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Layer N in 266 Words

June 5th, 2024 by Layer N

What is Layer N

Wait – what is Layer N?


Ethereum can be expensive and slow. Rollups fix that.

Instead of sending every single transaction to Ethereum to validate and execute, rollups validate a batch of transactions, roll them up, and send that bundle to Ethereum, splitting the cost and saving time. Blockchains are called Layer 1s and rollups are Layer 2s on top of them.

But there’s a catch: using a whole bunch of rollups is way more difficult than just using Ethereum. Each rollup is isolated, so it’s complicated and expensive for them to communicate.

Enter Layer N: a network of rollups all sharing a communication and state layer. The rollups talk, so they know what the others are doing. That means exponentially faster performance, but it still feels like one blockchain. So it’s safe and easy to use and build apps for. We call this the StateNet.

Blockchains are managed by virtual machines – software that enables the blockchain to run code. VMs enable blockchains to do complex tasks, like running smart contracts and applications.

The StateNet supports thousands of nodes, each with its own VM. These enable two types of VMs:

  1. Generalized (GVMs): General purpose VM-based rollups like EthereumVM, SolanaVM, etc. that run smart contracts.
  2. Application-Specific (XVMs): Dedicated VMs for individual applications, like exchanges, DeFi tools, or games.

When all these nodes are connected to the StateNet, they work together perfectly. So it all feels like one simple, fast blockchain.

We’ve already built NordVM, an XVM for exchanges, N-EVM, a GVM for the EVM, and we’re working with great teams to build more XVMs.

Got it?