Validiums, L2 solutions on Ethereum or not?  Vitalik Buterin clarifies

Vitalik Buterin questions the classification of Validiums on Ethereum: are they true Layer 2 (L2) solutions or not? The co-founder of Ethereum provides clarifications, but his comments trigger a lively debate within the crypto community.

Ethereum: Validiums are not L2 solutions

Daniel Wang tweeted that an Ethereum rollup is a validium if it uses another data string for data availability. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin confirmed his remarks. The heart of a rollup is the unconditional security guarantee. This means you can get your assets out even if everyone else is ganging up on you. This is impossible if data availability depends on an external system, he explains.

Buterin’s response to X

As a reminder, Validium is an Ethereum scaling solution that uses zero-knowledge proofs. It allows off-chain transactions while relying on the Ethereum mainnet. Unlike zero-knowledge rollups, validium networks do not post transaction data on an L1.

Networks like Celestia use a modular blockchain consisting of data availability layers and validation layers. This is why these are not rollups but validiums which allow fast and private transactions.

The classification debate persists

In a post on Warpcast, the Ethereum co-founder proposed an adjustment to some terminologies to make them simpler. For example, “safety-friendly” and “scale-friendly” to “strong” versus “light”. However, some do not agree with Buterin’s proposals. Ryan Berkmansa member of the Ethereum community, claimed that validiums are L2 networks.

A layer 2 is a chain that sits on top of Ethereum, he said. He says he wants to continue debating with anyone who insists that validiums are not Layer 2. The L2Beat platform agrees with Buterin’s position by affirming that validiums and optimiums are not L2s.

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