Someone told me that in a previous video Charles said cardano has the best layer 0. Did he mean Layer 1 or was this intentional?

Either way, what is a layer 0? And how do you interface with it from Layer 1 or from Layer 2?

3 Answers 3





A few links to articles detailing 'Layer 0', hope this is insightful.

According to Benjamin Diggles, the co-founder and CSO of Constellation Network,

"Layer 0 protocol is the first layer among all blockchain protocols, connecting seamlessly with all other protocols to build interconnected value chains, offering a more robust and evolved alternative to smart contracts."


The only true "layer 0" I am aware of is Polkadot.

The parachains are the "layer 1" and the relay chain is the "layer 0" that simply performs one function and one function only, relaying the XCM requests between the parachains.

I'm sure he meant layer 1.


Lets start by saying that all of these "Layer X" terms are non-technical and the differences are not clearly defined. Generally, a Layer 1 (L1) protocol is one with its own ledger & consensus mechanisms, whereas a Layer 2 (L2) protocol is one that builds on and leverages these mechanisms for (more) specific use cases. Things get confusing because this L2 definition applies to and has been used to describe everything from payment/state channels (i.e. Lightning/Hydra for Bitcoin/Cardano, respectively), sidechains (i.e. Milkomeda), rollups (i.e. Polygon for Ethereum), e.t.c., even though all of these are very different from each other.

Following this, intuition suggests that "Layer 0" is also a bit of an ambiguous term that refers to the system(s) that L1s build and depend on for their functioning. TCP/IP and the internet itself is one component of this "Layer 0". The legacy fiat monetary system can also be thought of as a part of this Layer 0 since most people (at least for now), must use it to onboard to crypto.

Layer 0 has also been used to define projects like Cosmos or Polkdadot, which focus on solving the interoperability problem by creating a "blockchain of blockchains". Charles may have commented on Cardano being the "Perfect Layer 0" because of its (future) native support for interoperability, using the main L1 chain for secure settlement.

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