The issue of scalability is probably one of the most pressing challenges that has been facing blockchain technology. Blockchain enables immutable and decentralized ledger distributed across numerous computers without the need for intermediaries or third parties. However, the scalability of blockchain has become a huge challenge to developers, enterprises, and users alike. For instance, Bitcoin, one of the most famous blockchains, has limitations regarding the duration it takes for the network to process transactions.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Layer 2 scaling solutions aiming to solve the scalability problems facing Bitcoin and other blockchains. Layer 2 scaling refers to methods that improve transaction throughput by augmenting existing blockchain protocols. In simpler terms, Layer 2 scaling allows blockchain networks to handle a more significant number of transactions per second, without altering the underlying blockchain architecture. Some of the techniques applied include sidechains, Lightning networks, Plasma, Raiden, and channel state networks.

One of the most recognizable Layer 2 scaling solutions is Lightning Networks, which were invented back in 2015 by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja. Lightning networks bring off-chain transactions in Bitcoin and other blockchains to increase scalability. Lightning networks ensure that payment channels on the blockchain network, where the majority of daily transactions happen, can handle an enormous number of transactions as a group.

Another Layer 2 scaling method is Plasma, which is a Layer 2 scaling protocol designed by Joseph Poon and Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum. Plasma enables the formation of hierarchies and sidechains of blockchains attached to the primary chain, with transactions performed on the secondary chain. This approach exists mostly to enhance the throughput and privacy of the blockchain.

Channel State Networks (CSN) is another Layer 2 scalability solution that was introduced following the development of the Lightning Network. It is a scaling solution that is integrated with Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Channel State Networks operate by creating channels that send minimal and low-value transactions off-chain. Channel state networks allow Ethereum transactions to be settled instantaneously and at low fees, which in turn boosts Ethereum’s scalability.


The development of Layer 2 scaling solutions has made it possible for Bitcoin and other blockchain networks to improve transaction throughput in the wake of scalability challenges. Through sidechains, raiden, plasma, lightning networks, and channel state networks, developers and enterprises can scale transactions while ensuring that the underlying blockchain architecture remains unchanged. While Layer 2 scaling methods have their pros and cons, the answer for the future of blockchain scalability most likely lies in a mix of Layer 2 and Layer 1 blockchain protocols. Through these methods, users can be assured of faster and cost-effective blockchain transactions, leading to a more extensive blockchain adoption.