Matter Labs takes the lead in ZK race, ETH price recovery spurs network activity

Ethereum price saw a nice recovery above $1,620 on Saturday after resuming upward action heading into the weekend. Ethereum topped $1,600 for the first time since Sept. 15 earlier today, hitting a daily and multi-week high of $1,645, market data showed. This broader market price increase has led to more interest in cryptocurrency projects, even among developers who have turned to the sidelines.

Ethereum’s new smart contracts soar

Analyst Easy OnChain noted on Oct. 26 that the number of new smart contracts deployed daily on Ethereum recently hit a new one-year peak. CryptoQuant data shows that from mid-March to October, the number of new contracts per day was below 20,000.

New Ethereum contract. Source: CryptoQuant

In contrast, the near-term contract deployment has been rapid, with two sharp rises observed in alternate weeks on Oct. 15 (59,605 new contracts) and Oct. 22 (77,538 new contracts).

“The development of new smart contracts has decreased [during the bear market] Probably because no one wants to launch a new dApp project when the market is down. However, since October 9, the number of new smart contracts has started to increase, reaching the highest level since July 2021. This may indicate that developers have raised their expectations for the future of the market and network activity. “Analyst Theory.

To learn more, check out our guide to investing in Ethereum.

Outside of the marketplace, blockchain development teams have stepped up efforts to provide improvements and advance their ecosystems in general. In particular, there has been a lot of hype around zero-knowledge proof technology as teams race to produce the best EVM based on zero-knowledge proofs.

Scaling Ethereum

The Ethereum community, including project co-founder Vitalik Buterin, has long acknowledged that the network will rely on a second-layer platform to achieve higher transaction speeds and lower gas fees. Leading the way towards this ambition is Optimism and Zero-Knowledge Aggregation. Optimistic rollups like Arbitrum and Optimism send transactions to sidechains, which then bundle and send them back to the base layer for verification. These improve performance, but face adoption barriers even as they evolve. A big challenge of this technology is the long exit period, and zero-knowledge aggregation aims to solve this problem.

Zero-knowledge proof-based rollup for Ethereum scaling

Instead of Optimistically assuming that transactions are accurate during the proof process, ZK rollups use fancy cryptography to verify the correctness of transactions. The mechanism removes any security risks and extended delays, and its design is seen as potentially enabling near-infinite scalability. Earlier this week, Buterin praised the zk layer 2 Ethereum scaler, and Scroll shared a detailed post that sheds light on zero-knowledge proofs.

“It is necessary (to make all of our lunar math as understandable and usable as possible) if we want to keep our ecosystem open and welcome those who are not following the traditional multi-year track of college math education,” he wrote. .

Polygon’s Zero-Knowledge Based EVM Equivalent Network

Polygon, an Ethereum scaler that harnesses the potential of zero-knowledge-based innovation, announced earlier this month the public testnet of Polygon zkEVM — a high-performance zero-knowledge (ZK) proof in an Ethereum Virtual Machine-equivalent environment. The network. On the same day, Scroll released an upgraded version of the pre-alpha testnet with smart contract capabilities. The team plans to release its permissionless testnet at a later, unconfirmed date.

Polygon describes its virtual environment as the first of its kind in the cryptocurrency space, and a breakthrough in enabling seamless scaling that is highly desirable. The open-source zkEVM proof system has been marked as equivalent to EVM, which the Polygon team believes is the best choice for scalability to enable Solidity developers to seamlessly interact with Ethereum smart contracts, wallets and development tools in an enhanced environment .

Internal Breakthrough Accelerates Polygon’s zkEVM

Even with such a high demand for an EVM-equivalent environment, Polygon’s build was problematic. For starters, what was initially expected to take 3 to 5 years of work has apparently been shortened to less than a year. Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic attributes the streamlined timeline to development breakthroughs that have helped increase efficiency.

Also, Steve Newcomb, chief product officer at zkSync, is less sure about Polygon’s EVM equivalent work. Newcomb disputed Polygon’s claim of ethereum equivalence, but the blockchain team clarified that its definition has to do with opcode-level compatibility/ability to run bytecode natively without compilation. Newcomb is also skeptical that Polygon will be able to achieve its mainnet launch schedule in early 2023, as there is still a lot of work to be done.

