With the release of the first Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible ZK roll-up, a new era has begun, allowing projects like Uniswap and Sushi to port over for scaling readily.
Some of the most prominent names in decentralised finance, such as Uniswap, Sushi, Maker, and Curve, will launch the zero-knowledge proof roll-up zkSync Era.
After four years of development, the Ethereum layer 2 scaling network is now available to consumers in alpha, facilitating quicker and more affordable transactions. It is the first Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible zk-Rollup to launch on the mainnet, enabling most Ethereum DApps to be ported over with minimal modification.
On March 24 or over the weekend, 32 to 50 projects are expected to go live, including Balancer, Pyth Network, Mute, Redstone, Graph, and Argent. Also migrating to the network are Banxa, Yearn Finance, Celer, Chainlink, Aragon, Woo Network, and Tracer DAO.
The director of engineering for zkSync developer Matter Labs, Anthony Rose, stated earlier in the week that: “Friday for us is the big one, it’s full launch alpha,”
Although zkSync Era can provide scaling orders of magnitude greater than Ethereum’s current 10 to 12 transactions per second (TPS), Rose stated that it would initially offer “tens of TPS” and scale up as demand dictates.
On February 17, the project released its fair onboarding alpha, allowing projects to port over and test out security and optimisations. Matter Labs reported spending $3,8 million on security testing, seven independent security assessments, and a bug bounty program to reduce the possibility of incidents.
The mission continues, and we’ve got more exciting news to share from zkSync Era’s fast-growing ecosystem. Today, we’re announcing our collaboration with WEMADE, creators of @WemixNetwork, to make the future of blockchain gaming a reality. #jointhemissionhttps://t.co/UVBHE838Rr
— zkSync ∎ (@zksync) March 22, 2023
Zk-Rollups, including zkSync, Scroll, and solutions from Polygon, StarkWare, and Consensys, compute transactions away from the Ethereum blockchain while providing a small cryptographic proof is written as a single transaction back on Ethereum to demonstrate that a group of other transactions have been executed correctly.
Additionally, zkSync uses recursion, which generates a proof showing that a collection of other proofs (each representing numerous transactions) have been executed.
Zk-Rollups can facilitate instantaneous withdrawals, giving them an advantage over optimistic-rollup layer 2s such as Optimism, for which withdrawals take one week. However, zkSync Era will initially impose a 24-hour waiting period as a precautionary measure.
Native account abstraction
zkSync has also enabled native account abstraction, which means every account in the network is a “smart account” that can use two-factor authentication (2FA), social recovery, autopay transactions, and more via smart contract wallet providers such as Argent.
“This was and probably still is my favorite feature,” Rose said, clarifying that it enhances Ethereum’s ERC-4337 implementation and will help eliminate “jankiness” for new crypto users entering the market.
Account abstraction is a way to appeal to the next billion users 🌐⚡️ #Ethereum https://t.co/Ma3O0iPRhj
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) March 1, 2023
Not yet decentralised
At launch, zkSync Era will not be entirely decentralised, allowing the development team to implement rapid patches for security or technical issues. Nonetheless, a time limit will be enforced in the future so that the Security Council and community can approve decisions.
zkSync, like its competitor StarkWare, utilises a centralised sequencer and prover, which are quicker but create a single point of failure. Running a prover, however, necessitates purchasing expensive hardware or renting cloud capacity for $10,000 per month, making decentralising this networking aspect more complex. StarkNet, the decentralised variant of StarkWare, currently operates at 0.11 TPS, highlighting the difficulty.
This year, according to Rose, a new proof system that drastically reduces hardware requirements will be available on the mainnet.
There are many challenging problems to address before the systems can be implemented.