Is Bitcoin at the forefront of the battle between Layer 1 and Layer 2 ecosystems?

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Transactional activity is at its highest average levels ever, thanks to increased adoption, general bullish sentiment in the crypto space, and DeFi. As a result of the popularity of layer 2 solutions due to their lower cost and faster performance, projects such as Polygon have risen.

Regardless of L2 solutions, the L1 networks of Bitcoin and Ethereum remain dominant, but there have been other projects that have left their mark on the L1 scene in terms of activity.

In this article, we will be looking at the new L1 projects currently evolving in the market and if they are contributing towards more balance between the foundational and sidechain networks.

NEAR and CELO; are its users saying hello?

The network activity development by NEAR and CELO is note-worthy. Ignore the rhyme scheme, but over the past few weeks, NEAR’s ecosystem has absolutely exploded, growing by 182% since the beginning of August.

The total number of addresses on the network surpassed 1 million and it is largely due to significant partnerships.

NEAR set up a series of high-quality project launches which led to grants with Filecoin, and reached an ATH price level last month. Another strong development proliferated by NEAR is the development of the Rainbow bridge.

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We discussed the rising importance of bridges in earlier articles, and NEAR’s TVL growth indicated the general utility of bridges for developers, and users actively engaging on the network.


With CELO, its TVL value was up by 139% in Q3 2021, and it was largely due to the approved DeFi incentive program worth $100 million. Impressively, Celo’s network has averaged close to 457,000 transactions daily for the past 30-days, which is higher than some of the top projects such as Avalanche, and Polkadot.

Now, while Avalanche and Polkadot were ranked 13th and 8th respectively, CELO was ranked 75th in the charts. Now essentially, these are L1 layers that did not comprise L2 characteristics but their rising functionality indicated that l2 layers did not have a complete stronghold on the market yet.

Yet is Bitcoin Layer-2 bridging the gap to Layer-1?

In a surprising turn of events over the past few weeks, BTC’s Lightning Network has gathered massive momentum which is leading towards the growth of its L2 network.

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Now, on a larger scale, it is a good sign for BTC to be used as a transactional medium but on the other hand, its monthly unique addresses on L1 had taken a hit.

Source: Coinmetrics

Monthly active Bitcoin addresses have returned to 17 million since July 1st, but they are not as high as they were at the start of the year.

As a result, while some L1 projects improved their credentials, BTC, the dominant change, took a minor step back. However, there are still more than enough signs to suggest that L1-L2 activity was distributed rather than dominant.

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