The Layers of the Block-Chain. Layers 0,1,2 &3.
Layers of the Blockchain are basically the different levels of this Distributed Ledger Technology. Just as the atmosphere has different layers; each layer of the Blockchain has a specific function and all 4 layers are inter-connected, yet; almost independent in functioning.
Layer 0 is the foundation of the Blockchain Technology. This layer contains all the technical resources that Layer 1 Blockchains need to exist. See this as the Blockchain where Blockchains are built. Cosmos is a good example of a Layer 0 Blockchain; it makes it easier for developers to build their own Layer 1 Blockchains, also, it allows Blockchain built on it (Cosmos) to interact with each other. Smart contracts, data, Dapps, and other arbitrage file can easily be transferred back and forth between the Blockchains built on Layer 0’s. A developer would not need to waste time or resources on re-building another version of their Dapp on one Blockchain.
A friendly example to explain the concept of Layer 0: See Layer 0 has WordPress, that allows users to build their website (Layer 1 Blockchains). With Layer 0’s, each Blockchain built on them can interact with each other, this allows data, smart contracts and onchain resources to be transferred between these built chains.
Layer 0’s makes it easier for Blockchains to scale higher and become more secured.
Layer 1 Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum are Blockchains that handle the recording, processing and validation of transactions and data. This is the main layer of the Blockchain where real time data is stored. Layer 1 Blockchains adopt either the Proof of Work or Proof of Stake consensus method, which is being used for validating blocks and keeping the ecosystem updated. There are 3 core aspects of the Layer 1 Blockchain; Decentralization, Security and Scalability. So far, no Layer 1 Blockchain has been able to achieve this on their own, which leads to the need for Blockchains to be interacting with each other. For example; Bitcoin is decentralized and secure, but not so scalable. Etheruem is decentralized and scalable (to an extent) but not so secure (they have been hacked before).
See Layer 2 has a helping hand to the Layer 1 Blockchains. Layer 2’s are Blockchains incorporated with a Layer 1, their sole purpose for existing is to aid the Layer 1 by speeding transactions and making the ecosystem scalable. Polygon for example is a Layer 2 Blockchain for the Ethereum Blockchain which is a Layer 1. Ethereum is very expensive; sometimes its gas fees can be 3x the value of your transaction, this is because the Ethereum Blockchain is highly congested. With Layer 2 scaling solution like Polygon; transactions can now be carried outside the main chain to the side chain, this way speeding things up and increasing scalabilty.
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Layer 3 is the final layer of the Blockchain and this is the one that most people are familiar with. The Layer 3 is also called the application layer. It consists of Dapps, websites and UI that connects us to the Blockchains. See this as using the Google app, this app connects you to the Google server which helps in searching answers on the internet based on your query; you do not need to bother yourself understanding how Search Engines mechanics works to use the Google App.
In the case of the Layer 3, these apps include your web3 wallets, Metaverse websites, Nft marketplace websites, Defi Dapps e.t.c