Layer 1 refers to a base network, such as Bitcoin, BNB Chain, or Ethereum, and its underlying infrastructure. Layer-1 blockchains can validate and finalize transactions without the need for another network. Making improvements to the scalability of layer-1 networks is difficult, as we’ve seen with Bitcoin. As a solution, developers create layer-2 protocols that rely on the layer-1 network for security and consensus. Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is one example of a layer-2 protocol. It allows users to make transactions freely before recording them into the main chain.