Exclusive Interview with Elias Tazartes & Clément Walter | Co-founders of Kakarot zkEVM

Welcome to Kernel Talk, this is Rose from Kernel Ventures. We are a crypto VC fund focusing on the growth of dev communities and backing the most ingenious founders in the world. Today we are at the StarkWare Sessions in Tel Aviv and we have the Co-founders of Kakarot — Elias and Clément here with us talking about the the original intention of creating Kakarot zkEVM and its advantages. Let’s see whether it differs from Abdel’s perspective.

1. What’s the main difference between Kakarot zkEVM and other zkEVMs from a technical perspective? Can you introduce the advantage of Kakarot zkEVM?

I think actually that is the main point of our talk tomorrow! Most zkEVM teams are made of cryptographers, like electrical engineers, in the sense that they designed zk circuits to build a VM. What we’ve been doing as software engineers is to use Cairo, which is a high level language, to build an EVM. And then rely on StarkWare for the zk part. Because Cairo is a provable language, anything that executes on Cairo is provable. This is the difference. Other zkEVMs have to build low level circuits to execute EVM code. We have to build an interpreter in Cairo, and whatever is output by that interpreter is provable. So the output is the same, provable EVM execution but the way we construct it is different. They have a more electrical engineering approach and we have a software engineering approach. That’s what we are, software engineers! We have a new language and they told us at StarkWare, and we believe them, that this language is provable. If you say it, we just repeat it’s provable! And we are just building something like a software engineer would have done with any languages.

2. What’s the original intention of creating Kakarot zkEVM and what is the positioning of it in the StarkWare ecosystem?

Definitely it was to try it out just because it seemed possible. While this topic, zkEVM, has been hot for quite a huge amount of time, StarkWare decided not to do it. Instead, they decided to move on to do the best zk tech. Then, they realized that with this powerful tech it may be possible to do it. So we just tried. And now it exists, it has been very fast and the question is actually where will it lead, and how will it be used. In the StarkWare community ecosystem, I think the placement will remain a community driven project, research based, research heavy, and open to contribution from anyone, with bottom up governance.

3. What will the final version of Kakarot zkEVM look like? What value add or optimisation will it bring to the StarkWare ecosystem? What are some new functionalities made possible with Kakarot zkEVM?

So latest version, we don’t know yet. Maybe a smart contract. Maybe a whole app chain. Then what might it bring? I think Clément has started to have an idea, but it depends on where we put Kakarot in the end. But as of today, it’s a smart contract on StarkNet. So we can call from within the zkEVM any other contract deployed on StarkNet that are not in the zkEVM world, meaning that we allow people to deploy solidity contracts on StarkNet, as if they were deployed somewhere else, but still being able to use all the ecosystem. For example, not to split the TVL but just share tokens from the StarkNet world. Our spin on it could be interoperability.

4. Does Kakarot zkEVM have a fundraising plan in the future?

Oh, yeah. It will probably happen by the end of the quarter, Q1 or Q2.

Thank you for sharing all this with us today, it’s amazing to see how community driven Kakarot is, keep up the great work! And if you like our content, click the subscribe button and stay tuned for more exciting interviews!

Kernel Ventures is a research & dev community driven crypto VC fund with more than 70 early stage investments, focusing on infrastructure, middleware, dApps, especially ZK, Rollup, Modular Blockchain, and verticals that will onboard the next billion of users in crypto such as Account Abstraction, Data Availability, Scalability and etc. For the past seven years, we have committed ourselves to supporting the growth of core dev communities and University Blockchain Associations across the world.

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