On February 16th, zkSync, the ZK series L2 expansion solution, announced the launch of version 2.0, and called this version Era, and version 1.0 will be renamed lite. The two will coexist for a long time and undertake different types of tasks. Era in English means era, which also means that zkSync has entered a new era of development.
This is the first mainnet launch after the four-month testnet stage. Unlike the restricted use of the testnet stage, this zkSync Era mainnet will be open to all developers. Currently, its Github codebase is available In order to ensure safety, there will be certain restrictions on the amount of funds in the early stage of the main network, but more functions will be opened to all users in the end.
Era Update Features at a Glance
In the standard zkSync block life cycle, it can basically be divided into four steps. It usually takes 3-5 hours from transaction initiation to final confirmation, which is its biggest advantage over Optimistic’s average one-week confirmation time.
In order to meet more practical purposes, Era will gradually support the following functions:
Native support for ECDSA signatures. Users do not need additional operations to use the private key. Any account can use the same private key in L2 as in L1.
Solidity 0.8.x versions are supported. It is consistent with the Ethereum mainnet development environment.
The Web3 API is almost fully compatible with Ethereum. Developers can reuse most of the APIs.
Smart contract messaging between L1 and L2. Allows developers to transfer data from Ethereum to zkSync, seamlessly connecting various data information communicated between the two.
Among them, the most important thing is the compatibility between L1 and L2. zkSync divides it into two parts: L1 to L2 communication and L2 to L1 communication, so as to finally realize two-way communication between L1 and L2.
In this Era update, it will focus on the communication between L1 and L2. Thanks to the compatibility with the main network, it is not difficult to send a message from the Ethereum main network to zkSync Era to call the smart contract. Era mainly focuses on Gas design and optimization.
The current transaction priorities from L1 to L2 are sorted and processed in FIFO (first-in-first-out) mode, but the concept of “priority” will be introduced in the future to support specific sorting of transactions to determine specific priorities to improve network customization and high-frequency usage requirements.
Secondly, zkPorter is expected to be implemented on the main network in the future. It is characterized by high security and 20 times lower fees than the Ethereum main network, and finally realizes a transaction fee as low as a few cents to support large-scale calls, but you need to pay attention to this This function has not yet been launched on the secondary test network.
In addition, zkSync Era will make efforts in the combination of smart contracts and account abstraction to support advanced operations such as complex DeFi stacks, and maintain synchronization with the iterative direction of the Ethereum mainnet.
In the vision of Matter Labs, based on zkSync, specific application chains or extension chains such as L3 and L4 can continue to be built, and finally the scalability of the entire blockchain network can be realized, and native blockchain can be realized between two specific chains. Cross-chain bridges to transfer assets and messages, but need to use third-party tools.
However, L1 is still needed for final settlement, and this is where the effectiveness of zkEVM comes in.
Pointing at zkEVM and mainstream developers
In the current struggle of the ZK series L2 expansion solution, zkEVM and ecology are two inseparable sides. The zkEVM of ConsenSys, Polygon and Scroll are the three main competitors, and the overt competition for major DeFi projects has also reached a fever pitch. .
In September last year, zkSync developer Matter Labs raised $200 million in Series C financing, a considerable part of which will be used for development and ecological construction. start up.
In this mainnet update, the official list of zkSync Era testnet project deployments was released for the first time. Only the projects that pass the debugging can be launched on the zkSync Era Mainnet Alpha mainnet in the first batch, so as to avoid failures in the direct launch of the mainnet.
At present, Matter Labs can directly launch the main network, but in order to ensure the safe start and operation of the main network, the following two security measures will be taken at present:
zkSync Era still needs to go through a complete security audit. Matter Labs will try its best to ensure the security of the main network, which is also the experimental significance of the open test network project.
zkSync Era Mainnet Alpha will initially impose restrictions on transaction frequency, lock-up volume (TVL), etc., and the restrictions will be reduced as the mainnet matures.
In the testnet stage, a total of nearly 9 million transactions were completed, 30,000 smart contracts were deployed, and 500,000 active addresses were generated.
In order to further attract developers, the Era mainnet code will be open to developers simultaneously for their use, including smart contracts, sequencers, provers, and GPU accelerators, covering the most important functional implementation parts.
Developers can deploy and test dApp functions on zkSync Era during the testing phase;
Developers can bridge the Ethereum standard Token to the Era network. Currently, tokens other than ERC-20 are supported, but specific information needs to be submitted to the official;
Developers can participate in bug discovery, function debugging and bug bounty programs to help officials improve the security measures of the Era mainnet;
Under the MIT/Apache 2.0 open source license, there are less restrictions on commercialization or forks. In the future, zkSync will not use Uniswap to restrict competitors from code forks, reflecting its recognition of the spirit of open source and promoting the comprehensive development of ZK technology. promote.
The EVM compatibility of zkSync enables smart contracts written in Solidity and Vyper to be used on zkSync without refactoring, but this is still not enough to achieve the goal of Matter Labs – to move towards a truly mainstream development group.
Moreover, zkSync Era will use an LLVM-based compiler, thanks to the open source and universality of LLVM, it will eventually allow developers to write smart contracts in languages such as C++ and Rust.
LLVM is the abbreviation of LowLevelVirtualMachine, which means the underlying virtual machine, which does not depend on a specific programming language, instruction set and operating system. For example, macOS uses it as part of its own development tools.
The Era mainnet will also integrate more with existing development tools to lower the entry barrier for external developers:
After this update, the Era main network will be compatible with the cloud integrated development environment. For example, the Era main network can use Google cloud services to store data;
Both GPU and non-GPU environments can be used for key generation and setting, and GPU acceleration will still be optimized for future development of hardware acceleration devices;
Local development uses the official website development guide, which can basically achieve an integrated development mode that can be run after one instruction, without excessive debugging of the software and hardware environment;
However, developers need to be reminded that the current zkSync still adopts the mode of “off-chain computing and storage, and on-chain transaction confirmation”, and the nodes are still run by Matter Labs, so it is not completely decentralized, but will gradually transition to Distributed mode.
There is no spring that will not come, and zkSync has successfully ushered in its own early spring. If the release of Polygon zkEVM has sounded the horn of the new year, then zkSync 2.0 is a preview of a comprehensive prosperity.
In this competition, zkSync Era has a relatively high degree of completion, and its strategy for developers and projects also helps it build its own ecosystem, and it also has deep technology for future hardware acceleration and inter-chain scalability reserve.