What does zkSync offer?
zkSync is the first Layer 2 (L2) EVM-compatible solution based on ZK rollups, built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
The implementation is based on zkEVM technology, designed to scale smart contracts by combining zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) and the capabilities of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
This symbiosis enables fast, cheap and confidential transactions using L1 security. zkSync technical specifications allow reaching 2000 TPSand the cost of transactions can drop to 1/100 of the fees at the base level, that is, the Ethereum network.
Who developed zkSync?
The company behind the solution is Matter Labs, founded in Berlin by Alexander Vlasov and Alexey Glukhovsky in 2018. According to official data, the total funding for the zkSync initiative amounted to $458 million by the end of 2022. Investors included such venture capital companies as Placeholder, DragonFly Capital, 1kx, Hashed, Dekrypt Capital, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Blockchain Capital, as well as investment divisions of crypto exchanges Crypto.com, OKX and Bybit.
In June 2020, Matter Labs launched the first public version of zkSync – 1.0. The second version 2.0 was opened for public access at the end of October 2022. In February 2023, the project team rebranded: zkSync 2.0 was renamed zkSync Era, zkSync 1.0 – zkSync Lite.
A key feature of the launch of zkSync Era was support for EVM-compatible smart contracts based on ZK technology – zkEVM. According to Matter Labs, the project received more than 150 applications for deployment on the network ahead of the 2.0 launch. Projects such as Chainlink, SushiSwap, Uniswap, Aave, Argent, 1inch, Gnosis and Curve showed interest.
What is the difference between zkSync and Optimism?
There are two main types of rollups on the L2 solutions market: Optimistic and ZKP. The key difference between the two is the way transactions are verified. In the first case, only those that someone challenges are checked; in ZKP, every operation is validated.
From a practical point of view, this means that in order to combat fraudulent transactions in “optimistic” rollups, it may take several weeks for transactions to be verified. But in zero-knowledge networks, almost instantaneous proof of the absence of “harmful” operations is provided.
Consequently, this affects the speed of withdrawal of assets to the Ethereum main network. In the first option, the operation time can be about two weeks, in the second – up to three hours.
Optimistic includes networks such as Arbitrum, Base and Optimism. The Starknet, Linea and zkSync projects were built on the basis of ZKP.
What is unique about zkSync and what are Hyperchains?
The zkSync Era (formerly 2.0) protocol implementation at its base level includes support for account abstraction technology. This could bring a completely different user experience from the usual blockchain networks.
The following functions are available to network account owners by default: paying commissions with any token and creating wallets without seed phrases. As stated on the zkSync website, online accounts can be biometrically verified and socially restored using family, friends, or a third party. Users can also access the Web2 profile authorization option when applications configure access to the zkSync network for their clients who do not own ETH addresses.
Like the Optimism team, which is developing a unique ecosystem based on OP Stack technology solutions, zkSync has its own global vision – Hyperchains.
Hyperchains are fractal zkEVM instances developed on top of the ZK Stack. Essentially, these are identical copies of networks, assembled in a modular manner depending on the needs of developers and interconnected by bridges of the L1-L2 type.
The functionality of Hyperchains involves the possibility of creating L3 solutions, delegating some of the operations to the L2 level, developed on the basis of zkSync.
Will zkSync have a native token?
Information about the native token is in the documents on the Matter Labs website. For example, in describing account-related mechanisms, zkSync’s own digital asset acts as a controller for the availability of account data.
Matter Labs CEO Alexey Glukhovsky also confirmed the need for the token as a decentralization tool for zkSync. According to him, the need for it will arise when the network reaches the required stability indicators. According to Glukhovsky, this should happen in early to mid-2024.
How is the zkSync ecosystem evolving?
As of October 2023, the total value locked (TVL) in zkSync, according to Defillama, was more than $120 million across 79 defi applications.
In September 2023, zkSync surpassed the Ethereum network in terms of the number of transactions per second. And the flagship DEX SyncSwap became the leader in the rate of attracting new users, exceeding the 1 million mark in September 2023 and overtaking Uniswap and PancakeSwap.
The zkSync L2 protocol is ahead of Ethereum not only in terms of the number of transactions per second, but also in their total volume. In September 2023, its users made 32.5 million transfers compared to 32.3 million on the main Ethereum network.
In September 2023, the zkSync team notedthat almost 120 million transactions were carried out in the ecosystem and 368,000 smart contracts were created.
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