What is a ZK-rollup ➰

ZK-rollup, short for Zero-Knowledge Rollup, is a layer 2 scaling solution for blockchain networks that aims to enhance their scalability and efficiency. It combines the benefits of both on-chain and off-chain processing by leveraging cryptographic techniques known as zero-knowledge proofs. Specifically, these are hybrid scaling solutions that are off-chain protocols operating independently.

In traditional blockchain networks like Ethereum, each transaction needs to be processed and validated by every participant on the network, resulting in limited transaction throughput and high fees. Layer 2 solutions like ZK-rollup aim to address these scalability challenges by aggregating multiple transactions off-chain (i.e., thousands in a batch) and submitting only a compressed proof of their validity to the main blockchain.

ZK-rollups work by creating a data structure called a rollup, which contains multiple transactions bundled together. This is done by moving computation and state-storage off-chain. The rollup is then submitted to Mainnet, where it is verified by a set of validators. However, instead of executing and validating each transaction individually, ZK-rollup utilizes zero-knowledge proofs to cryptographically prove the validity of the entire batch of transactions. These proofs provide mathematical guarantees that the transactions are valid without revealing any sensitive information about them.

By utilizing zero-knowledge proofs, ZK-rollup achieves significant scalability improvements by reducing the computational and storage requirements. This allows for higher transaction throughput and lower fees compared to executing transactions directly. ZK-rollup operators interact by submitting a summary of the changes/ transactions, and the final state of the rollup is periodically committed to Mainnet.

Overall, ZK-rollups improve the scalability and efficiency of blockchain networks, enabling them to handle a significantly larger number of transactions while maintaining the security guarantees of the underlying blockchain.

If you’d like to learn more, check out companies like Loopring, MatterLab, Scroll, or the Starknet Foundation. Otherwise, you can read the Ethereum Foundation’s blog post: https://lnkd.in/eTtVAxP9

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