What are Layer 0, 1 & 2 Blockchains?

Harshana Serasinghe
2 min readJan 21, 2022


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Blockchain became popular with the rise of Bitcoin in January 2009. Now, that has grown to a very large scale which we can see lots of advancements and innovations every year. You can see different kinds of blockchain networks and architectures and the numbers are growing day by day. In this article, We’re going to discuss different layers that these blockchains can be categorized into.

Currently, there are three layers of Blockchain architectures identified.

  1. Layer 0
  2. Layer 1
  3. Layer 2

Layer 0

The Layer 0 blockchain lays the road for layer 1 blockchains. It gives the underlying infrastructure to create chains and also it allows cross-chain interoperability which means the chains created on top of layer 0 can communicate with each other.

Cosmos and Polkadot are some great examples of Layer 0 Blockchains. The Binance Chain is built on top of Cosmos.

Layer 1

The Layer 1 blockchain is a collection of solutions that improves the Layer 0 blockchain. It has its own Consensus mechanisms.

Blockchains in this layer have limitations such as scaling, developers have to make compromises when designing the applications and when there is an issue in the Layer 0 protocol, it will also affect Layer 1 as well.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Ripple are some examples of this type of Blockchains.

Layer 2

The Layer 2 blockchains solve different problems that arise in the Layer 1 Blockchain and also the Layer 2 can be defined as a scaling solution for a certain blockchain. It inherits security from its respective Layer 1 chain.

As an example, Polygon is a Layer-2 Scaling solution that runs on top of Ethereum and it solves the scalability issue in Ethereum and it charges a lot lower gas fees for transactions.

If you want to share more information about the layers or want to discuss this article, feel free to comment. :)



Harshana Serasinghe

In love with tech ever since I know what a computer is :)

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