zkSync Era: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about zkSync Era and how you can interact with this exciting new technology.
The Ethereum network faces significant scalability issues, especially as the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. To solve this problem, developers have turned to zk rollups, a technology that allows for more transactions to be processed in a shorter amount of time while maintaining a high security standard.
Now, zkSync Era has emerged as the first zk rollup solution to open its doors to all users on mainnet, challenging similar innovations such as Polygon’s zkEVM. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about zkSync Era and how you can interact with this exciting new technology.
What is zkSync Era?
zkSync is a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum that uses zero-knowledge proofs to provide fast and inexpensive transactions while aiming to maintain the security and decentralization of the Ethereum network.
zkSync Era is the latest version of zkSync. Besides zkSync Era, Matter Labs previously launched zkSync Lite back in 2020. This was the first version of zkSync that enables developers to easily integrate a layer-2 scaling solution into their applications.
The new, state-of-the-art Ethereum solution provides significant improvements in terms of scalability, user experience, and integration with the Ethereum ecosystem. With zkSync Era, you can enjoy faster transaction speeds, lower gas fees, and improved security all at once, making it a more attractive alternative to traditional Ethereum transactions and other scaling solutions.
One notable feature of zkSync Era is its integration with Trust Wallet. Trust Wallet is the most trusted and secure crypto wallet that allows you to store, send, and receive crypto assets as well as interact with decentralized applications. Currently, Trust Wallet offers native support for zkSync Era, allowing you to access the benefits of this layer-2 scaling without having to manually add the network to their wallet.
Back in 2017, zkSync was created by Matter Labs. Matter Labs is a blockchain research and development company based in Germany. It was co-founded by Alex Gluchowski and Alexandr Vlasov. The team has a strong background in cryptography and has been actively involved in the development of the Ethereum ecosystem. They have been working on the zero-knowledge rollup technology since 2018.
Why is zkSync Era important, and what use cases does it unlock?
zkSync Era is a powerful platform that has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for blockchain users and developers. The importance of this layer-2 scaling solution cannot be overstated. Here are some notable improvements that set zkSync Era apart:
One of the most significant advantages of zkSync Era is its scalability. With its unique architecture, zkSync Era can handle up to 2,000 transactions per second (tps). This is a significant improvement over Ethereum's current tps, which is limited to around 15-45 tps, depending on network congestion. Since zkSync Era can handle a much higher volume of transactions, the solution is perfectly suitable for applications that require high throughput capacity, such as decentralized exchanges (DEXs).
Support for native account abstraction
Another important feature of zkSync Era is its support for native account abstraction. This feature allows you to pay transaction fees in the token being transferred rather than requiring a specific token for fees. This is more user-friendly and convenient, as it eliminates the need to constantly convert tokens on various web3 platforms just to pay for transactions.
Account abstraction also allows wallets to support more complicated functions. For example, using this feature, a wallet can be customized to support multi-sig transactions or to have two-factor authentication. It's essential to note that this feature is not available on other layer-2 solutions, such as Optimism and Polygon’s zkEVM.
Support for EVM-compatible smart contracts
zkSync Era also supports EVM-compatible smart contracts. As a result, Ethereum applications can be easily ported over to the layer-2 network with little modification required. This opens up a wide range of possibilities and gives decentralized applications a new design space, particularly those that require fast transaction times and low fees.
New Use Cases
zkSync Era's scalability and native account abstraction unlock new use cases for decentralized applications (dApps). For example, gaming dApps can benefit from zkSync Era's fast and cheap transactions, which can enable real-time gameplay and better user experiences for gamers. Furthermore, DEXs can benefit from zkSync Era's scalability and native account abstraction to offer their users a more seamless trading experience.
Another use case is micropayments, which have been difficult to implement on Ethereum due to high transaction fees. With zkSync Era, micropayments become viable, enabling new use cases such as pay-per-use services and content monetization. As a matter of fact, micropayments are believed to play a crucial role in the future version of the internet, and something like zkSync is well positioned to contribute in a meaningful way.
Difference Between zkSync Era and Other Solutions
The main difference between zkSync Era and other layer-2 scaling solutions is the underlying technological approach used to achieve scalability.
zkSync Era uses zero-knowledge proofs to allow for high transaction throughput while maintaining the same level of security as Ethereum's mainnet. Other layer-2 scaling solutions, such as Optimistic Rollups or Polygon's zkEVM, use different approaches to achieve scalability.
Optimistic Rollups rely on a concept called “optimistic execution,” where transactions are processed off-chain and then verified on-chain on an optimistic basis. This means that transactions are considered valid as long as not proven otherwise. This allows for faster transaction processing times but with the trade-off of higher risk and the need for lengthy dispute resolutions in the case of fraudulent transactions.
Polygon's zkEVM, on the other hand, uses zero-knowledge proofs like zkSync, but it is byte code compatible with Ethereum, meaning that smart contracts can be directly copied over to Polygon's network without the need for additional development work.
zkSync is not byte code compatible. This means that applications cannot be directly copied over to zkSync’s layer-2 network without being compiled using zkSync's LLVM-based compiler. However, according to Gluchowski, zkSync's focus on innovation rather than backward compatibility enables features such as native account abstraction and data compression on zkSync Era instead – something that is well worth the trade-off.
Adding a custom zkSync Era token to your Trust Wallet
You can easily add a a zkSync Era token to your Trust Wallet by doing the following.
