To better understand this blog, you should master the basic concepts of Ethereum first.
What is zkSync Era?
Due to limitations on transaction throughput on the Ethereum Mainnet (i.e. layer 1), developers proposed layer 2 protocols to handle transactions off layer 1 so as to improve Ethereum’s performance and user experience.
In June 2020, the European team Matter Labs unveiled their first Layer 2 scaling solution—zkSync Lite (formerly zkSync 1.0), employing zero-knowledge proof-based Rollup technology to facilitate simple transactions such as transfers and swaps.
To further scale the Ethereum network, Matter Labs introduced an upgraded version of zkSync Lite—zkSync Era (previously zkSync 2.0) in October 2022. And the zkSync Era mainnet was launched in March 2023, granting access to all users. As the first zkEVM on the Ethereum blockchain, zkSync Era allows developers to deploy smart contracts with just one click.
This article delves into zkSync Era. If you want to learn more about zkSync Lite, click for further details.
How does zkSync Era’s solution work?
zkSync Era: A Layer 2 scaling solution based on zkEVM.
- ZK: Stands for Zero Knowledge.
- ZK Rollup: ZK Rollup bundles hundreds of transfers off-chain and generates a cryptographic proof, known as a SNARK (succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge). This is known as a validity proof and is posted on layer 1.zkRollup, the ZK Rollup technology used by zkSync, posted bundled data on layer 2 to ensure the validity and availability of data. Inheriting the security properties of layer 1, while performing execution outside of layer 1, is a defining characteristic of zkRollup.
- EVM: The abbreviation for Ethereum Virtual Machine, which is used to execute smart contracts on Ethereum.However, zkRollup is not compatible with regular virtual machines, so zkSync Era designs a new virtual machine that works well with ZK Rollup and adapts EVM development tools to support Solidity (a high level language for implementing smart contracts).
- Funds are cryptographically secure, as in the Ethereum mainnet
- Account Abstraction
- Users are always in control of their funds
zkSync Era Wallet
Take imToken for example, first download and install imToken (https://token.im/ ) and create/import an identity wallet.
How to use zkSync Era with imToken?
Open your ETH wallet then click “Ethereum” at the top. Choose “zkSync Era” in the pop-up to switch to the zkSync Era wallet for transferring, receiving, and trying out the DApp.
Learn more: How to use zkSync Era with imToken?
Other wallets that support zkSync Era
In order to scale Ethereum to accommodate a growing number of users, developers have proposed 2 solutions, namely, layer 2 and sharding (a layer 1 scaling solution).
Layer 1 refers to the Ethereum blockchain itself, and layer 2 is a network or technology that operates on top of Ethereum to improve its scalability and efficiency.
Mainstream layer 2 solutions include ZK Rollup, Optimistic Rollup, Plasma, State Channels, Validium, etc.
ZK stands for Zero Knowledge, which means that a prover can convince a verifier that an assertion is correct without providing any useful information to the verifier.
Rollup is a collective term for solutions designed to improve the performance of the Ethereum mainnet by handling transactions off-chain while keeping part of the data of each transaction on-chain.
ZK Rollup = Roll Up Transaction + Zero Knowledge Proof (zk-SNARK)
In a nutshell, ZK Rollup is a 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 mainnet contract.
zkEVM is an Ethereum Virtual Machine built on zero-knowledge proof technology. Unlike regular virtual machines, zkEVM proves the correctness of program execution, including the validity of inputs and outputs used in operations.
There are two types of native accounts on Ethereum: externally owned accounts (EOA) and contract accounts (CA). The former is the only type that can initiate transactions actively, and the latter is the only type that can implement arbitrary logic.
To unify these two types of native accounts, account abstraction (AA) is introduced. AA allows accounts to initiate transactions like EOA, and also implement arbitrary logic like CA.
Matter Labs, the development team behind zkSync, is an engineering team passionate about liberty, blockchain and math. Their head office is in Berlin, but they work across the globe (mostly Europe).
Matter Labs scales Ethereum with zero-knowledge proof technology with the mission to accelerate this ongoing financial revolution.
zkSync Era block explorer
zkSync Era block explorer is an open source web tool that stays synchronous with the zkSync network and allows you to view information about blocks, transactions, account addresses on zkSync Era.
zkSync Era ecosystem
- 1inch Network
- Nansen Portfolio
- Celer Network
- Orbiter Finance
- Hop Protocol