What is a Layer 1 Blockchain?

What is a Layer 1 Blockchain?
Photo by Uriel SC / Unsplash

In the article 'What is a Blockchain?' we explained what stands behind the word Blockchain. But if you dive deeper you will come across words like 'Layer 1', 'Layer 2', 'Protocols' and others. In this article we will explain what Layer 1 Blockchain stands for.

Layer 1 Blockchain

A layer 1 blockchain offers a set of solutions to improve the base protocol itself. This helps to make the overall network a lot more scalable. The consensus protocol changes and sharding are the two most common layer 1 solutions.

Consensus Protocol Changes

The consensus protocol changes lets the network sequentially work on each transaction. Examples for blockchains that use this solution are Ethereum, Avalanche or the Polygon Network. Projects like Ethereum are moving from the older consensus protocols like proof-of-work (PoW) to the much faster and less energy-wasteful protocol proof-of-stake (PoS).


This popular layer 1 scalability method breaks transactions sets into small data sets which are known as 'shards'. These can be then processed by the network in parallel.


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