Seen some stuff recnetly, confusing some core concepts, and I hope to articulate a better conceptualization. Let's start with the fundamental qualities of money:
– Durable – Divisible
– Portable – Fungible – Permissionless
— Note: Technically not required, as 100 years of central banks have proven. But this is our requirement, in order to have freedom money.
While these qualities can exist on a spectrum; nothing can efficiently function as money, or be leveraged for second layer solutions, without meeting these requirements. For example, gold stood the test of time as sufficient to construct secondary layers. We saw the advent of vaults, paper notes, and collateral instruments on the basis of a foundationally strong base layer.
Now we come to the question of: What could underpin the base monetary layer of a digital system of money? For some time, this was an open question, but has now been / is-being settled. Atomic swaps make Monero the viable, trustless, base-layer upon which a permissionless, digital monetary system can be built.
With respect to the essential properties of money, all blockchains have fairly similar potential to be: scarce, recognizable, durable, and divisible.
Fungible and Permissionless
Monero is singular in its ability to meet those requirements. The default obfuscation techniques not only confer fungibility, but are proving essential for long term censorship resistance.
Ninety-nine percent of the "crypto" ecosystem calls XMR a "privacy coin," which is already a fail, because they should call it a "fungibiltiy coin." But really shouldn't even call it that, anymore than BTC is a "recognizability coin." What they're honing in on, is the deficiency of their own preferred networks for the task of being money.
Another critical mistake is thinking you can just "second layer" fungibility into a protocol. You absolutely can't, and here's why. Second layer usage is inherently optional, and optional fungibility (an oxymoron) is proven fail. It also causes significant risks for censorship. Moreover, attempting to achieve fungbility via mixing and/or 2nd layer on an already tainted and surveilled network is difficult/impossible.
Portability and Divisibility
Finally, a place where second-layer solutions are a natural fit! Sufficient base-layer portability, enough to onboard to second layers, is of course required. Once again, gold is a great example. Vaults and paper notes were inveted as a layerd solution to overcome some of its deficiencies of portability/divisibilty. Even today, we still have a system of global reserves where gold is treated as a base currency, with national reserve banks having created global entire monetary systems on that basis.
So we finally come to the conclusion …
Atomic swaps don't make Monero a second-layer privacy solution … They make Monero the foundational layer, upon which "portability coins" can trustlessly integrate, and attempt varying methods for solving the "portability problem." Improvements in bandwidth and storage mean that Monero can reasonably handle transfers to/from those experimental L2 solutions, while maintaining decentralized censorship resistance.
This of course will take some time to come to fruition; but the monetary and technological theory is strong.