What is Layer 0?
Layer 0 is the framework layer of a blockchain ecosystem. It consists of the software and hardware that allow a blockchain to function.
The Long Definition
Layer 0 is the framework layer of blockchain protocols. It consists of the infrastructure and resources that form the foundation of a blockchain ecosystem.
Developers often build their own blockchains on top of this foundation. These blockchains are known as Layer 1 protocols. Generally, Layer 1 protocols built on the same Layer 0 framework have a level of cross-chain interoperability. This means that they can communicate and exchange digital assets with one another.
Understanding Layer 0 blockchain
Layer 0 provides a framework for building blockchains. It can be part of a blockchain. For instance, Bitcoin and Ethereum are considered to be Layer 1. However, they have Layer 0s at their foundations.
It can also be a blockchain in itself, complete with its own nodes, participants, rules, and mechanisms. Such blockchains typically allow for entire blockchains to be built on top of it. Examples include Cosmos and Polkadot.
Why Are Layer 0 Protocols Important?
This looks at Layer 0 protocols like Cosmos and Polkadot. Such blockchains provide a good level of customization and interoperability.
Layer 1 blockchains like Ethereum offer limited customization options. They provide a general platform. Therefore, they are not tailored to whatever decentralized application (dApp) a developer wants to build. Instead, the developer has to tailor their dApp to the protocol.
This means making certain compromises on the design and functionality. Additionally, if the network has bugs, there is nothing the developer can do about them. They must wait for the community to decide on an appropriate fix. This usually involves pausing development for months.
Layer 0 fixes this problem by allowing developers to build their own Layer 1 chains. These can then be customized to whatever dApp solution they are building. So, the creator doesn’t have to make design and functionality sacrifices. And since blockchains are open-source, other developers with similar dApps can use and contribute to the network.
Interoperability refers to the ability of two blockchain networks to communicate. It is important because it allows assets and information to flow freely between blockchains. This lets users access products and opportunities across different chains without having to sell their assets.
Layer 0 supports interoperability by providing a common foundation for building blockchains. Layer 1 blockchains built on the same Layer 0 can communicate with each other. This creates an ecosystem of blockchains that seamlessly work together.