As L3 development accelerates, communities are looking for strong technical partners to enable them to build chains that align with their goals. Over the last 6 months, Airstack and Syndicate have been partnering deeply across the L3 ecosystem.

Founded in 2022, Airstack is dedicated to helping teams integrate on-chain and select off-chain data sources through its intuitive AI-powered GraphQL engine. For over a year and a half Airstack has been building on Farcaster, making it easy for devs to leverage Farcaster’s social data in their projects. Today Airstack is a leading choice for many teams building applications or enriching with data from the Farcaster protocol. Many early L3s have also adopted Airstack as their primary developer toolkit, offering easy-to-use APIs that simplify the composition of L3 data with other data sources, attracting top developers and teams to build on the chain.

Founded in 2021, Syndicate initially focused on DAO infrastructure with the aim of empowering communities onchain. Over the years, Syndicate’s vision has evolved to now supporting L3s, which the team sees as crucial infrastructure owned by onchain communities and application ecosystems. The team has worked with prominent customers across the landscape like Nike SWOOSH and IYK, and is currently extending its expertise to Gold, Degen, Ham, and a growing number of L3s, continually expanding their impact across onchain communities.

Understanding Layer 3 Scaling Solutions

Ethereum scaling solutions like L3s will unlock mass adoption of web3 applications and tools. These chains build on L2s by improving transaction throughput and reducing costs. By ensuring faster and more cost-effective transactions, L3s play a crucial role in the seamless onboarding of a vast number of users onto a community-owned internet.

L3s enable scale by settling and bridging to an L2, leveraging the reduced bridging and gas costs, and utilizing alternative data availability layers. They employ rollup frameworks such as OP Stack and Arbitrum Orbit to facilitate these improvements. The gas costs on L3s can be minuscule, often a millionth or billionth of a penny. And since L3s are typically run by applications and communities, they can create innovative economic models that incentivize and expand their ecosystems. 

Additionally, L3s benefit from dedicated blockspace, which supports higher throughput applications, games, and community-focused use cases without the competition for resources seen on popular L2s like Base. This dedicated blockspace ensures that apps built on L3s can operate efficiently and at scale.

Layer 3 blockchains are quickly gaining popularity due to developer and user benefits alike, such as the ability to significantly reduce gas costs, provide dedicated blockspace, and deploy more customizable on-chain infrastructure. These features create some significant advantages over existing solutions, especially in gaming and social applications, where performant and cost-effective transaction processing are crucial to create improved user experiences.

A recent example of this success is, which is a web3 game that is fully onchain and built by the Gold Chain L3. Even on the more cost effective L2s, “fully onchain” would still be impractical due to various friction points that exist such as higher gas fees and longer transaction times. Crop makes great use of these advantages by obfuscating many of the web3 components away so that users get a seamless, fast, and gas-free in-frame gaming experience as they plant, harvest, and trade crops with their friends.

How Airstack and Syndicate Are Helping Accelerate L3s

Syndicate builds deep partnerships with L3s to ensure they are useful, usable, and valuable post-launch. By providing value-added infrastructure and tools, the team supports both application developers and users of their rollups.

Syndicate’s Transaction Cloud simplifies wallet, private key, and gas token management for developers, offering secure and scalable transaction handling via HTTP REST APIs. The team has also developed Mirrors, a way to facilitate messaging data between blockchains and external data sources, enabling smart contracts to access real-world data not natively available onchain.

Finally, Syndicate’s Smart RPC subsidizes targeted actions on your chain or app at the RPC layer, unlocking new gasless and bridgeless user and developer experiences. Smart RPC integrates with all EVM-compatible L2 and L3 chains, ensuring broad interoperability.

Airstack provides L3 services that streamline the integration and composability of on-chain data with other data sources. Airstack’s Composability as a Service (CAAS) reads from L3 chains and composes the data with various other onchain and offchain sources, such as Farcaster, ENS, XMTP, and Base for example, making all app chain data searchable via the Airstack API Studio. This service benefits developers by enabling immediate data availability through optimistic indexing and low latency, allowing them to focus on building powerful user experiences. Airstack’s APIs are designed to enrich app chains with continuously updated data sources, ensuring dynamic and comprehensive upkeep.

