An exploration into ZK-Rollups & how StarkWare is using them.
Before understanding ZK-Rollups, we need to begin with Layer 2s:
Layer 2s refers to secondary chains built on top of the main, existing blockchain. Their main goal is to solve the scalability problem faced by the main blockchain.
There are several layer 2 scaling solutions for Ethereum, including ZK-Rollups, Validium, Optimistic Rollups, Sidechains and Plasma Chains.
ZK-Rollups, Validium and Optimistic Rollups are the most popular solutions utilised across the current market. Optimistic Rollups hold a market share of 85.4% across the top ten Layer 2s.
ZK-Rollups and Optimistic Rollups are similar in that they both improve scalability by moving the computation of transactions off-chain & submitting highly compressed data to the mainnet. The differences are:
Onto StarkWare, Eli Ben-Sasson, the president, mentioned that the token is expected to go on-chain in October.
StarkWare was co-founded by Mr Ben-Sasson, the co-inventor of ZK-SNARK & ZK-STARK (an improved version of ZK-SNARK). It develops STARK-based solutions for the space. Their two main products are:
ZK-Snarks vs ZK-Starks
Token: $STRK - StarkNet (To Be Released)
According to StarkWare’s Medium, the token’s use cases include:
The total supply is 10 billion, with the potential for the protocol to mint more as decided by the community in the future. The details for the community’s allocation (50.1%) are:
ZK-Rollups may not be new but are recently gaining increasing traction again as more projects seek to utilise their design. The launch of StarkWare has & still is being anticipated across crypto communities. Time will tell whether the ZK theme can grow & bolster crypto markets into innovation amid this larger bear market.
CoinGecko. 2022. Cryptocurrency Prices, Charts, and Crypto Market Cap | CoinGecko. [online] Available at: <https://www.coingecko.com/> [Accessed 29 October 2022].
CoinMarketCap. 2022. Cryptocurrency Prices, Charts And Market Capitalizations | CoinMarketCap. [online] Available at: <https://coinmarketcap.com/> [Accessed 29 October 2022].
DefiLlama. 2022. DefiLlama. [online] Available at: <https://defillama.com/> [Accesased 29 October 2022].
Frankenfield, J. (2021) ZK-SNARK, Investopedia. Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zksnark.asp (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
Homepage (2022) Starkware. Available at: https://starkware.co/ (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
Introduction (no date) Introduction :: StarkEx Documentation. Available at: https://docs.starkware.co/starkex/index.html (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
StarkWare industries - funding, financials, valuation & investors (no date) Crunchbase. Available at: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/starkware-industries-ltd/investor_financials (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
The state of the Layer Two ecosystem (no date) L2BEAT. Available at: https://l2beat.com/scaling/tvl/ (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
What is StarkNet (no date) What Is StarkNet :: StarkNet documentation. Available at: https://docs.starknet.io/documentation/ (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
Wright, L.'A. (2022) Why dYdX is leaving Ethereum and StarkWare for a native chain on cosmos, CryptoSlate. Available at: https://cryptoslate.com/why-dydx-is-leaving-ethereum-and-starkware-for-a-native-chain-on-cosmos/ (Accessed: November 4, 2022).
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