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Crypto Wiki: What is zkSync?

Quick Summary: zkSync is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum that utilizes zero-knowledge proofs to ensure the security and privacy of transactions. Compatible with EMV standards, zkSync allows for faster and more cost-effective transactions while preserving the security of the Ethereum network. zkSync is created and run by Matter lab. The protocol has raised $469 million in funding from prominent investors.

 

What is zkSync?

zkSync (pronounced “zee-kay-sync”) is a layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution that implements Zero Knowledge rollups, a much-awaited scaling solution proposed by Vitalik Buterin for Ethereum. It is one of the first protocols to build a fully EVM-compatible zk-rollup, allowing developers to easily deploy their current Ethereum DApps to zkSync with minimal modifications.

Designed by Matter Labs, zkSync has raised $469 million in funding and has already bridged almost $871 million worth of assets to its network, making it one of the most promising Ethereum scaling solutions.

 

How Does zkSync Work

zkSync is an EVM-compatible network that is part of a family of Layer-2 scaling solutions. Specifically, zkSync implements zero-knowledge proof cryptography, which allows for transactions to be executed off-chain while still ensuring their validity through a valid cryptographic proof that is submitted to the main chain.

As zkSync is an EVM-compatible blockchain, developers can easily use it with little to no modification on their existing smart contracts. However, it’s important to note that zkSync makes some changes to the Ethereum bytecode, so developers may need to perform an additional compilation step when porting their application to zkSync.

With its implementation of zero-knowledge proof cryptography, zkSync offers a range of benefits for the Ethereum ecosystem, including faster transaction times, lower fees, and increased scalability.

 

What is Layer 2?

One major challenge that has plagued the blockchain industry from the start is scalability. To compete with traditional centralized payment networks, blockchains must be able to match their speed, but decentralization and security have made this difficult.

This challenge has been dubbed the “Blockchain Trilemma” which states that a blockchain can only have two out of three things: security, scalability, and decentralization. Popular blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum have chosen to prioritize security and decentralization, which has left them struggling to keep up with the transaction throughput of traditional networks.

Many popular blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum focus on security and decentralization.

But if blockchains have to replace the legacy network, they have to match the the transaction throughput of the current systems.

Enter Layer 2 network – these networks build on top of an underlying blockchain protocol to improve speed and efficiency. By shifting the bulk of computation to a different network adjacent to the main network, the base layer is less congested and ultimately more scalable.

zkSync is an example of Layer 2 scaling solutions.

There are currently 5 types of layer-2 scaling solutions:

  1. Rollups
  2. State channels
  3. Sidechains
  4. Plasma
  5. Validium

 

What is a Rollup?

A Rollup is a type of scaling solution for Ethereum that operates off the main Ethereum network. It works by bundling individual transactions into batches, which are then executed separately and the resulting data is posted to the main Ethereum network once all the transactions in the batch have been processed. This approach enables faster transaction processing while still ensuring the security of the Ethereum network.

There are currently two types of Rollups

  1. ZK-Rollups
  2. Optimistic Rollups

zkSync is an example of ZK-Rollups.

 

What’s ZK Roll up?

ZK Rollups are a specific type of Rollup solution for Ethereum that operates off-chain, where transactions are bundled together and processed outside the main Ethereum network. ZK Rollups use zero knowledge cryptography to provide a validity proof that proves the accuracy of the transaction without revealing any transaction details. This proof ensures that the changes made to the Ethereum network are a direct result of the transactions in the batch. This approach allows for faster processing times and increased privacy while maintaining the security and integrity of the Ethereum network.

zkSync is an example of zk-rollup based scaling solution for Ethereum.

 

What Are The Benefits of zKSync

zkSync is a state-of-the-art Ethereum scaling solution that utilizes zero-knowledge rollups technology, which offers several benefits over traditional methods. With zkSync, users can enjoy lower gas fees and higher transaction throughput thanks to the use of zk-rollups. This cutting-edge approach to scaling has positioned zkSync as a promising solution for those seeking faster, more efficient, and cost-effective Ethereum transactions.

Here are a list of the top features and benefits of zkSync

  • Low Gas Fee: zkSync transactions cost 1/100th of the transaction cost of Ethereum
  • High Transaction Per Second (TPS): zkSync TPS is 2000, while Ethereum’s TPS is around 14
  • Security: Transactions are secured by Ethereum blockchain
  • Transfers & Finality: Transfer assets between zkSync and Ethereum in around 10 minutes.

 

How To Use ZKSync

zkSync is pretty straightforward to use if you are familiar with other blockchains.

For Developers: Developers can instantly port their existing EVM compaitbale DApp to zkSync. zKSync has a great migration guide which can be helpful if you are planning to migrate your DApp to zkSync.

For Individuals: Individual first need to bridge their assets to zkSync via a bridge. zkSync has provided an official bridge for the same.  Once bridged, assets can be used similar to any EVM based blockchain.

 

zKSync Ecosystem

With its growing list of DeFi projects and features, zkSync is quickly becoming one of the most important platforms for the DeFi ecosystem. The network has seen a massive bridging of assets on the network, with approximately $871 million USD worth of assets bridged so far.

Some of the DeFi projects that have announced their launch on zkSync are:

  • 1inch
  • Curve
  • Sushiswap
  • Yearn Finance
  • Uniswap

and hundreds of more protocols. The full and the latest list can be found on zkSync’s ecosystem page.

 

zkSync Token

Although ZKSync currently does not have a native token, the company has stated that there will be a token introduced in the future that will be used for staking and becoming a validator on the network. Users may also be rewarded with an airdrop, similar to the Optimism airdrop. This native token will likely play an important role in the ecosystem and offer additional benefits to users of the network.

For the best chance of  receiving the zkSync airdrop we suggest you read our guide on how to get zkSync Airdrop.

 

Who’s Behind ZKSync

zkSync is being designed and developed by Matter Labs, a Berlin based startup with a vision to scale Ethereum. The company was founded in 2018.

 

Further Reading


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Ishan Garg

Ishan is a cryptocurrency trader and a journalist. He joined the cryptocurrency space in 2017. He is the founder of Blockmanity. He is a HODLER and is holding BTC, ETH & UGT.

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Ishan Garg

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