The GraphQL engine in Airstack studio is uniquely valuable to developers and teams working on L3 chains who require an API toolkit, with GraphQL as its query language Airstack allows developers to be granular in fetching exactly the data they need through nested queries. By leveraging Airstack, teams can build more efficiently and innovate faster, using industry-leading abstractions and toolkits included out-of-the-box.

Unpacking the L3 Stack

Rollup-as-a-Service (RaaS)

Layer 3 (L3) rollup-as-a-service providers like Caldera, Conduit, Alchemy, Gelato, AltLayer, and others enhance blockchain scalability and efficiency by offering managed rollup solutions. These services deploy and manage rollups that increase transaction throughput and reduce costs, settling on Layer 2 (L2) chains. They handle deployment, management, and data availability, enabling developers to build and scale decentralized applications effectively. By optimizing performance and providing dedicated infrastructure, L3 rollup as a service providers support the growth of high-performance web3 applications.


Bridges like Decent, Relay, and others enable the transfer of assets and data between different blockchains, enhancing interoperability and scalability. These bridges work by locking assets on the original chain and minting equivalent tokens on the target chain, facilitated by smart contracts. For L3s, bridges reduce congestion and transaction costs, improving performance for decentralized applications and DeFi ecosystems. 

Rollup Stacks

Today, there are two popular examples of Rollup Stacks.

Arbitrum Orbit allows developers to create customizable Layer 3 chains that settle on Layer 2 solutions like Arbitrum One. These chains use the Arbitrum Nitro tech stack, providing high throughput, EVM compatibility, and advanced compression. Orbit chains offer flexibility in throughput, privacy, gas tokens, and governance, enabling tailored blockchain environments for specific dApp needs while leveraging Ethereum’s security.

The OP Stack is an open-source framework for building interoperable Layer 3 blockchains using Optimistic Rollup technology. It provides standardized tools for scalability, reduced costs, and customization of execution environments and governance models. The OP Stack facilitates the creation and integration of multiple L3 chains, enhancing innovation and user experience in the web3 ecosystem.

Data Availability

Data availability (DA) providers like Celestia, EigenDA, AnyTrust, OP Plasma Mode, and others play a crucial role in Layer 3 blockchains by ensuring that transaction data is published and accessible for verification. They use techniques like data availability sampling (DAS) to enable light nodes to verify large volumes of data efficiently without downloading entire blocks. This enhances scalability and security, allowing developers to build high-performance decentralized applications without high fees. DA providers support the network's integrity by making transaction data verifiable, ensuring transparency and trust among users.

Settlement Layers

Settlement layers like Base (L2), Arbitrum One (L2), Optimism Mainnet (L2), and others provide fundamental services to Layer 3 blockchains. They offer secure transaction finalization, ensuring that data is validated and stored correctly. This reduces the load on the main blockchain and allows L3s to achieve higher performance and scalability.

These key players in the L3 stack alongside Indexers like Airstack and powerful Infrastructure partners like Syndicate are able to work together to constantly push the boundaries of L3 scaling solutions, helping teams and developers build, innovate, and deploy brand new experiences for their customers.

The Current State of L3s

Modular stack L3s are leveraging alternative data availability mechanisms to achieve ultra-low gas fees, significantly reducing the cost of transactions. These innovations are also bringing new types of data and mechanisms onchain that were previously off-chain, such as social data and tipping, as demonstrated by Ham Chain.

There is also a growing trend towards gasless onboarding experiences for new users and developers, eliminating the need for gas fees and bridging. The economic design of L3s is evolving, incorporating network fees, targeted subsidies, and custom gas tokens to optimize costs and incentivize participation. Improved L3 infrastructure is being developed by organizations such as Syndicate and Airstack, enhancing the overall efficiency and usability of L3s. 

L3s also provide valuable new abilities to web3 developers due to the many benefits that stem from their unique architecture. This allows for new advantages that developers are already starting to leverage; things like greatly reduced gas fees and expedient transaction times make it easier for developers to experiment, iterate, and deploy features - lowering development costs. Additionally, it is becoming more and more cost effective to launch an L3 than ever previously.

Case Studies

Degen Chain, an Arbitrum Orbit chain with AnyTrust data availability settling to Base, has seen notable success. Using $DEGEN as its native gas token, it briefly surpassed Base as the most active EVM chain. Syndicate played a crucial role in designing, launching, and growing the chain. The ecosystem continues to expand, with new apps, games, and experiences being introduced. Specifically, Syndicate contributed to organizing "Deploy on Degen Week," which attracted over 300 developers, showcasing the chain's potential and growing community. Syndicate is helping innovate across the chain and developer tooling, so that there continues to be unique reasons to build on Degen.

