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In 2021, ‘L1’ blockchains took the spotlight — thanks to DeFi

“Ethereum killers.” That used to be the fashionable term for blockchain networks vying to become legitimate competitors to the most popular smart contract platform. Talk of potential Ethereum killers dates back several years. But it wasn’t until 2021 that legitimate alternatives to Ethereum finally took the spotlight, and by then they had a new name: L1s L1 stands for layer-1. Back when the original supposed Ethereum killers— a loosely-defined class headlined by EOS and Cardano — arrived on the scene, …

Layer by Layer Issue 16: Governance Update

December 23, 2021, 9:18AM EST • 14 min read Quick Take In this weekly series, we dive into some of the most interesting data and developments across the Layer 1 blockchain landscape, from DeFi and bridges to network activity and funding Some of the most significant changes to L1 blockchains this year have come from protocol upgrades enacted through on-chain governance This week, we check in with the latest governance decisions and proposals among L1 ecosystems, including Terra, Cosmos, Tezos, …

Layer by Layer 2021 Review: Part 2

December 15, 2021, 3:40PM EST • 32 min read Quick Take This is a section from The Block Research’s upcoming 2022 Digital Assets Outlook report L1 chains have undergone significant upgrades this year, with many non-EVM compatible chains specifically optimizing for performance and growth Over time, blockchains are becoming increasingly interconnected as teams focus on enabling value transfer between L1s Cross-chain bridges have grown dramatically this year, becoming major sources of capital movement between chains Join The Block Research for …

Layer by Layer 2021 Review: Part 1

December 8, 2021, 4:41PM EST • 12 min read Quick Take This is a section from The Block Research’s upcoming 2022 Digital Assets Outlook report Layer-1 blockchains have seen significant growth throughout 2021, capturing market share from Ethereum and employing varied strategies to build their own ecosystems Incentives and increased funding have played a key role in the growth of L1 platforms With many L1 ecosystems reaching new all-time highs in total value locked, competition remains intense among DeFi protocols …