Navigating the Web3 landscape: How to choose the right blockchain network for your DApp

Introduction

Blockchain technology has transformed various industries, offering transparency, security, and decentralization. Selecting the right blockchain network can significantly impact the performance, security, and user experience of your DApp. With many networks available, this article will guide you in making an informed decision. Chainstack supports many networks, including Ethereum, Bitcoin, BNB Smart Chain, and many more.

Layer 1 vs layer 2: A brief overview

Blockchain solutions come in various flavors, each with unique features tailored for specific use cases. The two primary categories within the blockchain ecosystem are layer 1 (L1) and layer 2 (L2) blockchains. While L1 networks offer robust security and decentralization, L2 solutions might be more suitable for applications requiring high transaction speeds and lower fees.

Layer 1 network

Layer 1 networks form the foundation of the blockchain ecosystem, serving as the base layer for DApps and cryptocurrencies. Their key characteristics include:

  • Decentralization β€” highly decentralized with a distributed network of nodes. Examples: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Security β€” robust consensus mechanisms like PoW or PoS ensure security.
  • Scalability β€” some L1 networks face scalability challenges, leading to congestion and high fees.
  • Smart contracts β€” support for decentralized applications with programmable logic.
  • Native tokens β€” used as gas fees or as a store of value.

Layer 2 network

Layer 2 networks address the scalability and cost issues of layer 1 networks, operating atop L1 networks and leveraging their security. L2 networks' key characteristics include:

  • Scalability solutions β€” designed to offload transactions from L1, increasing throughput and reducing congestion.
  • Cost efficiency β€” offer cost-effective alternatives for microtransactions.
  • Interoperability β€” can connect different L1 networks or bridge to traditional financial systems.
  • Security β€” benefit from the security of L1 but may have unique security considerations.
  • Use cases β€” ideal for high transaction throughput applications like gaming and DeFi.

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Read Solving the blockchain trilemma: A look at some scaling solutions to better understand layer 2 solutions.

Major layer 1 networks supported by Chainstack

  • Bitcoin. The foundational technology behind the first cryptocurrency.
    Best for: secure, transparent transactions and a store of value.
  • Ethereum. A decentralized platform for DApps and smart contracts.
    Best for: decentralized applications requiring robust smart contract functionality.
  • BNB Smart Chain. High-performance network compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
    Best for: DApps requiring high-speed and low-cost transactions.
  • Avalanche. Offers scalable, customizable, and interoperable blockchain solutions with a unique consensus mechanism.
    Best for: developers and projects seeking customizable blockchain-based applications with specific requirements.
  • Fantom. Known for fast transaction processing, scalability, and many use cases.
    Best for: high-performance decentralized applications and diverse use cases.
  • Filecoin. A marketplace for storage providers and users to exchange digital storage space and services.
    Best for: decentralized data storage and retrieval using a network of storage nodes.

Layer 2 networks supported by Chainstack

  • Polygon. A layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum.
    Best for: addressing Ethereum's high gas fees and slow transaction times.
  • Polygon zkEVM. The first zero-knowledge scaling solution compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
    Best for: integrating smart contracts and developer tools with enhanced scalability.
  • zkSync Era. Scales Ethereum with cutting-edge ZK tech and is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
    Best for: applications requiring high scalability without compromising Ethereum compatibility. Account abstraction out of the box.
  • Optimism. A scaling solution for Ethereum using optimistic rollups.
    Best for: achieving high throughput and low fees on the Ethereum network.
  • Base. An Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution built on top of Optimism.
    Best for: secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly scaling on Ethereum.
  • Arbitrum. Designed to enhance the performance of Ethereum-based DApps by providing a more efficient platform.
    Best for: addressing scalability and high gas fee issues on Ethereum.
  • Starknet. Enables Ethereum to scale securely using zk-STARKs technology.
    Best for: enhancing data security, privacy, and scalability on Ethereum.
  • Scroll. A reliable and scalable layer 2 network that extends Ethereum's capabilities.
    Best for: scaling applications on Ethereum without compromising on performance.

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What other networks does Chainstack supports?

Find the full list of supported networks.

Conclusion

Choosing the right blockchain network is pivotal for the success of your DApp. When deciding, reflect on your application's specific requirements, such as transaction speed, security, and cost. With the diverse options available, you can find a solution tailored to your needs.