What is zkrollup? Role of Zero Knowledge Rollup in Ethereum Scalability
The Ethereum blockchain has always been involved in scalability problems and is unable to respond to the high volume of demand created by users. For this reason, most of the time we see the high cost of fees in this network and sometimes we have to spend a long time to confirm a transaction in this network. But solutions to solve Scalability problems These solutions are generally divided into two categories within the chain (On-Chain) And off-chain (off-chain) are divided Zero-knowledge rollups are one of the most popular off-chain solutions that help improve Ethereum’s performance and increase its scalability. In the rest of this article, stay with Wallex to answer the question of what zkrollup is and examine its mechanism.
What is zkrollup solution?
Zero knowledge rollups or zkrollups is a new method to solve Ethereum’s scalability problem, which is created by combining two rollup and zero knowledge technologies. Roll-up technology aggregates a large number of transactions from the network of layer one (parent network), turns it into a single transaction and sends it to the network of layer two (child network) using smart contracts. Since by doing this, a large number of transactions are counted as a single transaction; The fee of a transaction is spread among all the users whose transaction is aggregated, thus reducing costs significantly.
Zero knowledge refers to a data processing method that processes a data (transaction) without receiving extensive information. This technology is mostly in the field Privacy protection It is useful, but combining it with roll-up technology has created the zkrollup solution.
Roll-ups are generally divided into two categories Optimistically (Optimistic And zero knowledge (Zero Knowledge) are divided, the nature of their work is the same, but they have differences in the way of data processing.
Checking the zkrollup mechanism
As mentioned above, roll-up refers to the act of combining a number of transactions and transferring them to the second layer under the name of a transaction. Roll ups by Smart contracts are managed, so that in zero-knowledge roll-ups, the control and monitoring is the responsibility of the first layer network (for example, Ethereum), as a result, it can be said that security is guaranteed by the parent network. Among the mentioned smart contracts that are launched on the blockchain platform of the first layer (Ethereum), there is a main contract that is responsible for storing the data of the created blocks of the second layer (roll-up), managing deposits and withdrawals, and tracking the state of transactions. is in charge Another type of contract is called an “affirmative contract”; These contracts focus on verifying the proofs that create the blocks. (These types of blocks are also called batch)
Another factor that plays a significant role in the mechanism of this solution is the virtual machine (VM) It is out of chain. Since zero-knowledge algorithms have high complexities, they can be implemented by virtual machine Ethereum (EVM) are not. zkrollup technology requires a virtual machine capable of processing these algorithms. This virtual machine operates independently of EVM and processes roll-up transactions.
Comparison of optimistic rollups with zero knowledge rollups
Above, we got acquainted with the mechanism of ZK roll-ups, but this model of roll-ups has differences from the optimistic model. The main difference between these two solutions is summarized in the way of data processing. In optimistic roll-ups, a number of transactions are aggregated and transferred to the second layer as one transaction. In this solution, the default for checking transactions is their authenticity (that’s why this method is called optimistic) and these transactions in a period of time under the title Challenge period Using a mechanism called Proof of deception (fraud proof) They are challenged to ensure their non-violation.
But the way transactions are processed in zero-knowledge rollups is slightly different. This solution uses a mechanism called validity proof. In this solution, a summary of the data (the part required by zero knowledge algorithms) is gathered. This means that in zkrollups to finalize a transaction, only a part of the transaction called “credit proof” is important, and unlike the optimistic model, the entire data is not needed, as a result, the zero knowledge model compresses the data and is a useful help. It reduces call data costs.
What are the pros and cons of zkrollup?
Zero knowledge roll-ups can be considered as the latest Ethereum layer two solution, which has also provided a very favorable performance. In the following, we will examine its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of zero knowledge rollup
As mentioned above, data processing in ZKrollups is done by a validation mechanism, and this mechanism monitors off-chain transactions and prevents nodes from making wrong changes. In addition, the smart contracts created by Ethereum confirm these changes and guarantee the security of this solution. The mechanism of this model of roll-ups is trustless and does not rely on the honesty of operators. Another positive point related to the security of this model is that the data needed to restore the status of off-chain transactions is stored on the layer one platform, and this increases security even more.
In addition to the high security of this solution, the finalization of transactions is also due to the coordination of the first layer with the second layer. immediately It has been done and users can transfer their assets between these two networks in the shortest possible time.
Data compression can reduce the cost of data transmission from the layer one platform and as a result Lower fees request from the user.
Disadvantages of zero knowledge roll-up
Due to the complexities of data processing in zero knowledge, the Ethereum virtual machine does not have the necessary compatibility to use this solution. As a result, projects that use this solution must replace EVM with a compatible virtual machine with zero knowledge. Using a virtual machine compatible with zero-knowledge algorithms requires the use of advanced and expensive hardware, and this issue increases the possibility of reducing the number of operators and further centralizing network management. Another negative thing about these roll-ups is The complexity of this technology and a big and strong team is needed to implement it.
While this method with data compression can help to reduce costs as much as possible, processing with this method requires high throughput and this issue itself can cause an increase in processing costs and, as a result, insufficient ability to reduce transaction fees.
Which projects use ZKrollup?
So far, powerful projects have been created with the aim of increasing the scalability of Ethereum and using the zero knowledge roll-up solution, among which we can mention Loopring, zkSync, DYDX, Starknet, etc. projects. (For more information about the list of projects that use this solution, you can go to L2Beat See.
Using the StarkEX virtual machine, DYDX project has created a platform based on zero-knowledge roll-ups to support futures trading with much lower fees. DYDX project can be considered the most widely used project based on this solution. This platform has the largest number of users among decentralized platforms in the field of futures trading. The native currency of this platform has the same name as the project itself and can be traded in most of the reputable exchanges.
The Starkware project has attracted good capital from investment organizations and spends this capital on developing products to increase the scalability of Ethereum. Starknet is also one of Starkware’s products, which uses ZKrollup technology to solve Ethereum’s scalability problem. StarNet provides the possibility for operators with lower operational capacity to participate in the activity of this network. This issue can solve one of the main limitations of the zkrollup solution and prevent the concentration of networks based on this solution.
The Starknet project has not released a token for its project yet, but if it does, we can expect an attractive airdrop.
The zkSync project is one of the most popular projects that use zkrollup technology to help increase the scalability of Ethereum. The technology used in this project is zk-snarks, which is very useful in reducing the time required to finalize transactions (TTF). zkSync can over 2000 transactions finalize within one second. Currently, there is more than 60 million dollars of liquidity on this platform.
What is the future for zkrollup?
Solutions that use zero-knowledge roll-up have created a new application for zero-knowledge algorithms and use them to increase the scalability of a layer 1 network. These types of solutions must solve some of their limitations in the first step. But according to the developments in this field and the potential of this technology, it is expected that they will be widely used in the future.
Founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin (vitalik buterin) has defined this technology many times in his talks and encouraged users to use zero knowledge roll-up. According to him, with the increasing use of roll-ups by users, we can expect to process more than 1000 transactions per second. As a result, we can have a positive view of the projects that use this technology and imagine a bright future for them.
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