During ETHSeoul on Friday evening, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin projected that ZK-Rollups would win the Layer 2 scaling warfare against Optimistic Rollups.
Buterin stated at the event that while Optimistic Rollups are more developed, the basics of Zero-knowledge Rollup technology would allow it to replace Optimistic Rollups eventually.
The most extensively used Layer 2 techniques for scaling Ethereum using off-chain compute while maintaining the security of the leading blockchain are optimistic and ZK-Rollups. However, there are variances in the design of these systems and the level of protection they provide.
The Ethereum ZK-Rollup Ecosystem. Image: Nationworldnews
Buterin stated that ZK-Rollups are quicker when transporting funds to and from the mainnet, which might lead to widespread usage.
In his opinion, ZK-Rollups would eventually surpass Optimistic Rollups because they have these real benefits like not needing a seven-day withdrawal period. He predicted the Rollups would be all ZK in ten years, if not less.
Buterin recognised that ZK-Rollups have yet to develop and are difficult to expand now. At the same time, ZK technology is just challenging to produce. There are several mental obstacles, particularly in completing this securely and ensuring that all circuits are accurate. Meanwhile, Optimistic Rollups technology has matured.
While ZK-Rollups are quicker, they lack an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), making it challenging to operate decentralised applications such as DeFi protocols. The EVM is the Ethereum blockchain’s primary processing unit for decentralised applications.
This may change shortly, as EVM compatibility for ZK-Rollups is being developed. Layer 2 projects such as Scroll, zkSync, and Polygon have announced intentions to deploy the ZK-EVM computing environment, allowing ZK-Rollups to operate all forms of general-purpose smart contracts independently.
We’ve seen ZK-EVM implementations almost ready to scale with Ethereum transactions.