Rolling Up for ChainExploration

Spend more than a day on Ethereum’s Mainnet and you’ll realize gas fees are a bottleneck. These fees go to miners –– those providing computation power to execute transactions. Every action performed by a smart contract –– sending money, performing a numerical operation, or writing a message onchain –– costs gas to execute. Major protocols –– from Uniswap to OpenSea –– drove an explosion of chain usage over the past year, significantly reducing network performance for everyday users. I’m still lending $300 to Aave-v1 for Rabbithole, which cost $500 to migrate at some point

Matter Labs, building zkSync, proposes an equally secure and astoundingly cheaper alternative

zkSync’s v2 –– zkSync 2.0 –– has launched on Ethereum’s Goerli Testnet for users to explore and stress-test. Their v1 is live on Eth’s Mainnet –– since mid 2020 –– securely and (almost) trustlessly processing millions of transactions for a fraction of their original cost. The cryptographic method behind this exciting innovation are named Zero Knowledge Proofs, and will be explored in Part 2 of this series. Hence, these scaling solutions are known as Zero Knowledge Rollups (ZKRs). For now let’s take a journey through the possibilities these ZKRs open up for you, me, and any other person unwilling to spend $50 to send $20 worth of ETH

v2 Adventures

Playing on Goerli Testnet –– testnet connections can be toggled in the Advanced Settings of your Metamask wallet, or in the Settings on your Rainbow wallet

Goerleth –– “Token Faucet”

Alternatively: Asking Online Strangers for Money

Connecting to zkPortal (wallet 2.0) you may request small amounts of tokens for testing purposes. These tokens are valueless. Given the recent launch it seems their faucet is dry. Other faucets include Mudit’s; searching for them online will yield a variety of options

A member of the zkSync discord graciously provided me with testnet tokens. I guarantee no success rate with this method. Only share your public address

Mute Switch –– “A Silent Staple”

Mute Switch is an all-encompassing Automated Market Maker (AMM). They provide an L2 Assets Overview, along with what we expect from AMMs: Token Swaps, Liquidity Providers (LP), and Farming –– where users can stake their LP tokens, compounding the fees earned on swaps

If you’ve ever used Uniswap / Sushiswap the experience will be near identical. Their UX and Design however could use some work (Things you could say about every single crypto interface ever made)

Tangential but if you’re interested in receiving a useless valueless governance token that you’ll either dump on plebs at the top or hold until your profit is neutral, you might want to interact with them when they release on mainnet

zkScan –– “Live Exploratory Chainlytics”

Coming from Etherscan (for whom my undying love knows no bounds) zkScan’s inspired design is clean and straightforward, with a utilitarian tradeoff relative to their parent. You can watch blocks get chained together in real-time. Relevant metrics: avg blocktime, total transactions, total blocks, and total wallet addresses, are clearly displayed. If your proclivities turn you towards pain, ETH’s current price and market cap are provided alongside a historical chart

Chaincheckiiiing gives you a deeper appreciation for blockchain behaviors in general, specifically Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM) here

Onramps –– “Sovereignty Gatekeepers”

Onramps are a current necessary evil that deign us with the privilege of spending our money how we choose, by allowing people to convert their currency from fiat to crypto. Their business models rely on extractive data capture and hostile trading patterns, among other things

“Banxa, Ramp Network, UTORG, and MoonPay” are all listed by Matter Labs as zkSync compatible, meaning you’ll receive straight on L2, saving on L1 gas fees. You’ll be required to doxx yourself to the extent you’re comfortable, link your bank account information, and made to sit anywhere from 3-5 days if you purchase through any other means than a wire transfer. Have fun!

zkEVM Protocol Development –– “Bit Wizardry”

The health of an ecosystem depends on nutrient makeup + variety. Chains rely on protocols to breath life into their existence. An abundance of collaboration, experimentation, and integrations are certain to yield beneficial interactions

zkSync 2.0 is the first EVM-compatible ZKR, built on zkEVM; taking a Solidity first approach, MattLabs plans on developing a zkSync native framework Zinc once Solidity is released

If you’re a programmer interested in exploring the ecosystem, here are developer docs v1 and developer docs v2

Ethereum’s mainnet contains dozens of essential DeFi protocols, hundreds of NFT contracts, and thousands of testcontract and random shit. If you’re inspired to port some work to zkEVM, reach out to existing teams or seek help from the zkSync Discord

Aave, Chainlink, ENS, Graph, Lens, Mirror, Orca, Rabbithole, Tally, Uniswap, Yearn, Zora to name a good dozen

v1 HyperWay

zkSync v1 has been operational for over 1.5 years, currently holding the 3rd cheapest fees by L2, with eth transfers and token swaps being 18x and 41x cheaper, respectively

