The main Ethereum blockchain comprising Layer 1 (L1), with its expansive decentralized applications (dApps) ecosystem and fulfilling thousands of transactions daily, has several competitors – crypto investors, bullish for its long-standing future. Layer 1 hasn’t always had the smoothest operation, as most detractors raise hurdles like costly gas fees and slow-paced transactions. Luckily, since Layer 2 (L2) scaling solutions emerged, they have brought with them more beneficial transactions such as zk-sync.
What is Zk-sync?
To tackle the issues related to high transaction fees and low scalability and salvage the whole situation, MatterLabs established an Ethereum consensus layer. Zk-sync came into existence as a protocol for scalable minimized-cost payments on Ethereum, whose utmost priority is security.
Zk-sync allows users to enter or leave the Ethereum main net in a decentralized pattern while providing minimal transaction fees compared to the legacy ecosystem.
This mainstream scaling technology focused on offering solutions such as zero-knowledge (zk-sync) rollups, rolling out cheap and scalable transactions on Ethereum, and adopting the use of innovative solutions to Ethereum scaling. The primary role of these smart contracts is to roll up a slew of transactions of the primary layer and group them into one transaction.
As a layer 2 scaling solution that currently dwells on the Ethereum main net, zk-sync offers certain advantages while maintaining assured security by hooking zk-proofs. Zk-proofs, or zero-knowledge proofs, have active cryptographic security.
For example, zk-rollup solutions define a specific transaction’s integrity without revealing the supporting evidence. In addition, zk-proofs’ advantages comprise the two essential pain points for Ethereum users: low gas fees and speed transmission.
Zk-sync is unique from the other current scaling solutions primarily because of its excellent security and usability. Since it is still in the initial development stages, zk-sync’s codebase might consist of undetected bugs that can result in risks to users’ losing their valuable assets.
Zk-sync fights off such threats using its hybrid L2 roll-up technology. The concise, non-interactive, and zero-knowledge dispute of knowledge proofing occupies less storage than traditional digital contracts and facilitates quick verification.
Storing some data on-chain and moving computations off-chain make this an efficient process. This ultimately speeds up zk-sync’s validations and makes it more inexpensive than other scaling solution equivalents.
How Does Zk-sync Work?
Zk-sync comes under a group of layer 2 solutions known as rollups. To be more specific, it is a Zk-rollup. Zero-knowledge is primarily cryptographic terminology for one party proving to the other party that something is true without disclosing any other information.
Rollups work by rolling up or bundling off-chain transactions into a relatively minor transaction sent to layer one. By doing this, rollups inherit the Ethereum blockchain’s finality and security.
Each batch of transactions will be sent to an off-chain prover that creates a cryptographic proof (which, in zk-sync’s case, is called a SNARK) that the transactions are valid. Even though it can be challenging to generate the proof, it is relatively easy to verify that the proof is valid.
This ease indicates that it can conveniently be sent to layer 1 and verified in a smart contract, enabling near-frictionless transfers between L1 and L2.
In addition, since zk-sync is based on zk-rollup architecture, you can rest assured that every transaction is secure as it goes through the verification process by a digital contract on the Ethereum main net.
This is done using proof of the validity of the blockchain verification. As a result, no validator can gain access to users’ funds or change the system into the wrong state.
Zk-sync is ideally known for significantly minimizing gas costs without compromising user control or security. One of the key plus points of zk-sync is its user-friendly support token payment fee. In addition, it does not necessitate Ethereum payment. Instead, you can easily pay the support token fee in another cryptocurrency.
In addition, zk-sync has a shorter transaction time. The system is designed as follows: the greater the transaction volume, the less time it takes to withdraw coins. It takes approximately 3 hours for the withdrawn coins to reach the user’s account.
In addition, the fee on zk-sync is unbelievably inexpensive. For instance, the estimated amount charged for a token transfer currently amounts to RMB 75 on the main net of the Ethereum blockchain. However, it costs approximately RMB 1.4 on a zk-sync transfer. Having said that, here is a brief overview of all the benefits zk-sync has to offer:
- Low gas: up to 1/100 of layer 1 gas & relatively more inexpensive than using optimistic rollups
- Security: safeguarded by the main Ethereum blockchain
- High speeds: over 2000 transactions per second (tps) compared to 14tps on layer 1
- Censorship resistance: allows you to move your assets back to layer 1 at any time
- Frictionless transfers: move your crypto between layer 1 and layer 2 easily and without delays
Is There a Zk-sync Token?
Currently, zk-sync does not have any native token assigned to its name. Still, investors should expect something from the zk-proof systems. For instance, on the zk-sync official page, you can observe that it would establish tokens for investors to stake with and become validators on the zk-sync network.
In addition, the company also inferred that the zk-sync airdrop will be available and can be claimed and accessed by loyal supporters and users. The zk-sync users are optimistic about this whole thing as this news is posted on the official tokenomics page of the company.
ALSO READ: What Is A Layer 2 Blockchain
Should you rely on the Zk-sync Ecosystem?
There is no doubt that zk-rollups have significantly and positively impacted the Ethereum blockchain. Their progress from zk-sync 1.0 to 2.0 is an evident sign of improvement and steady growth. Still, it is worth wondering what the future of zk-sync proofs will be.
With the long-standing significance of Ethereum, it is essential to have a system that proves itself equivalent to governing the matters of the decentralized system. However, it all comes down to one question: “Are zk-proof systems reliable as a long-term utility?”
Zk-sync has exhibited since it first came into being in 2019. With zk-sync, Ethereum transactions can be made cheaper, seamless, and more efficient. Some dApps are on the layer 2 protocol. This makes it evident that zk-rollups have emerged and grown far more rapidly than was projected.
Whatever the case may be, Ethereum will serve as a data availability layer for these layer 2 technologies in the long run.