Blockchain: Understanding Blockchain Layers and its Architecture?

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Blockchain technology consists of multiple layers that work together to provide a decentralized and secure platform for data transactions. The functionality of the blockchain is handled by each layer. Understanding these different layers is crucial for grasping blockchain technology鈥檚 potential applications.

Read: Blockchain Technology Vs Artificial Intelligence: All You Need to Know

Understanding Blockchain Layers

Blockchain layers are the fundamental architectural components that constitute a blockchain network. These layers are designed to improve the scalability and functionality of blockchain technology.

Typically, a blockchain comprises multiple layers, with each layer serving a specific purpose critical to the secure and efficient operation of the network.

Exploring the Layered Structure of Blockchain Architecture

Participants collectively maintain, approve, and update entries in a distributed blockchain network. The architecture of a blockchain revolves around blocks that sequentially list transactions. This created network consists of multiple layers, each serving a specific purpose and contributing to the overall functionality and security of the system.


Image: Layered Structure of Blockchain Architecture (Source: Queppelin)

Below are the levels that make up the layers of blockchain architecture:

1.Hardware Layer

This is the physical framework that powers the blockchain infrastructure. This layer contains the hardware and networking components that enable a blockchain network to function. It contains servers, computing resources, and data centers that make up the network infrastructure.

These hardware and other computing resources are essential for maintaining the operational efficiency of blockchain networks and the security of data stored on the blockchain network.

2.Data Layer

This layer stores transaction details on a block. Many details are included in the transaction, including the amount of crypto sent and received, the public and private keys of both the sender and the receiver, and the hash of the transaction.

Each block is connected to the previous block. As the foundational block of the blockchain as a whole, the genesis block is the only one that is not connected to any previous blocks since it represents the beginning of the whole system.

3.Network Layer

The network layer, also referred to as the propagation layer, serves as the communication hub for the different nodes within the blockchain. Its primary function is to facilitate the exchange of information and data between these nodes.

Acting as the backbone of the blockchain network, this layer ensures the creation of blocks and their subsequent addition to the blockchain. Through efficient propagation, the network layer contributes to the secure and synchronized operation of the entire blockchain ecosystem.

4.Consensus Layer

The consensus layer plays a crucial role in validating transactions on the blockchain by ensuring agreement and eliminating double-spending. This layer enforces uniformity across the entire blockchain network.

To achieve transaction validation, all nodes within the network must verify the transaction and reach a consensus regarding its authenticity and validity. Thus, the consensus layer derives its name from its pivotal function of establishing consensus among nodes, guaranteeing the integrity and trustworthiness of the blockchain system.

5.Application Layer

The application layer serves as the platform where applications and smart contracts are developed within the blockchain ecosystem. It represents the front-end interface through which users interact with the blockchain technology.

What sets this layer apart is its inherent decentralization concept, wherein applications are built to operate in a distributed and autonomous manner. This layer empowers developers to create innovative and decentralized applications that leverage the security and transparency of the blockchain network, enhancing user experiences and transforming traditional industries.

Unveiling the Complexity of Blockchain Layer


Image: Blockchain Layers (Source: Reveation)

Blockchain networks consist of different levels or protocols, each contributing additional functionality and enhancing the capabilities of the network. Here are the different types of blockchain layers:

聽聽聽聽聽聽 Layer 0: Layer 0 consists of the fundamental tools and elements that make it possible to build and use blockchain networks like聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 Bitcoin and Ethereum. It includes the internet, hardware, and connections that support Layer 1.

聽聽聽聽聽聽 Layer 1: Layer 1 oversees consensus mechanisms, programming languages, block time, dispute resolution, and rules that uphold a聽 聽 聽 blockchain's core functionality. Blockchain networks are typically Layer 1 solutions.

聽聽聽聽聽聽 Layer 2: Layer 2 solutions are secondary networks built on top of the base layer. They work with layer one to increase the聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 network's聽 apacity by adding more nodes. Rollups are a type of Layer 2 blockchain scaling solution that processes transactions off聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 the Layer 1 network and then uploads the data to Layer 2 blockchains.

聽聽聽聽聽聽 Layer 3: L3, also referred to as Blockchain Layer 3, is frequently used to refer to the application layer. L3 projects offer a user聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 interface that hides the communication channel's technical specifics. Providing practical functionality and utility to blockchain聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 networks, L3 apps follow the layered structure of blockchain architecture.

Read: Layer 1 Vs Layer 2 Blockchains: What Is the Difference?

Conclusion

The layered structure of blockchain architecture is fundamental to its design and functionality. The various blockchain layers, including Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3, work together to enable secure transactions, enhance scalability, and provide practical utility.

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