Introduction to zk-rollups.

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4 simple outstanding guides to understanding zk-rollups.

With this blog, you will understand zk-rollups and why they are called layer 2 scaling solutions.

Let’s go!!!

The massive adoption of blockchain technology since bitcoin’s creation in 2009 has grown. Because of its significance and benefits attached, the masses have adopted and used the technology. 

Amongst many things which the blockchain provides, including security, decentralization, efficiency, and transparency, to name a few, It comes with its fair share of limitations when dealing with carrying out transactions or having to pay an extra amount of transaction fee (gas fee) to speed track your transaction.

In some blockchains, the gas fee for executing a transaction is high. Take Ethereum, for instance, where carrying out even low transactions can accumulate huge sums of gas fees. We pay the gas fees in Ethereum’s native currency, Ether (ETH).

Let’s take a turn in the NFT space.

Bored Ape Yacht Club’s metaverse NFTs cost buyers $181 million in “gas” fees.

My thoughts exactly!!!

Some paid transaction fees over five times higher than the cost of the purchased item.

Gas prices fluctuate based on demand and supply, so when the demand for NFT surges on the blockchain, the network’s built-in fee system kicks in.

Also, because of the mass adoption of public/permissionless blockchain networks, most blockchains experience challenges/inconsistencies in scalability (throughput). 

Thus, having a high number of users on the blockchain without integrating protocols, mechanisms, or algorithms that can make this blockchain scale will cause low throughput. 

Take bitcoin, for instance; this blockchain has a throughput of about 5 TPS and Ethereum about 15 TPS (transactions per second); this is very low compared to some blockchain networks with over thousands of TPS.

Introduction to zk-rollups. 

Blockchain technology is innovating; every day, people vent into this great technology to use its opportunities because it is a decentralized, secure, and scalable system. 

Although scalability has been a persistent issue in some blockchains, because of the mass adoption of the Ethereum blockchain, its developers and researchers have been experimenting with various scaling methods to improve network performance and all its inconsistencies with scalability. 

The blockchain implements zk rollups as a scaling solution.

What do “rollups” mean in the crypto space?

Zk rollups (zero-knowledge rollups) is a Layer 2 scaling solution that allows blockchains to validate transactions faster while keeping gas fees minimum. 

Zk-rollups outperform traditional Layer 1 blockchains such as Ethereum because they combine on and off-chain processes.

It removes hundreds of transactions from the main blockchain, i.e., zk executes rollups transactions on a separate chain.  

It then combines them into a single transaction before returning validation proof to the main blockchain and recording it.

How do “rollups” work? 

  1. Takes the data: when there are so many transactions pilled up on the main chain some of these computations move off-chain which in turn allows for processing more transactions, as roll-up transactions are executed on a separate chain i.e. layer 2.
  2. Batching of transactions: involves bringing multiple transactions on the blockchain together by compressing it and the gas fees shared across all the participants making it a fraction of whatever transaction you want to execute.
  3. Rolls it up to the main chain in a single batch: this uses a cryptographic snark proof to hide sensitive information to protect the network from malicious nodes, a validity proof is also generated, prooving that the executed transaction is valid before it can be recorded on the mainchain.

zk-rollups complete simultaneously multiple transactions, this significantly reduces costs and speeds up the processing time.

Guides to understanding zk-rollups.

ZK rollups use validity proofs. Validity Proof displays evidence that a transaction is correct i.e. basically it is generated after the execution of a transaction to verify the validity of the transaction before it can get recorded on the mainchain.

ZK-rollups offer a vast number of benefits.

  • First, there is faster transaction finality. Zk-rollups do not alter or cancel the time required to receive the confirmation that a blockchain transaction is final. 
  • It also provides significantly higher throughput and scalability since very little data is required for each transaction, meaning faster and more efficient processing, as it communicates minimal information between nodes.
  • There are also faster withdrawal times as validity proofs certify transaction data and cheaper transaction fees since users who roll up and bundle their transactions together share the gas. 
  • Since zk-rollups are “zero-knowledge”, data retrieval only requires the validity proof stored on Layer 1 and not every piece of transactional data; they can remain decentralized and secure.

These are some platforms that implement zk-rollups.

zkSync

zkSync is a Layer 2 scaling solution on the Ethereum network, that uses ZK-rollups technology to provide lower-cost, faster transactions. 

It processes transactions off-chain with a throughput of 2,000+ transactions per second while maintaining security, and it charges extremely low gas fees equal to 1% of Ethereum gas. 

zkSync, secured by the main Ethereum blockchain, enables the easy, minimal friction transfer of crypto between Layer 1 and Layer 2 with no delays.

LOOPRING (LRC)

Loopring is a Layer-2 scaling protocol for decentralized exchanges (DEXs) based on the Ethereum blockchain that can handle thousands of trades per second and has a peak of about 2025 TPS. 

Zk-rollup is the driving force behind Loopring. We can use its software as a protocol layer across DEXs. The platform also provides Loopring Exchange, a non-custodial trading platform that offers secure, high-speed trades with no gas fees. 

Unlike other decentralized exchanges, Loopring uses zk-rollups to enable exchanges to validate blocks off-chain. Because it completes computations in this manner, it sends fewer transactions to the Ethereum network, allowing for faster and cheaper trades.

IMMUTABLE X (IMX)

The Immutable X platform is a Layer 2 scaling solution for trading Ethereum non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the gaming industry.

It uses ZK-Rollups to provide instant trade confirmation, has no gas fees for NFT trading, and can process over 9,000 transactions per second. Users can set their trading fees on Immutable X, and any NFT created or traded on Immutable X is completely carbon neutral.

Zk-rollups are the future of scalability in blockchains, and blockchains looking to scale can leverage this great technology.

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