A mainchain is the base blockchain layer where all transactions are processed and finalized.

What Is a Mainchain?

The mainchain is the primary layer of a blockchain architecture where every transaction is processed and finalized. Applications and sublayers are built on top of the mainchain. It adds security and privacy and improves decentralization to the whole ecosystem.

How Does a Mainchain Work?

The mainchain, often referred to as the parent blockchain, is the original backbone of the entire blockchain network. It connects all the blocks around the network and stores the record of transactions. Once data is stored on the blockchain, it is impossible to change it. 

Primary blockchains often get burdened and slow down due to heavy traffic. That is how the concept of secondary layers was introduced. Secondary layers are intermediaries between the main blockchain and the decentralized apps (DApps), allowing users to carry out processes through them. Still, the final settlement of every transaction of the network occurs on the mainchain exclusively. An excellent example of a secondary layer is the Lightning Network of the Bitcoin blockchain. It enables speedy transactions between relevant wallets. However, all transactions on this layer must be finalized on the Bitcoin mainchain to be considered complete.

Mainchain vs Sidechains

The mainchain comes with its hindrances with block size limits and low throughput and efficiency. To overcome all these issues, sidechains were introduced. They help to improve scaling, efficiency and the scope of a blockchain network. They are tied to the parent blockchains through a two-way peg.

Limitations of the Mainchain

While the mainchain offers security, its usability becomes compromised when it comes to speed and efficiency. Developers have come up with a series of improvements in the mechanism to conquer all such limitations.
1. Power Intensive
Mainchains demand energy and computing resources that are difficult to maintain. 

2. Scalability and Congestion

Scalability is one of the biggest challenges for blockchains. Blockchains find it difficult to scale without compromising security or decentralization (blockchain trilemma). Less scalability causes congestion in transactions, leading to higher transaction fees and slower validation time.