5 Reasons to Choose zkSync for your Blockchain Application
With over 13,000 decentralized applications (dApps) and NFT collections running on the Ethereum network, there may be thousands of transactions competing for block space at any given time.
Layer 2 scaling solutions like zkSync "batch" transactions before submitting them for mainnet settlement. The result is higher transaction speeds and lower fees, creating an advantageous environment for lower-value, higher-scale applications.
This article will explain the five major benefits of choosing zkSync for blockchain development.
What is zkSync?
zkSync is a general-purpose, decentralized Ethereum scaling solution that uses zero-knowledge proofs to increase Ethereum's throughput while preserving self-sovereignty and decentralization.
zkSync’s creators, Matter Labs, were one of the first engineering teams to identify Ethereum's scalability issue and innovate toward a practical future-proof solution.
After 12 months of rigorous testing on the Goerli testnet, zkSync launched its public mainnet (“Era”) on 24 March 2023.
Why do developers choose zkSync for blockchain development?
The main benefits of using zkSync are the fact that it derives its security directly from the Ethereum mainnet while adding scalability by leveraging zero-knowledge proofs.
Alex Gluchowski, the CEO and co-founder of Matter Labs, believes that a genuinely trustless internet must leverage zero-knowledge proofs for information verification.
1. Security Derived From Ethereum
While the optimistic rollups use fraud proofs, zkSync uses validity proofs to leverage mainnet security.
To ensure the security of zkSync transactions, cryptographic proofs (along with the data needed to validate and reconstruct all transactions) are published on Ethereum.
By publishing these proofs, zkSync provides a transparent and auditable way for users to verify that their transactions have been correctly processed by the network.
2. zkEVM Implementation
EVM-compatible smart contracts can be executed in a secure and trustless manner and proved with zero-knowledge. This is a significant achievement as the EVM and zero-knowledge proofs did not previously work well together, due to technical implementation challenges.
Originally, the EVM could execute smart contracts but could not verify their correctness. zkEVM gives the Ethereum Virtual Machine the ability to create zero-knowledge proofs, a.k.a. Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (SNARK).
This creates new possibilities as developers can now use ZK-Rollups for advanced decentralized application (dapp) functionalities and other uses, rather than being limited to payments and transactions.
As well as enabling faster and cheaper transactions, zkEVM implementation also offers greater privacy for smart contract execution.
The zero-knowledge proofs used in zkSync allow for private computation, meaning that the inputs and outputs of smart contract execution are not visible to anyone except the parties involved. This is highly beneficial for applications that require privacy, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.
3. Infinite Scalability
zkSync has the ability to scale infinitely and efficiently without compromising its security.
Most significantly, it uses succinct zk proofs to incur minimal verification costs regardless of the number of transactions processed. This ensures that performance can be increased exponentially without compromising the security and decentralization of the network.
Reducing transaction fees is another important factor in making a blockchain platform scalable. zkSync's innovative Redshift proof system reduces the average cost of a transaction to a fraction of a penny. This means that transactions on zkSync can be processed far more cheaply than transactions on other blockchain platforms.
Scalability also depends on cost-efficient storage. That is precisely why zkSync was created: it offers cheap and reliable storage that reduces costs by a remarkable amount in comparison with storage on Layer 1.
With EIP-4844 in effect, we can expect costs to reduce even further. What’s more, within the architecture of zkSync lies an additional decentralized storage option: zkPorter.
Another necessary component for achieving infinite scalability is "Hyperchains." Hyperchains are essentially sovereign ZK-blockchains that are connected to each other via trustless bridges, which zkSync calls "Hyperbridges."
Like any blockchain, the throughput of each individual Hyperchain is limited and largely depends on node capacity and decentralization. However, working in tandem, Hyperchains remove any cap on the total throughput the zkSync ecosystem can achieve.
4. Impressive UX
Suboptimal UX has been a barrier to mass adoption of blockchain technology for years. From memorizing seed phrases to figuring out how to use cryptocurrency wallets across dapps, users often find Web3 hard to navigate.
zkSync significantly simplifies UX with native account abstraction, allowing users to explore the Web3 space more easily and developers to channel more of their energy into functional dApp features.
Currently, most users interact with Ethereum through externally owned accounts (EOAs). EOAs are simple to operate but cannot execute any code or perform functions beyond sending and receiving ETH. Smart contract accounts (CAs) can execute code and perform complex functions beyond simple value transfers, but require more advanced development and testing.
Account abstraction brings together the benefits of both types of account, allowing users to interact with CAs through a simplified user experience. The zkSync team aims to make operating a smart contract account similar to Web2 experiences most users are already familiar with, while enabling users to retain custody of assets.
zkSync's account abstraction allows each user to easily customize the logic and functionality of their account. For example, a user could create a custom account that automatically schedules recurring payments, or one that enforces specific rules for sending and receiving funds. Not only do smart contract accounts allow users to pay gas fees in any token of their choice, the account can be set up to automatically take care of fees on behalf of the user.
One of the most underrated benefits of zkSync is its ability to allow two-way hops between Layer 1 and Layer 2 within reasonable amounts of time. Users can move their assets and liquidity seamlessly between the two layers, without the need for lengthy withdrawal and deposit processes.
This is particularly important for composability, which is the ability for different smart contracts and dApps to interact and work together. With zkSync's two-way hop capability, dApps on Layer 2 can easily access and utilize assets and liquidity on Layer 1, and vice versa, enabling more complex and sophisticated composability among dApps.
The ability to move assets quickly between Layer 1 and Layer 2 is also crucial for maintaining liquidity. By having a fluid flow between the two layers, users can take advantage of opportunities and react quickly to market changes without the risk of assets being locked in either layer.
For example, a user might want to use a decentralized exchange (a platform for trading cryptocurrencies) that is built on Layer 2 of the Ethereum blockchain. With zkSync, they can quickly transfer their cryptocurrencies from Layer 1 to Layer 2 so they can trade on the exchange. Then, when they wish to withdraw their funds, they can quickly transfer them back to Layer 1.
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