Blockchain technology is here to stay; implementing scalable solutions is the only option. Now, there are two separate approaches gaining traction in the current times. One deals with Near sharding, and another deals with Ethereum Layer-2. Both have a substantial fanbase to their names; however, the ultimate goal is still to make sure that they are able to comprehend the best scaling approach.
The Layer-2 protocol is generally architected on top of a blockchain to deliver the required level of throughput, scalability, and privacy. Simultaneously, it looks forward to bringing down the associated costs and network congestion.
Ventures are still adopting Layer-2 as a solution, but a question has to be asked: is it practically the right choice?
Near, on the other hand, has taken a different route, namely Sharding. It is a method of partitioning a network into segments built directly into the protocol. It is better than everything else because it retains the security assurance of layer-1 blockchain.
Layer-2 operates by executing state transactions off-chain from Layer 1, on which they are built. State transactions are then authenticated and materialized in the form of optimistic rollups by leveraging the potential of zk-proofs. This is crucial to verifying the legitimacy of the Layer-2 state transition.
The operations of L2 are based on the theory that it can surpass the functioning of Layer 1. In other words, the theory is grounded on the hypothesis that a rollup can do better than Layer 1 when it comes to throughput owing to decreased consensus overhead. Ethereum has the edge because it has gained attention for its strategy to scale through Optimism, Arbitrum, and zkSync, among other rollups.
Layer-2 continues to rise; however, the community is still split into two parts. One side believes that issues like composability and collective work results must be resolved. Another side believes that it is too early to make a final call at the moment.
Near’s Sharding has been defined as analogous to Ethereum operating with rollups. The key difference is in the way sharding is integrated into the protocol. It facilitates the interaction between applications on different shards. It does offer the benefit of composability. What stands out is the speed of finality. It instills a sense of confidence among users, with an average time of 10 minutes.
No matter the option one chooses, it will come down to individual design philosophies to underpin the base protocol.
Ethereum considers robustness and resilience, while Near looks to provide a seamless experience. Things have actually been going well for its native token amid the developments. NEAR is currently trading at $1.45, and the Near Protocol forecast estimates that the token can go as high as $3.50 by the end of 2023.
Near functioning as BOS currently empowers developers and users to use the application across different blockchain ecosystems. This includes Ethereum’s Layer-2.