Crypto Beginner

ETH layer 2 solution gets a speed boost ahead of merge

speed boost before merge

Arbitrum— Ethereum’s largest scaling solution— got a speed upgrade right ahead of the grand “Merge.” Termed “Nitro,” this speed upgrade is expected to further lower the transaction costs for Ethereum users/developers.

Arbitrum was launched in 2021 as Arbitrum One. Despite the success, One soon ran into transaction fee bumps—often higher than the ones seen on the Ethereum mainnet. The “Nitro” upgrade aims to fix that, bringing down the fee-lowering timeline to days from weeks.

Why was it needed?

The Ethereum merge is already upon us, and we know it won’t miraculously speed up transactions or lower the gas fees. Layer-2 scaling platforms like Arbitrum will continue to be popular post-merge due to their high speed and affordable transaction costs. With “Nitro,” Arbitrum will be able to settle Ethereum transactions cheaper and faster.

The Arbitrum upgrade was pushed on Wednesday (30 August 2022), keeping the network down for several hours.

Here is what Arbitrum tweeted:

How will the Nitro upgrade work?

The Nitro upgrade will try and fit an additional number of transactions in a batch, allowing Arbitrum to settle more arrangements across fewer blocks.

For the unversed, Arbitrum uses a dedicated computer (sequencer) to validate off-chain transactions before rolling them up and sending them over to Ethereum. Here is a tweet thread unpacking the sequencer for you:

Arbitrum’s Nitro upgrade comes about two weeks before the merge. The timeline may be a coincidence, but signifies Ethereum’s spirit to reinvent the network securely, said Steven Goldfeder, Arbitrum CEO. By the way, Arbitrum One, the vanilla version of Arbitrum, is no longer in use.


What is a layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum?

A layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum aims to increase the network’s transaction throughput and efficiency by processing transactions off-chain or using sidechains, reducing the load on the main Ethereum blockchain.

What is the most promising ETH Layer 2?

One of the most promising ETH Layer 2 solutions is Optimistic Rollups, which enhances scalability by executing transactions off-chain and later submitting them to the main Ethereum blockchain.

What is an example of a layer 2 solution?

An example of a layer 2 solution for Ethereum is Arbitrum, a rollup technology that processes transactions off-chain and later batches them into a single transaction on the Ethereum mainnet, improving scalability and reducing gas fees.

What is the ETH Layer 2 protocol?

The ETH Layer 2 protocol refers to the set of rules and mechanisms used to implement layer 2 scaling solutions on the Ethereum blockchain, such as Optimistic Rollups, zk-Rollups, and Plasma, to improve scalability and reduce congestion.

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