First launched in 2020 as the brainchild of Germany-based Matter Labs to serve as a scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, zkSync boasts a L2 environment that features significantly lower gas fees together with increased transaction speeds. Learn more about zkSync and rollups here.
The scaling protocol has come into the spotlight again recently, with Matter labs announcing the future release of a zkSync token, together with the development of zkSync Era, a “general-purpose” execution environment targeted at facilitating the development and coding of decentralised applications (DApps) on the ecosystem.
In this article, we take a look at what zkSync Era means for developers and the various protocols and projects on zkSync Era!
What exactly is a DeFi Ecosystem?
DeFi, or decentralized finance, refers to a financial system built upon blockchain technology that operates independent of intermediaries such as banks and credit unions. Within a DeFi ecosystem, users may instead access a range of financial services by interacting with DApps on the ecosystem that provide a host of services, such as initiating transactions like minting NFTs; performing token swaps; and even particiapting in staking, directly from their cryptocurrency wallet.
DeFi ecosystems also grant users the ability to hold complete control over their assets and funds, as they are stored in smart contracts on the blockchain and are secured by the blockchain’s own cryptographic algorithm, eliminating the risks of fraud or mismanagement that present themselves in the instances of traditional institutions.
When will the zkSync Era mainnet be launched?
As at the time of writing of this article, the zkSync Era testnet has just completed its regensis to prepare for its upcoming Fair Onboarding Alpha, which will see the team inviting all ecosystem projects to deploy their protocols on zkSync Era while the network is closed off to external users.
This approach seeks to allow developers the opportunity to run and test their code in a closed enviornment, without giving any one team a competitive advantage. Additionally, it will also give the zkSync time to ensure that the system is working properly.
After the Fair Onboarding Alpha has been concluded, zkSync Era will move to its Full Launch Alpha stage, where it will be opened up to external users. Have a look at their planned roadmap here.
What features will zkSync Era have?
zkSync Era will boast a “general-purpose” execution environment targeted at providing developers with an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) – compatible environment that can both allow for the experimentation with applications not accessible on Ethereum currently, and without requiring developers to undergo any change to their project’s base code while within this L2 environment. Some notable features on zkSync Era include, but are not limited to:
Native Support of ECDSA Signatures
By providing native support of ECDSA signatures, for instance, zkSync Era will not require any special operations to register the user’s private key, unlike its predecessor. This will allow any account to be managed in the L2 environment with the same private key used for L1.
Solidity 0.8.x Support
zkSync Era also boasts compatibility with EVM on a language level, meaning that zkSync2 .0 is capable of translating EVM languages, such as Solidity, into Yul – an interim language that can be turned into bytecode for many virtual machines. The Yul code is then recompiled by the zkSync Era framework into compatible zkEVM bytecode.
Essentially, this allows developers the ability to redeploy their Ethereum L1 projects on zkSync Era without requiring them to undergo the hassle of changing their underlying base code – as long as the code does not involve deploying completely new smart contracts. Additionally, it is also possible for developers to continue using the current software development kit (SDK) and can continue to pay the associated fees in ETH while enjoying a UX identical to the one on the Ethereum blockchain.
What Notable Projects can you expect to interact with on zkSync Era?
While the Fair Onboarding Alpha stage of zkSync Era may see more projects coming on to the ecosystem, here are a few projects on the Era testnet currently that have caught our eye:
As a decentralized cross-rollup bridge, Orbiter Finance is a protocol that facilitates the instantaneous transfer of Ethereum-native assets between L1 and L2s. Cross-chain bridges allow different blockchain networks to interact with one another without limiting the user to performing all their activities only on one blockchain network. For instance, Orbiter Finance can be used to bridge your funds from the Ethereum L1 blockchain over to the zkSync L2 environment where transactions, such as minting an NFT, may be completed at a cheaper cost, before bridging these assets of value back to the L1 chain.
Cross-chain bridges enable users to interact with a wider range of applications, services, and options in general that they otherwise would not have access to.
SpaceFi is a decentralized network that aims to provide a more open, accessible, and secure internet infrastructure for the decentralized web. It is designed to be a platform for (DApps) and services that can operate outside the control of any centralized entity.
The network is designed to allow for the creation of decentralized applications that can provide a range of services, such as decentralized file storage, communication, and financial services. This is made possible through the use of decentralized computing resources, such as storage and processing power, that are provided by nodes in the network.
Users are able to access SpaceSwap, a decentralized exchange, Staking farms, as well as an NFT marketplace.
Ever wanted to try your hands at Web3 gaming? Tevaera is a GameFi platform that features an integrated DEX and supports user-generated NFTs, on-chain player reputation system, and is optimised to cater towards a wholistic and inclusive web3 gaming experience.
The game is also free to play, allowing anyone to mint a free character to compete in the game. Clearly, Tevaera is following an increasing trend of GameFi games that are beginning to recognize the necessity to keep barriers to entry low for new gamers in order to build a sustainable game economy that only rewards the oldest or wealthiest players.
Why are DApp Ecosystems so Important?
Simply put, having more DApps available on chain provides more options and tools for users to interact with. The whole purpose of having a L2 execution environment such as zkSync is so that users are able to access features that may not have been available on an L1 chain, such as reduced transaction fees and costs.
Moreover, having more DApps on the L2 chain also indicates two important aspects of the chain: a healthy level of confidence in growth, as well as an easy-to-use deployment process. zkSync Era’s “community-driven” roadmap that espouses both fairness and keen attention to its DApp developers reflects a novel angle towards driving blockchain growth that is convenient for project founders, and rewarding for users.
Explore the zkSync Era Ecosystem with BitKeep!
Listed in this article are just a few of the many DApps available on the zkSync Era network, with more set to launch during the Fair Onboarding Alpha. If you would like to try your hands on any of these protocols, simply follow this guide on how to activate your zkSync account using BitKeep Wallet
Once done, simply tap on the “DApp” icon at the bottom of your BitKeep Wallet, and key in the name of any zkSync Era project that you may be interested in, such as Orbiter Finance, in the search field.
Select the chosen DApp, and the BitKeep Wallet will immediately redirect you to the DApp’s website interface – all from the ease and comfort from your mobile phone.
With zkSync Era’s Full Launch Alpha stage coming very soon on the horizon, many users are excited about trying their hands on this new and improved zero-knowledge rollup.
Join the wave and begin exploring all that zkSync has to offer today with BitKeep!
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