Wallet v1 provides a native mainnet bridge, where you can transfer funds from eth L1 to zkSync L2. Built-in onramps. Features we’d expect like token balances and wallet transfers

Checkout –– “Donation Dispersal”

If you’ve donated to any last 4 Gitcoin Grant Rounds, it’s highly likely you transferred through zkSync: 98% of transactions were processed through their rollup. With those astounding savings this metrics makes a lot of sense

Checkout allows you to instantaneously send 20 payout transactions to different recipients; increased to 70 additionally customizable transactions using the SDK

Grant programs across the world can develop near free, instant, and secure payment channels using checkout, improving efficiency and transparency of disbursement

DNA Minting –– “Artful Knowledge”

Wallet v1 affords you the chance to mint your own Digital Native Asset (DNA), here in the form of an NFT. You must provide a unique Content Identifier as addressed by the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)

I’ll use this chance to plug the most thorough guide I’ve read on creating your own Music DNA for Polygon by XEDRA, applicable to any DNA really. If you have any apprehension about your first minting experience, this will assuage those. Regarding the use of Polygon, compelling security concerns have been brought up regarding the safety and sovereignty of the funds. Realistically however, it’s one of the cheapest and most built out options for users.

All transactions on revolutionary pirate technology carry risk, play at your preferred comfort level

Improvements could clearly be made to this process. Using Showtime, a Polygon native NFT network, is incredibly smooth. IPFS uploads are performed automatically, and you can set parameters such as number of editions, price, and royalties during upload experience. Mirror is similar in this regard. Hopeful and excited to see progress made here

ZigZag –– “How U Like Dem Liqs”

As dYdX is to StarkNet (a different ZKR) ZigZag is to zkSync. You got a trading chart, orderbooks, buy orders, sell orders, volume created and destroyed, liquidations of biblical proportions, lives altered at the flick of a mouse on the 1 second. Seems at first glance that the catalogue is more extensive, tho I’m not that familiar with either; don’t spend much time there anymore after losing embarrassing amounts of money. C’est la vie \(UmU)/

Orbiter –– “Extraterrestrial Flight”

As waterways are to commerce, token bridges are to liquidity. Orbiter currently supports transfers between Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon, and zkSync for ETH and USDC. Not much more to say about that one tbh, go splish and splash. Chain interoperability is cool, bridges can be risky. I implore you to Do Your Own Research

Other Ways To Get Involved

zkDAO –– “Visionary Governance”

This could be a whole post on its own, I should be getting paid for this 🥰

On January 6th, 2022, Matter Labs submitted a –– now successful! –– proposal to BitDAO regarding a $200 million investment whose purpose would be “Accelerating the Mass Adoption of Crypto for Financial Sovereignty”. The $200 mil will come in 5 tranches of $40 million, with subsequent tranches conditioned on milestones and governance votes

Breakdown as follows:

  • Grants: 7.5% –– Funding public goods, and infrastructure development
    • Additional L1 → L2 migration tools
    • (Retro)active public goods funding, Requests For Proposals
    • zkSync-native tools for ZKR applications
  • Security / Audits: 7.5% –– Supporting the development of strong security practices and framework
    • L1 → L2 migration complexity mitigation
    • Create common knowledge + define appropriate security standards and best practices
    • Events, workshops, hackathons between security experts and community members
  • Strategic Capital: 70% –– Deploying strategic capital with industry know-how
    • Funding verticals to bootstrap + foster + support community
      • Including: DeFi, NFTs, Games, Payments, Privacy, Interoperability, Oracles, Data Management, Data Analytics, File Storage, Airdrops, DAOs, Digital Identity, and Social
    • May also deposit, provide liquidity, and stake once tools are safely mature, proceeds continually reinvested
  • R&D: 5%
    • Research in the field of zero-knowledge encryption + related hardware
  • Education: 5%
    • Developer education regarding scaling: security, computation, data availability
    • Workshops and events to promote technology
      • Potential for broader educational events in wider business and regulatory communities
  • Operations: 5%
    • Compliance, legal setup, payroll, other expenses for operational capacity

Then there’s some fluff about steering committees and funding representatives, I’d leave you with a picture but my connection in the middle of this forest is incapable of handling uploads. Just read the proposal honestly it’s quite short

DAO Treasury will be managed in a GnosisSafe which seems kinda wack? Not expecting anything bad but, is that best practices? idk honestly

Ciao Loves

This is my most thorough piece. The chainscaling space is fascinating and I wanted to provide a hopefully helpful resources for other people exploring it. For the next one I’d like to go into the actual mathematics of SNARKs, PLONK, RedShift, and other terms I’m completely clueless on lmao. If you’d be able to help me with this part, reviewing my understanding and helping me deepen it, please reach out on twitter. Until then, remember to stretch and stay hydrated!

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