In 2023, one of the hottest topics in the blockchain industry was layer 2 solutions, with Arbitrum making waves by launching an airdrop and attracting substantial activity. Alongside this, several other layer 2 blockchains were also being announced.
However, it's important to note that all of the existing solutions were based on something called "optimistic rollups," and none of them utilized zk technology compatible with Ethereum, specifically zkEVM rollups.
In this article, we will delve into zkSync, which could potentially be the next significant development, featuring an eagerly anticipated airdrop that the market has long awaited.
What is zkSync?
zkSync is an Ethereum layer-2 (L2) scaling solution that harnesses zero-knowledge rollup (ZK-rollup) technology for faster, more cost-effective transactions while upholding Ethereum's security standards. Developed by Matter Labs, zkSync started with zkSync 1.0 in June 2020, though it lacked smart contract support. The upgraded zkSync 2.0, launched in late 2022, anticipated a full 2023 mainnet release.
In February 2023, Matter Labs rebranded zkSync 2.0 to zkSync Era and zkSync 1.0 to zkSync Lite. This rebrand coincided with zkSync Era's Fair Onboarding Alpha, offering testing opportunities. zkSync Era's primary focus now revolves around zkEVM, an Ethereum-compatible ZK technology. zkEVM serves as a virtual machine supporting zero-knowledge proof computations, enabling Ethereum smart contract scaling and compatibility. Developers can create ZK-compatible smart contracts using the traditional EVM Solidity language.
How does zkSync work?
At the core of zkSync Era lies a transformative technology known as Zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups), a groundbreaking layer 2 (L2) scaling solution for Ethereum. ZK-rollups operate by transferring computation and state-storage off-chain, significantly enhancing Ethereum Mainnet's throughput. Here's a closer look at how this innovative technology functions and its key distinctions from Optimistic rollups, such as Arbitrum and Optimism.
Zero-Knowledge Rollups (ZK-rollups): Simplifying Scaling
ZK-rollups enhance Ethereum Mainnet's capacity by consolidating transactions into off-chain batches. This off-chain approach reduces the data sent to the blockchain, improving efficiency. Operators summarize changes needed to represent transactions in a batch and provide cryptographic validity proofs.
A smart contract on Ethereum manages the ZK-rollup's state. To update this state, nodes present validity proofs, verifying the accuracy of proposed changes without posting all transaction data on-chain, unlike Optimistic rollups.
Transferring funds from zkSync Era to Ethereum incurs no delays; exit transactions execute once the ZK-rollup contract confirms validity. This differs from Optimistic rollups, which include delays for potential fraud-proof challenges.
ZK-rollups store transaction data as calldata on Ethereum. Data compression techniques, like representing accounts by index instead of address, reduce fees for users.
zkSync Era's Edge
zkSync Era builds on ZK-rollups, offering superior efficiency, reduced gas usage, and lower storage demands compared to standard rollups. Transactions are 'rolled up' into batches and verified by the Ethereum mainnet. zkSync Era uses SNARK for proof generation, a cost-effective and storage-efficient choice.
However, ZK technology lacks compatibility with Ethereum's framework and virtual machine. zkEVM aims to bridge this gap, enabling ZK-based applications or utilizing Ethereum's framework. This fosters flexibility and innovation within the ecosystem.
zkSync Funding Rounds
zkSync has received funding from various sources since 2019. They started with $2 million in the seed round and then got $6 million in the Series A round. Later, they raised a big $50 million in the Series B round and a whopping $200 million in the Series C round. There's also another funding round of $200 million aimed at growing zkSync's ecosystem through and ecosystem fund.
In total, zkSync has gathered an impressive $458 million in funding. Some well-known companies like a16z, Blockchain Capital, and Dragonfly Capital have been a part of this support.
zkSync is stirring up excitement, driven by both its substantial fundraising and the buzz generated by Arbitrum's airdrop. This has led to much-anticipated hints of an upcoming airdrop event on zkSync. The project's growing popularity is evident in the surging daily transactions and Total Value Locked (TVL) in the blockchain, reflecting the heightened enthusiasm surrounding it.
In conclusion, zkSync is undoubtedly a project worth keeping a close watch on, especially if you're interested in potential airdrop opportunities. Its promising technology and growing interest in the blockchain community make it a space to engage with for exciting possibilities ahead.
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