What Are Bitcoin Layer-2 Solutions?

4 min readMay 20, 2024


Despite the ongoing debate about Bitcoin’s (BTC) superiority over other cryptocurrencies, its significance in the Crypto World should not be underestimated. As the first cryptocurrency in the world, Bitcoin still holds a leading position among its counterparts, and the state of the entire cryptocurrency market depends on its value.

However, the technical infrastructure of the Bitcoin network currently lags behind that of Ethereum (ETH), which introduced a major upgrade aimed at resolving scalability issues between 2021 and 2022.

In the spring of 2024, information emerged about the launch of new projects capable of offering Layer 2 solutions to optimize Bitcoin. Let’s learn more details about them and their prospects in our new article.

What are L2 Solutions?

Second layer solutions in blockchain refer to Layer 2 protocols deployed on top of existing Layer 1 protocols in order to enhance scalability. The need for creating new protocols arose in major blockchain platforms like Binance and Ethereum due to increased user demand, causing systems to struggle to process transactions, leading to rising fees.

L2 solutions can offload transaction processing from the main blockchain, relieving congestion, reducing data processing costs, and consequently, transaction fees. This gradual adaptation of the blockchain to the number of users and operations allows it to continue developing successfully.

Ethereum or Bitcoin: Who Came First?

In 2021, Ethereum developers rolled out a major network upgrade that impacted everyone in the crypto world. Protocols like Arbitrum and Optimism tackled key issues like privacy, scalability, modularity, backward compatibility, customizable consensus, and security, while also slashing transaction fees.

But, back in 2015, six years before Ethereum’s big breakthrough, developers Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja introduced the Lightning Network (LN) — the world’s first Layer 2 solution for blockchain. This innovation aimed to solve Bitcoin’s scalability problems and boost its transaction capacity. The Lightning Network officially launched in 2018.

Types of L2 Solutions for Bitcoin

New developments in this area can be broadly categorized into three main types:

1. State Channels

State channels enable peer-to-peer transactions off the main network. The Lightning Network is a prime example.


- Increased transaction throughput.

- Near-instant transaction processing.

- Minimal fees.

- High security (channels can be closed instantly by mutual consent).

- Enhanced privacy (thanks to direct peer-to-peer connections).

2. Rollups

Rollups also offload transaction processing from the main network but add the ability to bundle data for later verification. This approach merges the security of Layer 1 blockchains with the flexibility of Layer 2 solutions. While rollups haven’t yet reached Bitcoin, projects like Bison Network and Barknet are actively working on it.

3. Sidechains

Sidechains are the most popular L2 solution for Bitcoin. These are independent blockchains connected to the main network through two-way cross-chain bridges. The main limitation is that sidechains might have lower security compared to state channels and rollups, which depend on the main network’s security. An example of a Bitcoin sidechain is the Liquid Network.

Advantages of L2 Solutions for Bitcoin

Over Bitcoin’s more than 15 years of existence, the high volume of users and transactions has put a significant strain on the blockchain, affecting its performance.

Additional benefits of L2 solutions include:

  • Enhanced scalability for the main network
  • Expanded functionality for Bitcoin
  • Increased liquidity for decentralized apps (DApps) built on the network.

Without these solutions, the network would struggle to keep up with user activity and could potentially collapse under the pressure.

Disadvantages of L2 Solutions for Bitcoin

Surprisingly, the main drawback of L2 solutions for Bitcoin is still insufficient throughput. Despite being designed to boost the network’s capacity, their functionality remains limited. Experts believe this significantly hampers Bitcoin’s mass adoption.

The Future of L2 Solutions for Bitcoin

The digital market is highly motivated to develop L2 solutions for Bitcoin, giving developers strong incentives to persevere despite setbacks. The primary challenge is that existing L2 protocols cannot meet all user demands. The ideal solution — one that relieves network congestion while maintaining transparency and security — has yet to be found. Some analysts are optimistic about upcoming rollups for Bitcoin, hoping they will revolutionize the industry and drive it forward.


The digital market continues to evolve actively. Bitcoin, holding onto its leading positions, remains true to itself — slowly, steadily, and steadily preparing the ground for a major upgrade, which, according to cryptocurrency experts, is expected in the foreseeable future.

If you want to learn more interesting facts about crypto then check out our blog! You might like our articles “Liquid Restaking Protocols: the New DeFi Primitive” and “Authorization vs. Success Rates”.

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