Step 1: In the Trust Wallet app, select on the toggle symbol.
Step 2: Select the plus sign.
Step 3: Choose the network selector.
Step 4: Enter the details for the token.
Bridging to zkSync Era
Bridging to zkSync Era is easy thanks to the variety of secure bridges that connect zk-rollups to other Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible chains. You can bridge tokens to zkSync Era by following these simple steps:
Deposit funds in your Trust Wallet.
Visit a bridging portal that supports zkSync Era, such as Multichain
Connect your Trust Wallet to the Multichain platform.
Once you are connected, choose the network which you want to move your funds from. In this example, we will use the Ethereum mainnet. However, you can transfer funds from other networks such as Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, Loopring, Optimism, or others.
Choose the network you want to bridge to, in this case, zkSync Era.
Select the token you want to bridge from Ethereum to zkSync Era and input the amount.
Review and confirm the transaction, then click ‘Approve.’
Your tokens will arrive in under 5 minutes.
Things you can do with zkSync Era
zkSync Era is enabling a variety of new dApps and projects to thrive. In this section, we will take a closer look at some of the exciting services available on zkSync Era.
Syncswap is a seamless decentralized exchange that is powered by Automated Market Makers (AMMs) and built on zkSync Era.
Syncswap is based on zero-knowledge proofs, allowing you to enjoy low transaction costs and fast confirmations while leveraging the full security of Ethereum. The ultimate goal of SyncSwap is to become a comprehensive DeFi platform that is both intuitive and inclusive. By providing accessible and user-friendly solutions, SyncSwap aims to expand the reach of DeFi and bring more people into web3, even those who are new to the world of Ethereum.
Gitcoin is a community-driven platform (already existing on Ethereum mainnet) that allows developers to collaborate and monetize their skills while working on Open Source projects.
With zkSync, Gitcoin provides fast and cheap transactions, which makes it easier for developers to participate in the ecosystem and get paid for their contributions.
Mute.io is a zk-rollup-based automated market maker (AMM) DEX, bond, and farming platform built on zkSync and Ethereum. Mute allows you to invest, trade, earn yield, and participate in crypto bond markets all under one platform.
Spacefi is a cross-chain web 3.0 platform that brings a suite of services, including a decentralized exchange, NFT starter, and DAO on layer 2.
Spacefi is built on EVMOS and zkSync, and aims to provide people with a seamless cross-chain experience. By leveraging zkSync's low-cost, high-speed transactions, Spacefi offers people fast, cheap, and secure transactions.
Mint Square allows for the trading of NFTs on both StarkNet and zkSync Era. It provides a cost-effective solution with accelerated transaction confirmation times, all while remaining secure through ultimately leveraging Ethereum’s consensus.
With Mint Square, artists and collectors can take advantage of zkSync's low transaction fees to buy and sell NFTs, while maintaining the safety of their digital assets.
DePay is a payment gateway that allows people to accept web3 payments with the power of DeFi.
With DePay, people can accept any token with on-the-fly conversion. The platform has chosen to operate on zkSync as its layer-2 solution, providing fast and cheap transactions that allow merchants to accept payments from anywhere in the world. There is no sign-up required to integrate DePay with your website or app. Furthermore, you can accept thousands of tokens as a means of payment.
DeBank is a web3 native messenger and portfolio tracker that covers all tokens, DeFi protocols, and NFTs across all major DeFi protocols and EVM chains. Built on zkSync, DeBank allows people to track their portfolio on different chains in real-time and chat with their friends with a 0x address in a secure and decentralized environment.
From these examples, it becomes increasingly obvious that zkSync Era could turn out to be a game-changer in the web3 ecosystem. With its fast and cost-effective transactions, developers and people can explore a wide range of dApps and services on the platform. From DEXs to NFT marketplaces, zkSync Era is ushering in a new era of innovation and accessibility for the blockchain ecosystem. Also, the integration of account abstraction will positively influence the user experience for dApps and web3 applications.
Is There a zkSync Era Token? Will There Be An Airdrop?
As zkSync Era is making waves in the world of DeFi, many people are naturally curious about the potential for a native token and a potential airdrop. At the time of writing, there is no zkSync token, and the network remains largely centralized.
Matter Labs controls the prover and sequencer, two important components that make up the infrastructure of zkSync Era. The team behind zkSync Era has stated that there is no need for a token at the moment and that they are primarily focused on decentralization and building out features for the network.
While there is no guarantee of a token or airdrop, there may come a time when launching a token and distributing parts of it via an airdrop might turn out to be an option. Therefore, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for any updates from the team.
In the meantime, taking actions that might lead people to be eligible for airdrops, such as participating in zkSync Era's ecosystem or holding certain tokens, may be a good strategy. However, it's critical to note that this is not financial advice, and you should always do your own research before making any investments.
Look Out for More Updates!
zkSync Era is an exciting development in the world of Ethereum and holds the promise to solve the network's scalability issues. With faster and cheaper transactions, instant finality, and a growing list of dApps and projects using the platform, zkSync Era is a project to keep an eye on.
So, whether you're a seasoned developer or just dipping your toes into the wider Ethereum ecosystem, zkSync Era is an exciting opportunity for you to stay ahead of the curve and unlock new possibilities for engaging with web3.
Ready to take the plunge? You can interact with zkSync Era directly from your Trust Wallet.
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Note: Any cited numbers, figures, or illustrations are reported at the time of writing, and are subject to change.