BLOCKCHAIN BAKE-OFF! In July, when the smart-contracts blockchain Celo proposed to ditch its independent “layer-1” status in favor of becoming a layer 2 network atop Ethereum, the people behind the project may have had little inkling of just how popular they would become. Now there’s suddenly a burst of competition among veteran layer-2 teams to supply the technology for Celo’s new system. The migration initially was supposed to rely on Optimism’s OP Stack software kit, which served as the template not only for Coinbase’s new Base blockchain but also the Binance-incubated BNB Chain’s new opBNB network. Then last month, Polygon injected itself into the mix, offering up its Polygon Chain Development Kit, known as Polygon CDK, as an alternative. As of last week, there’s yet another suitor to host Celo: Matter Labs, the creators of another rollup, zkSync, as well as the ZK Stack open-source software, which can be used to create new “hyperchains” on Ethereum. “The modular and open-sourced ZK Stack is the optimal L2 stack for Celo’s transition to Ethereum,” according to the Matter Labs proposal. “We hope to trigger an honest, open discussion amongst the Celo and zkSync communities regarding the tradeoffs between the ZK Stack, the OP Stack, Polygon CDK and other options.” Coming in the depths of crypto winter, the episode offers a reminder of the intensity of the consolidation trend, with the various networks scrambling to find fresh business.