Layer 2 Meets Curve with zkSync

Curve and Matter Labs teams are proud to announce a big step towards scaling Ethereum in a secure and decentralized way: we’re unveiling the zkSync L2 smart contracts testnet with Curve Finance as the first resident dapp.

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Live demo:

Source code:


What is a ZK rollup and why does this matter?

Scalability is a burning need and rollups are the light at the end of the tunnel. Vitalik Buterin just declared them “the only choice” for scaling Ethereum, because of their unique security properties.

ZK rollup (ZKR) is one of the two existing rollup flavors, the other one being optimistic rollup (OR). Both approaches have their trade-offs (see a detailed comparison). Here are the major practical differences:

  • Security: ZK rollups are extremely secure even with a single validator, as they rely on pure math instead of ongoing economically incentivized activity to keep funds safe. Cryptographic assumptions aside, funds in a ZKR aee as secure as in an underlying L1. This is especially important for protocols that deal with high total value of assets. In contrast, security of optimistic rollups decreases proportional to the value locked in them. In fact, there is an effective cap on the capital size (in the range of $10s of millions) that can be securely placed into a single OR while keeping it resistant to a highly plausible attack on L1. This attack vector cannot be mitigated as long as Ethereum remains a PoW chain.

  • Finality: ZK rollups have short finality (minutes), and therefore support capital-efficient fast exits to L1. In contrast, optimistic rollups are forced to choose between fast and capital-efficient exits, but cannot have both. Most researchers consider a dispute-delay time of at least one week necessary for ORs.

  • Programmability: It is easier to support full EVM-compatibility with optimistic rollups. The OR approach was generally considered the only viable way to bring existing Ethereum smart contracts into L2. However, this is about to change.

Smart contracts in a ZK rollup?

Until recently, it was considered an extremely challenging task to allow arbitrary user-defined smart contracts on a ZK rollup. But things move fast in zero-knowledge proof space these days. 2020 has brought several breakthroughs that finally made it possible: we introduced Zinc programming language and SNARK-friendly Zinc VM, and implemented recursive PLONK proof verification for Ethereum. The combination of these technologies will power smart contracts on zkSync.

Want more?

You can read more about this on Matter Labs medium article:

What about Curve?

Curve is committed to remain at the forefront of DeFi innovation and will be actively working towards Curve being available