However, according to Bjelic, events are fast-tracked, so the ideal 9-month testnet period proposed by Newcomb is subjective. Buterin has warned in the past that it will take several years of development and auditing before Ethereum users can safely deposit their assets in a ZK-rollup running a full EVM.

To learn more, check out our guide to investing in Polygon.

Matter Labs launches zkSync v2 mainnet to beat rivals

In a related development, Matter Labs, the innovation lab behind Ethereum’s layer 2 scaling protocol zkSync, deployed a second version of zkSync on Friday, positioning it as the first of its kind to launch on Ethereum. The claim has sparked debate in the cryptocurrency community, especially from competing platforms and skeptics.

The ‘Baby Alpha’ release was not released as a complete package, as most of the platform’s functionality is still not accessible to external teams. Currently, it allows the team to test zkSync’s system and confirm that the production system is functioning properly. The platform will be available to a small number of people in the coming months and then to the public after a full launch, which, in theory, is expected before the end of the year.

There were questions surrounding Matter Labs’ latest release earlier this week, with the biggest concern being the usefulness of zkSync’s proof-of-skill technology. In a recent tweet, Offchain Labs CEO Steven Goldfeder took issue with the technology, adding that the hype surrounding the “first zkEVM on mainnet” is misleading. Goldfeder’s remarks are somewhat unexpected, given that Offchain Labs is the co-founder of Arbitrum.

“This is the current state of zkEVM: many teams are making steady progress, but we’re not ready for prime time by any means. Unfortunately, the race to be number one can sometimes allow marketing to dominate,” he wrote. “Selling the ‘first mainnet zkEVM’ when we’re still very far away does no one good. It muddies the narrative of users who just want to know the facts. It leaves competitors trying to do the right thing in a bind. “

Amid these doubts, Matter Labs has remained firm, confirming through its chief product officer Steve Newcomb that development is on track and in line with its roadmap. The team also intends to launch a native token. zkSync 2.0 introduces smart contract deployment and aims to achieve similar results to Polygon zkEVM. However, it subscribes to Ethereum compatibility rather than equivalence – it omits only three opcodes for performance. This latest iteration entered development in 2020 and went live on testnet in February.

The future of zero-knowledge scaling on Ethereum

Notably, Matter Labs took a different approach than Polygon zkEVM, opting to open source its EVM system only after the mainnet launch. According to L2beat, the total value locked in zkSync is currently $64.26 million. The user-centric zk rollup platform recorded 1.21 million transactions in the past 30 days. The TVL figures aggregated by Arbitrum and Optimism were $2.68 billion and $1.64 billion, translating to 51% and 31% market share, respectively.

Design choices to improve Ethereum’s flaws have inspired more projects, such as Polygon zkEVM and zkSync 2.0. Starkware and Loopring are targeting EVM-incompatible zk-rollup, while Scroll and Taiko have the same ambitions as Matter Labs and Polygon.

Matter Labs plans to release a proof-of-concept of an EVM-compatible Layer 3 prototype, Opportunity, early next year. Layered on zkSync, it will serve as a complementary off-chain computing service on the zkSync main network. The project is currently in the pipeline and was initially named Pathfinder, then renamed Opportunity.

To learn more, check out our guide to investing in Optimism.

Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal refutes notion that blockchain solves ‘new’ problems

Elsewhere, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal recently rejected proposals for blockchain technology to solve new problems. The blockchain developer believes that the vast majority of them are designed to solve traditional problems in various fields such as finance and assets in a better way using existing technological mechanisms.

Nailwal also recently pointed out that the current product in the cryptocurrency space is very weak, and therefore insisted on focusing on building in response to Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko’s disparaging comments about Ethereum. Yakovenko previously told Decrypt that his creation is going well and in some cases even better than Ethereum, such as developer adoption.

Source of information: Compiled from SECURITIES by 0x Information.The copyright belongs to the author, Sam Grant, and may not be reproduced without permission.

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