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Is 2023 the year of ZK solutions?
We take a look at which Zero Knowledge Proof projects are in for a 2023 treat.
With the increasing demand for scalability and security in the blockchain space, ZK-rollups have emerged as a crucial solution for Ethereum's scaling plans. In this post, we take a closer look at which ZK projects are set to make a big impact in 2023.
ZK-rollups offer many benefits over traditional Ethereum L1, as they are much faster and cheaper. They are also a compelling solution for complex smart contracts and dApps.
Some of the notable ZK projects that have been making waves in the space include:
Scroll (@Scroll_ZKP): This project has enabled smart contracts on their platform and is currently in the process of testing their Pre-Alpha testnet.
Polygon ZK (@0xPolygonZK - formerly Polygon Hermez): This project has deployed its public testnet and aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to Ethereum L1.
zkSync (@zksync): This project aims to launch their EVM-compatible L3 in Q1 2023 and is backed by Matter Labs, which received $50 million in funding from investors.
StarkNet (by @StarkWareLtd): This project has deployed Uniswap V3 on their platform, which is a significant step towards achieving scalability on Ethereum.
The different zkEVM solutions 🔒
When it comes to comparing zkEVM solutions, it's important to note that ZK technology has been around for a while, but it is only recently that it has been predicted to build the future.
(Side note : You may have heard of ‘optimistic rollups’. The key difference between ZK rollups and optimistic rollups is that ZK rollups use trustless cryptographic setups to ensure security, whereas optimistic rollups rely on honest validators/sequencers.)
Polygon ZK (formerly Hermez)🚀
In 2021, Hermez was acquired by Polygon and rebranded as Polygon Hermez (now called Polygon ZK). As a result, the Polygon tokens $MATIC and $HEZ are integrated and can be swapped freely on the Hermez website. Since Hermez is now a part of the growing Polygon ecosystem, exciting developments on the Hermez network may be revealed in the future.
Scroll ZKP 📜
On January 9th 2023, the Scroll team performed a scheduled Pre-Alpha reset to roll out some new and exciting performance optimizations that will help drive a higher throughput in the Pre-Alpha testnet. The testnet received lots of traffic in the first week, recording 270k+ unique addresses.
zksync is a Layer 2 scaling solution that offers cheaper and faster transactions than the main Ethereum blockchain (Layer 1). It uses ZK-Rollup technology to process transactions off the Ethereum blockchain while maintaining its security and finality. The benefits of zkSync include low gas fees, high speeds, and a high level of security.
An interesting thing to note is that the approaches of Polygon, Scroll and zkSync to building zkEVMs (zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines) has been different, each with tradeoffs in their design.
Polygon’s ground-breaking zkEVM development🖥
Polygon’s zkEVM solution is set to dramatically improve the experience of using and building with Ethereum by providing scalability and lower transaction costs, an exciting step towards greater adoption of Web3 technology.
The system also enables easy migration of dApps that exist on chains compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine to zkEVM, where EVM equivalence and Ethereum network effects provide distinct advantages to developers.
Polygon's development of zkEVM is using programming languages, such as Solidity, and toolsets like Metamask, Hardhat, Truffle, and Remix, which developers are already familiar with. This means developers can migrate dApps by simply switching nodes.
This also makes Polygon zkEVM ideal for seamlessly creating NFTs, new gaming technologies, and enterprise applications. Existing Polygon dApps can migrate very easily to zkEVM with minimal support.
The rapid investment and development of zero-knowledge proofs is an important signal that the technology is getting ready for prime time.
The pros of ZK rollups include their contribution to the scalability of the Ethereum network, increased security and privacy compared to traditional rollups, and the ability to create complex smart contracts and dApps that would not be possible on Ethereum L1.
Cons include the fact that as many ZK-Rollup projects are popping up all over the place, it can be hard to separate the good projects from those that could be making false promises. While rollup technology offers new benefits, it also raises some new difficulties in controlling data accessibility in a decentralized and censorship-resistant manner. Decentralization and security must come first on the road to broad adoption.
In conclusion, the future looks bright for ZK solutions and their potential to revolutionize the blockchain space in 2023. With a variety of projects and teams working on the development of zkEVMs, we can expect to see continued progress and advancements in this technology in the coming year. It's an exciting time to be a part of the blockchain community as we witness the evolution of this technology and its potential impact on various industries.
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