Why an L2 network?

Diego Quast / Tixl Buster
4 min readFeb 23, 2022

A lot has happened since Dec 2021. I think the most important or maybe better to say shocking news was that Tixl wouldn’t be implementing a L1 network, which made a lot of people very uncomfortable.

Where is Tixl today?

Instead of developing an L1 network, Tixl decided to develop as many L2 networks as needed and use the existing Cross-Chain Bridge to provide interoperability.

All the reasons why they decided to do that were explained in their Medium article so I really don’t need to explain them again. All I have got to say is that I’m very happy with their decision for many reasons:

  1. It was taking forever to develop the L1 Autobahn: for those who don’t remember, it took many months for them to deploy it integrated to the Bitcoin network and another 6 months (which everyone thought would be 3 months at first) to integrate it to the Ethereum network. How long would it take to integrate it to other L1 networks?
  2. The L1 Autobahn didn’t have Smart Contracts so they started to develop this capability for it — anyone think integrating new networks was taking long? This would take even longer.
  3. The development of an L2 network could be much faster.
  4. Theoretically, the L1 Autobahn Network would provide “out-of-the-box” interoperability. Things, however, are never that simple and, additionally, why provide interoperability within the L1 Autobahn if the Cross-Chain Bridge was already providing it without users having to bring their tokens into a specific network?

I applaud the team for their courage to stop, take a step back and look at all they had done and what they wanted to achieve. They asked themselves “what problems do we want to solve?” and made a list of possible solutions.

The Space Pen

As a child, I heard the story about the invention of the Space Pen. Before I wrote this article, I did some research because I thought it wasn’t true. It turns out I was right: it is fake. Anyway, I find it a good anecdote, so here it is.

“During the height of the space race in the 1960s, legend has it, NASA scientists realized that pens could not function in space. They needed to figure out another way for the astronauts to write things down. So they spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars to develop a pen that could put ink to paper without gravity. But their crafty Soviet counterparts, so the story goes, simply handed their cosmonauts pencils.”

Copied from American Scientific site (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-nasa-spen/).

If you have the curiosity to read the whole American Scientific article, you will see that nothing in this story is actually true, but I still think that we can learn something from it.

What I mean to say here is: the way we write the problem will influence the solution to it. In this example, the problem that NASA described was “we need a pen that will be able to write under zero gravity”. The problem the Soviet counterparts were solving was “we need something to write in space”.

I like the fact that Tixl didn’t ask the question “what should we do to our L1 Autobahn Network so it solves all the problems we want”. Instead, they went back to basics and asked “what solutions will solve these problems”. There were, probably, many answers so, after they got this list, they started evaluating the pros and cons for each. They decided to go forward with the solution that had the most pros.

Why an L2 on BSC

When we talk about Marketing, we’re discussing what will need to be done to make our product/service known by people, clients, users. Marketing is not something that we just say “let’s do Marketing now” and, just by magic, people start to buy your product. There is a budget, there is a smart way to use the budget. Marketing knows that there are competitors and partners and one of the big decisions that Marketing makes, is to decide: “in what markets will you want to launch your product?”.

I’m not here to discuss with people if BSC needs or doesn’t need an L2, if it has scaling problems or not. I see a lot of people in our groups saying that the Tixl team is lost and developing something that is not needed. I also saw the replies that the team made to those by simply sending a link to an article by Binance where they admit they need something like this.

I think that Marketing was a big factor when the Tixl team decided to build an L2 on top of BSC instead of ETH.

Let’s see:

  1. ETH has many L2s already, many of them being developed for years already — why be one more in this highly competitive environment?
  2. BSC has no L2 which means that Tixl could be the first one there — and get the advantages of being the first mover.
  3. Tixl can benefit from Binance if they develop a good product — Binance is known to support (at least financially) projects that help their environment get better.

For those who think the team is lost, I’m sorry but I totally disagree. They are smart, focused and they know that everything changes very quickly. They move fast too and you should be noticing that: L2 Autobahn Canary will go live this week (Feb 21 to 27, 2022) and Cross-Chain Bridge has integrated many networks already… I’m adding to my bag.

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