What Are ZkEVMs? Best Way To Scale Ethereum?

In the race to scale the Ethereum
blockchain, Two factions have emerged
as dominant players in the layer 2 space: Optimistic rollups and zero knowledge
rollups, or Zk rollups in short. So let's explain the differences
and get started. So let's get started
with optimistic rollups. Optimistic rollups
take computation in state storage off Chain while the execution of transactions
occurs on the roll up outside of Ethereum, transaction data is passed down
and stored on Ethereum's meaning. This is done by bundling transactions
together into one large transaction Which is passed on Ethereum
as called data. This method also allows
gas fees on Ethereum to be spread across All of the transactions included In the bundled transaction,
which is why gas fees on optimistic Rollups tend to be much lower
than on the ether remain it. So optimistic rollups
assume that all transactions computed off Chain are valid and accurate
when posting them to Ethereum Without submitting a proof of validity. Hence the term optimistic
as such to combat fraudulent transactions. A challenge period is put in place
in which anyone can challenge The transactions posted
if it is proven that fraudulent Transactions have been included,
the optimistic rollup will re Execute the valid transactions
and update their state accordingly. Conversely, if the challenge period passes
with no successful Challenge,
the transactions become finalized. So let's talk about ZK-Rollups. In the other corner we have ZK rollups,
which are far less optimistic, while Zk Rollups also do computations off chain,
they provide a cryptographic proof To prove that the state update
that they are passing to Ethereum is truly The result of all the transactions
that have occurred on the Zk rollup. These validity proofs allow any party
to verify the accuracy of the state update Without knowing the details
of the transactions leading up to it. Hence the name zero knowledge. Since Zk Rollups are able to provide
a proof of the accuracy Of their transactions, there is no need
for a challenge period on Zk rollups.

Moreover, unlike optimistic rollups,
Zk rollups need not post every transaction Onto Ethereum,
but rather just the proofs over This comes with the burden of generating
the fraud proof, which tends to be Highly resource consuming and often
requires a high level of expertise to run. But not all Zk rollups are made equal. Zk rollups can also be further broken down
into ZkSNARKs and ZkSTARKs. So let's talk about the difference
between ZkSNARKs and ZkSTARKs. Both ZkSTARKs or Zero knowledge
scalable transparent argument of knowledge And ZkSNARKs, Zero knowledge succinct Non-interactive argument of knowledge
strive to achieve the same purpose, Which is to enable Zk proves into enable
scaling up blockchain. However They do have quite significant
differences between them. ZkSNARKs came first being initially
popularized by privacy Protocol Zcash. This headstart allowed ZkSNARKs
to build up a strong community Of developers and tooling which allow
it to be used the much more widely today. SNARKs also use a much smaller proof size,
which requires less gas And time to verify. However, the downside to
this was a much slower computation. Time to generate the proof. However, ZkSTARKs
have their own benefits to. One of the major downsides to ZkSNARKs is the need for a trusted set
up in the initial phase. This also means that if the setup process
was not conducted properly, The chain could be susceptible to exploits
in the future from malicious parties. ZkSTARKS do not use a trusted set up
and hence they are not susceptible To such an attack. Moreover, ZkSTARKS tend to generate proofs
more quickly, allowing ZkSTARKS To potentially scale better and there is
no clear winner for now between the two. And both technologies are still
being implemented in a developing project As optimistic rollups
like Arbitrum and Optimism take the lead. In early 2023, Zk
rollups are slowly closing in on them, And more specifically,
it is the Zk rollups that are Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM compatible that
the market is especially excited about. So what are ZkEVMs?

So ZkEVMs refer to the Zk rollup
that are fully compatible with the EVM. This means that any application
currently on Ethereum or any other EVM Compatible chains such as Polygon
and Avalanche will be able to deploy Onto a ZkEVM with minimal modifications
to their code base. Even compatibility has always
been a highly sought after trade For a new chain as a strategy
to attract developers and also users. After all, the majority of total value Locked or TVL on
chain has always been on Ethereum, And with the chain holding
more than 50% of all TVL at any point. And as such, it's
no surprise that alternative layer One or L1 chains which are EVM compatible
prove to be attractive To existing Ethereum developers. They could deploy their project on another
chain with relatively lesser effort While still reaping the rewards
of having a whole new user base. Likewise, while Zk rollups such
as Starknet are already live on mean that They've not gained significant traction
likely due to their lack of EVM Compatibility and major decentralized
applications or DApps on the chain. Therefore, with the wave of announcements
from Major ZkEVM players in the space In early 2023, many crypto users
are eager to explore their options in the ZkEVM space.

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