Why you should care about ZkEVMs
This piece will explain how ZkEVMs could be the most important invention in contemporary Web3. Please check out our previous article if you would like to understand the underlying concept of ZK Rollups.
What is a ZkEVM?
Simply put, a ZkEVM (Zero Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine) is a layer 2 solution aiming to apply the concept of ZK Rollups to the EVM without compromising any of its functionality. Developers using ZkEVM can port their existing EVM code over thereby retaining the benefits of rollups without losing any existing EVM features or impacting any existing functions in their smart contracts. For an overview of the different types of ZkEVM, see Vitalik Buterin’s article.
But, why exactly would developers on existing EVMs want to migrate their project to ZkEVM? Let’s explore how ZkEVMs can revolutionize the speed, security, and scalability of Web3.
Increased transaction speed
A ZkEVM computes transactions off-chain, before submitting proof of the computation to the Ethereum blockchain. On the upper limit of current estimations indicates an increase to 40,000 transactions per second! This is a massive leap compared to Ethereum’s limit of 20 transactions per second. One can only imagine what can be developed once the bottlenecks of Ethereum’s scalability conditions are truly resolved.
Projects that would like large swathes of data computed and stored on-chain can leverage the power of Zk Rollups to supercharge existing features, alongside unlocking a diverse suite of new possibilities. This truly colossal difference opens a range of new possibilities, namely applications from GameFi, NFTs, DeFi, and much, much more.
Drastically reduced costs
The quantity of possible transactions doesn’t matter much if they still cost a ludicrous amount of money. Thankfully with ZkEVMs, this is not the case as they have the potential to drastically reduce gas fees. This is because most of the transactions happen off-chain, with the proof of those transactions being recorded on the actual Ethereum blockchain. Estimates of the cost difference between ZkEVMs compared to regular Ethereum transactions are as high as 99%.
Surprisingly, a massive benefit of the ZkEVM is increased privacy. By computing transactions off-chain and only committing the result of these transactions to the blockchain, transactions remain anonymous as they are compressed down to just one on-chain transaction. For developers and holders alike that prefer anonymity, this is great news.
So, how can the ARC Reactor be used to encourage the adoption of this new technology?
With more and more chains being created and with mass user adoption across all chains, it’s becoming crucial for developers to be able to deploy their existing frameworks to new chains efficiently.
As with our current cross-chain solution, we can imagine the Reactor platform integrating with ZkEVM’s. The Reactor could offer an easy and efficient way to deploy EVMs to zkEVM alongside any existing EVMs to any other EVMs. Paired with our leading code-to-diagram technology and market-leading auto-compiler, the ARC Reactor offers an intuitive home for cross-chain developers that need to move fast.
With Polygon’s zkEVM set to launch on the mainnet in early 2023, we can only imagine the scale of demand for an easy solution to migrate projects on EVMs over to ZkEVM.