6 Catalysts To Drive Further Development of Layer2 Ecology in 2023

The DeFi InvestorMar 31, 2023
6 Catalysts To Drive Further Development of Layer2 Ecology in 2023

You're not ready for what's to come to the Ethereum ecosystem. Five major catalysts in 2023 that will bring Ethereum and its L2s closer to mass adoption.

@eigenlayer mainnet launch

Eigenlayer is one of the most innovative projects I've discovered in a while. It's can be seen as a $ETH re-staking solution. Using Eigenlayer, Ethereum validators will be able to secure multiple networks/ protocols at the same time.

A good way to measure the security of a PoS chain is to look at the total value of coins locked by validators. The higher it is, the more an attack would cost. Ethereum is one of the most secure L1 because of this, hence protocols may be interested in renting security from it.

In short, Eigenlayer is building a marketplace where ETH node operators can opt to provide services for additional fees. They will even be able to validate networks such as side chains or even non-EVM networks. Bad behavior will be punished by slashing their staked ETH.

Any project from L1s and L2s to even oracles and bridges could leverage Eigenlayer's technology. Mantle, an upcoming Ethereum L2 with a modular design, is one of the projects that will use EigenLayer's Data Availability solution. Eigenlayer mainnet is expected to launch in Q3.

2. Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade

The upcoming Ethereum upgrade has sparked a huge interest in liquid staking derivatives. Shanghai will enable $ETH staking withdrawals along with other small changes. Yet this will likely not cause a huge $ETH sell-off as many expect.


The upgrade will feature a withdrawal queue, preventing everyone to withdraw their staked ETH at once. More than that, less than 50% of $ETH stakers seem to be in profit. So a massive $ETH sell-off is unlikely. The Shanghai Upgrade is expected to take place in April 2023.

3. Optimism Bedrock Upgrade

Arbitrum Nitro Upgrade significantly reduced gas fees on Arbitrum and helped it gain more popularity. Now it's Optimism's turn. Optimism Bedrock was introduced in May 2022. It's described as the cheapest & fastest roll-up architecture.

Once it goes live, users should expect average transaction fees on Optimism to be reduced and faster deposits. More than that, it will enable Optimism to incorporate ZK proofs, which are considered more secure. Launch: Q2 2023

4. Arbitrum Stylus Upgrade

Did you think that the team behind Arbitrum has been working only on launching $ARB this year? That's far from true, and the next massive upgrade for Arbitrum is called Stylus.

Stylus will allow the deployment of programs written in the most popular programming languages. That's right - Arbitrum will be the first L2 to support multiple programming languages such as Rust, and C++. On top of that, it will also make Arbitrum more scalable. Launch: 2023

5. zkEVMs

The first zkEVMs' mainnet launches are finally happening. zkEVMs are Ethereum scaling solutions that are EVM-compatible/equivalent and use ZK proofs to verify transactions. Developers can directly deploy Ethereum smart contracts on these scaling solutions.

ZK rollups are considered to be more secure & efficient than Optimistic rollups. @zksync and @0xPolygon have launched the first zkEVMs' mainnets, but this is just the beginning. Consensys and Taiko are also expected to launch the mainnets of their zkEVMs later this year.

6. Proto-danksharding

Proto-Danksharding is another major Ethereum upgrade that's expected to be ready later this year. It will introduce a new kind of transaction type to Ethereum, which will drastically lower transaction fees on L2s.

This will make Ethereum L2s even more scalable and make them more accessible to retail investors. This upgrade was initially scheduled to launch on the same day as Shanghai Upgrade. But as the staking withdrawals are the main priority, it was postponed for the fall.

I'm personally most excited about the Proto-danksharding upgrade. A $0.3 transaction fee for using L2s is still much. For Ethereum L2s to become accessible to everyone, the fees have to be <$0.05.


This article is for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as investment or other advice.

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