Why Layer Two Matters
Layer 2 is a new phase of blockchain development where the lightning network and other programming solutions operate “on top” of the base layer – blockchain. HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the foundation of data communication for the world wide web that functions as the application layer to the internet. Layer 2 can be used as an anchor for data transactions, domain names etc. It minimizes the amount of data you have on the underlying blockchain which enables you to do things “off chain” and build on top of the blockchain in a decentralized manor acting as the HTTP for blockchains.
Lightning CEO Elizabeth Stark
With the bitcoin community engagement only coming from 5.27 percent of women, there is one woman who is a huge fan of open source, decentralized protocols. Elizabeth Stark is CEO and Co-founder of lightning.engineering, an open protocol layer that leverages the power of blockchain and smart contracts to make cheap, fast, private transactions available to anyone around the world. Prior to her involvement in Lightning Labs, she taught at Stanford and Yale where her students studied peer-to-peer technology, privacy, open source software and memes. Stark also is a fellow at Coin Center which is a non-profit focused on the policy issues facing cryptocurrency and decentralized technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Elizabeth Stark has not only helped highlight females in the blockchain industry but has also aided the transition from the “Bitcoin Era” to the “Layer 2 Era.” At the Blockstack Summit last year Elizabeth Stark highlighted lightning.enineering and why Layer 2 will be the HTTP of bitcoin and blockchain.
From the August 2017 Blockstack Summit to now, there has been even more discussion involving Layer 2. Neha Narula, director of the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, describes the defining feature of Layer 2 by stating that “computation is moved off-chain, either to enable privacy or to save computing resources.” Instead of having a script of a certain program being executed through every computer in the blockchain network, it “is implemented simply by the two or more computers involved in the transaction.” As Stark put it, “Imagine to send an email, you had to not only download every email that you have ever sent but actually any email that anybody had ever sent…” This would not be very efficient and this idea then led to the many layers of the internet, such as HTTP which is now being adopted into the blockchain realm as Layer 2.
Alexandra is a recent graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she received her B.S. in Finance and minor in Economics. She is currently in the process of completing her MBA with an expected graduation in June. She is the senior analyst of the financials and fixed income sector in the student run finance club on campus and intends to pursue a career in financial planning.