Layer 3s Weaken Ethereum’s Security: Polygon (MATIC) Labs CEO

Polygon Labs CEO Marc Boiron rails against Ethereum Layer 3 chains.

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  • Ethereum Layer 3 chains have come under scrutiny from Polygon (MATIC) Labs CEO Marc Boiron.
  • The Polygon Labs chief has argued that these rollups could threaten Ethereum’s security.
  • Boiron’s statements have sparked a debate over the benefits of Layer 3 chains.

Driven by a need to scale, Ethereum has become increasingly rollup-centric, with an explosion of Layer 2 chains, blockchains built atop the network that process transactions off the network before settling them on the said network in batches periodically. 

As the rollup-centric shift continues, a new rollup type is emerging: Layer 3 chains. Like Layer 2 rollups, these chains process transactions off the Ethereum mainnet. However, instead of settling these transactions on the mainnet, they settle them on a Layer 2 chain. 

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In a recent series of X posts, Polygon (MATIC) Labs CEO Marc Boiron has accused Layer 3 chains of serving as a potential security risk to Ethereum.

Polygon (MATIC) Labs’ Boiron Puts Layer 3s on Blast

In an X post on Sunday, March 31, Boiron asserted Polygon Labs did not build Layer 3 chains because they supposedly served no purpose and took value away from Ethereum.

Stressing his view of how Layer 3 networks posed a security risk to Ethereum, he posed an extreme of what would happen if all Layer 3s settled on a single Layer 2.

“If Ethereum earns no fees and has no prospect of earning fees other than a tiny amount of fees from this one L2, then the value of ETH will drop and, when it is clear that it’ll continue to drop because there is no economic future for it, validators will no longer be willing to hold ETH and, thus, no longer be willing to secure the network.”

Not everyone agreed with Boiron, however, leading to a debate about the benefits of Ethereum Layer 3 chains.

Only One True Layer 3 Benefit?

Contrary to Boiron’s sentiments, Offchain Labs Senior Partnerships Manager Peter Haymond argued that Layer 3 chains offered numerous benefits. Unlike Polygon Labs, Offchain Labs, the developers of the Arbitrum network, encourage the development of Layer 3 chains with their Nitro tech stack.

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The benefits highlighted by Offchain Labs’ Haymond included lower bridging costs, lower proving costs, the ability to use custom gas tokens, and easier implementation of specialized state transition functions, which determine how a network’s decentralized ledger is updated.

Responding to Haymond, however, Boiron argued that all of these benefits save one was obtainable with Polygon-powered Layer 2 chains.

Despite the ongoing debates, the Ethereum Layer 3 ecosystem is still relatively new. CoinGecko only lists four projects in this category at the time of writing. The listed projects include Degen, a budding memecoin project on Base, the gaming-focused Xai, Orbs, and Dream Machine Token.

On the Flipside

  • In September 2022, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin argued that Layer 3 networks only worked when they served a different purpose than the Layer 2 chain.
  • The recently launched Degen Layer 3 network has seen significant adoption, with millions of dollars in trading volume.

Why This Matters

Trends and narratives abound in the crypto space. The recent debate about the benefits of Ethereum Layer 3 chains could help users better understand the emerging narrative.

Read these for more on Ethereum:

Ethereum Reaches 1M Validators: Will It Boost the Network? 

Buterin Looks Beyond Dencun as ‘Blobscriptions’ Raise L2 Fees

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.