Ethereum scaling solution Optimism is aiming to create the ideal environment for layer 3 blockchains to build on its network of networks, otherwise known as the Superchain.

In a blog post on Wednesday, the Optimism team said layer 3 developers join the Superchain by leveraging the OP Stack codebase and sharing revenue with the Optimism Collective.

“Chains that have committed to the Superchain not only have access to a values-aligned network of builders, but they’re also able to tap into a wide variety of benefits, including eligibility for retro funding, airdrops, and Superchain developer grant programs,” said Optimism in the blog post.

In order to encourage these layer 3 builders to join the ecosystem, Optimism plans to roll out two features highly coveted by developers — custom tokens and an alternative data availability protocol called “Plasma Mode.”

Custom gas tokens would allow developers to use layer 2 tokens as their native gas tokens on layer 3 blockchains, making it easier to move its existing community of users over to the new network and also lowering the onboarding costs for new users. 

Meanwhile, Optimism expects that Plasma Mode will be a “key building block for developers spinning up low-cost chains.” OP Stack chains will have to post data commitments and output roots to their settlement layer. Seeing as layer 3 networks will only have to submit transactions to the underlying layer 2 network, their overhead costs will be significantly lower.

“The goal of Plasma Mode is to allow anyone to deploy an OP Stack Chain with the data availability layer of their choosing, sustainably reducing transaction costs while minimizing security tradeoffs,” Optimism said.

Blockchain infrastructure and rollup-as-a-service firms  such as Syndicate, Caldera, Gelato Network, Chaindrop, Zeeve, and Conduit have already indicated they intend to grow the layer 3 ecosystem on the Superchain.

The rise of layer 2 networks was one of the key themes in the crypto space last year, but as blockchain interoperability and scalability come more into focus, now layer 3 networks might start to see some time in the spotlight. 

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about these new networks,  some industry watchers say the existence of layer 3 blockchains detract value from Ethereum.

May 9, 05:00 a.m. ET: The headline was updated to correct layer 2 to layer 3