or roads linking different cities. Polkadot, Cosmos, and Avalanche are some of the best examples of Layer 0 which focuses on Interoperability, which helps you to share data seamlessly through different blockchain networks.

Layer 1: The Core (Base Blockchains)

As the name suggests, Layer 1 is the core of the blockchain, where decentralized ledgers are maintained. Common examples of such blockchains include Bitcoin, Ethereum Solana, and Cardano. Proof-of-work or proof-of-stake represents one way each L1 network uses to verify transactions on its platform and ensure network security. Nevertheless, some L1 chains can be slow for everyday use and expensive due to limited transaction processing capacity.

Layer 2: The Scaling Solution (Off-Chain Transactions)

This layer builds on existing solutions for Layer 1 blockchains’ scaling issues. You can consider it as an overflow channel, processing a large number of transactions faster and more cost-effectively. It then submit them back to the secure base chain for final settlement through‪ L2 solutions‪. Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum are some of the best scaling solutions that work on blockchain layer 2.

Layer 3: The Application Layer (The User Interface)

 The third layer is the interface, also known as the application layer, on which things happen from the user’s point of view. This is where Decentralized Applications (dApps) built on top of L1 or L2 take place. These dApps are designed for different users for DeFi, NFT marketplaces, gaming platforms, social networks, and others.

How do blockchain layers work to provide interconnected apps?

 Now you know what are the key layers of blockchain and their role in building apps. Here’s how these layers connect to build a safe and interconnected architect.

1. Layer 0 provides the infrastructure needed by all other layers to operate well.

2. Layer 1 provides the basis for trust and security.

3. Layer 2 addresses the scalability issues and makes the transaction more efficient and affordable.

4. Layer 3 allows people to use dApps, which are based on friendly UIs, to bring out the transformative potential of blockchain technology.

Future Trends in Blockchain

The blockchain landscape always continues evolving, with research and development focused on optimizing each layer. Here are some developments worth following:

 Layer 0 advancements: Improvement of communication amongst different blockchains via continually developed interoperability protocols.

 Layer 1 scalability solutions: New consensus mechanisms and sharding techniques are currently being explored to improve transaction processing speed and reduce costs on L1 blockchains.

 Layer 2 innovation: They are coming up with more advanced L2 solutions that provide better security and functionality.

 Layer 3 expansion: This will see an increase in different applications entering various industries within which they become a regular feature.


To build successful dApps, you need to understand the architecture, including these four layers of blockchain. Now, you have detailed information about different blockchain layers and how each layer is interconnected to build flawless applications. This information can help you make better and more informed decisions for your future blockchain projects, securing you a top spot in the decentralized digital world.

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