Ethereum: Developers present ZK Sync to reach speed of VISA

  • Master Labs has introduced a new scaling solution for Ethereum that will increase the speed of transactions per second to Visa’s level.
  • Moreover, ZK Sync Ethereum should prepare Ethereum ready for mass adaptation.

With ZK Sync, Master Labs has introduced a scaling solution for Ethereum that enables high transaction throughput and is designed not to interfere with decentralization. According to Master Labs, the cryptocurrency requirements for mass adoption are high speed, low cost, smooth user experience and full data protection.

ZK Sync to make Ethereum ready for mass adoption

The company describes that ZK Sync was developed to provide Ethereum with a transaction throughput similar to that of Visa, thousands of transactions per second (TPS). The Ethereum is held securely on the underlying Layer 1 accounts, ensuring a high level of censorship resistance. Due to the low latency, the transactions are to be processed almost in real time.

Master Labs briefly describes the ZK Sync as follows:

In a nutshell, ZK Rollup is an L2 scaling solution in which all funds are held by a smart contract on the mainchain, while computation and storage are performed off-chain. For every Rollup block, a state transition zero-knowledge proof (SNARK) is generated and verified by the mainchain contract. This SNARK includes the proof of the validity of every single transaction in the Rollup block. Additionally, the public data update for every block is published over the mainchain network as cheap calldata.

This new scaling solution should bring some advantages. For example, the rollup validator(s) can never damage the current status or steal money (unlike sidechains). Users can retrieve funds from the rollup at any time, even if the validators no longer work together because the data is available (as opposed to plasma). Thanks to zero knowledge proofs, neither users nor a single trusted third party need be online to monitor rollup blocks to prevent fraud.

Last year Master Labs received a scholarship from the Ethereum Foundation and has been working on the development of ZK Rollup technology ever since. Since the introduction of the first prototype, the architecture has been revised and proposals from the Ethereum community have been implemented and verified through audits.

Current developments show that the ZK technology makes it possible to carry out transactions in real time. Once a proof has been submitted to the mainchain and verified by the corresponding Rollup Smart Contract, all transactions in this block are completed. Further technical information can be found in the detailed article by Masterlabs.

Does this make plasma and sharding superfluous?

The Ethereum Community has been working for some time on the development of two more solutions to achieve greater scalability. Plasma is a second-layer scaling solution designed to significantly increase Ethereum’s transaction speed. The plasma chain is a blockchain that can accept any functionality and thus any consensus mechanism.

Instead of transferring each transaction to the root chain, many transactions are aggregated and transmitted to the Ethereum blockchain as the only state change. Sharding means that only a specific group and not all existing nodes have to verify each transaction, so that the mainchain is not burdened and the speed can be increased as well.

Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, stated in an interview last year that plasma in combination with sharding could increase scalability by up to 10,000x, enabling a transaction throughput of one million transactions per second. As Ethereum is a complex ecosystem, there are many different approaches to achieving and implementing goals.

In the long run, however, only the best ideas will prevail, so it remains to be seen whether ZK Sync can hold its own against plasma, sharding and other proposals. ETH’s price has been moving sideways (+ 0.27%) to USD 147.46 in the last 24 hours.

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About Author

Please follow me on Twitter for deep analysis. Collin is a Bitcoin investor of the early hour and a long-time trader in the crypto and forex market. He's fascinated by the complex possibilities of blockchain technology and tries to make matter accessible to everyone. His reports focus on developments about the technology for different cryptocurrencies.

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