Airstack launched the L3 developer toolkit designed to read and compose Degen L3 data, providing performant APIs that have empowered hundreds of developers to enrich existing applications and build new ones using Degen Chain data. Airstack’s efforts included running a Degen tokenswap Farcaster frame program, which facilitated over $4 million USD in transaction volume. Additionally, they contributed to the "Deploy on Degen" week run by Syndicate, helping successfully onboarding hundreds of new developers into the Degen L3 ecosystem, further strengthening and expanding its developer community.

Ham Chain, an OP Stack chain with Celestia data availability settling to Base, uses ETH as its gas token and is already making waves with the help of Syndicate's offerings. Notably, it is the first L3 to integrate Farcaster data onchain through Syndicate Mirrors, enabling a fully onchain tipping system that opens up new possibilities for apps and user experiences. Additionally, Ham Chain uses Syndicate's Smart RPC to offer gasless claims, providing a seamless and cost-effective user experience.

When Ham Chain went live, it did so alongside a suite of composable APIs, these APIs played a crucial role supporting the Ham Chain team in their development of Ham Score. Ham Score utilizes a unique blend of key on-chain indicators and the widely used social capital score (SCS) created by Airstack. Airstack continues to collaborate with Ham Chain developers to access Ham’s L3 data, while continuing to support the Ham Chain team in developing new products and experiences for their community - further enhancing the chain's developer environment and forging new innovations.

Gold Chain, built on the OP Stack with Celestia data availability settling to Base, powers CropXYZ, a fully onchain Farmville-like game, providing a unique gaming experience. Syndicate's Mirrors are used to create a seamless experience for players between Base and Gold, ensuring smooth and efficient gameplay.

Gold Chain was the first L3 to launch with an API toolkit for its developer community. They saw that having a platform to onramp developers is a critical component to attracting builders to create exciting new experiences, powered by Airstack’s developer platform. Airstack also empowers the Gold Chain and builder community through the use of its public subgraphs, making it easy for any developer to set up an account on Airstack and make use of the subgraph in minutes.

“With Gold we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with fully onchain immersive experiences and Syndicate and Airstsck have truly enabled us to achieve that vision.

CropXYZ, the first title that launched on Gold, is the perfect example of what we can enable. It is composed of over 60 contracts, and does not host a backend so the entire game engine, state and economy is pulled together with a complex subgraph/indexing layer supported by Airstack.

This is the type of application that would never have been possible without the L3 infrastructure that we built through Syndicate for Gold and the querying/indexing layer from Airstack. We are thrilled to partner with these two teams to further enable a world of fully onchain experiences.”

- Sheldon Trotman & Marissa Posner (Founders of Gold Chain L3)

The Future of L3s and Ethereum

L3s are poised for significant advancements, enabling new applications, games, and experiences through ultra-low gas fees and accessible onchain data. Innovations will include gasless and bridgeless onboarding and advanced economic designs, treating L3s as multi-sided markets with selective subsidies. As L3s decentralize further, they will align more closely with web3’s vision of a user-owned internet. Adoption is growing, with innovators like Degen, Ham, and Gold leading the way. Over 100 teams are developing or planning L3s, signaling their inevitable widespread adoption.

L3s have the ability to transform the consumer crypto landscape by enabling highly scalable and cost-effective applications for users. This innovation allows for the development of more user-friendly applications that share a UX parity with their non-crypto counterparts. By reducing transaction fees, obfuscating gas fees, and overall increasing speed - L3s can help enable more accessible and enjoyable experiences for everyday users.

The rapid advancement of L3s presents a unique opportunity for developers and teams to innovate and build scalable, efficient applications. With the significant reduction in transaction fees, increased speed, and the ability to create more user-friendly experiences, L3s are poised to revolutionize the consumer crypto landscape. Right now is the ideal time to explore solutions and be part of this transformative shift. 

For those ready to dive in, Airstack and Syndicate offer valuable resources and support to help you get started. Visit the links below to find the Syndicate and Airstack websites and make sure to join the /L3 Channel on Warpcast to connect with the community.

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