A group of Ethereum enthusiasts is on the verge of introducing their zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zk-EVM) called “Scroll.” The upcoming zk-EVM is scheduled to launch in weeks, following comprehensive testing, thorough code audits and an extensive two-year development period.
Scroll co-founder Ye Zhang mentioned that Scroll’s launch will take place after concluding the remaining tests and ensuring that major projects like Uniswap and Aave are ready for deployment on the Scroll platform from day one.
The upcoming launch marks the fourth phase of Scroll, the “zk-EVM main network stage.” Last year, Zhang presented the network’s design and framework at the eighth Global Blockchain Summit, emphasizing the project’s core aspects of safety, efficiency, EVM equivalence and decentralization.
Its framework includes Scroll nodes, on-chain smart contracts and a decentralized provider network. Earlier this year, Scroll gained significant attention by securing a Series A funding of $30 million. Polychain Capital led the funding round. It also saw participation from notable figures in the Ethereum community, including key members of the Ethereum Foundation.
Zhang explained the Scroll project was fueled by a strong passion, emphasizing a collective commitment to expanding Ethereum’s scalability while remaining aligned with its principles of decentralization.
“We can grow this community very organically, and then grow our network effect, not in a very silly way, not in a very marketing-driven aggressive way,” he said.
Scroll is entering a competitive landscape with big players such as Polygon, Immutable, StarkWare, zkSync Era and ConsenSys’ Linea, which was introduced in August. However, Zhang pointed out that these platforms have certain untested aspects within their system.
“So it’s not only compared to compatibility, but also a full proof for proving that everything we already have,” he said.
In other news, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin wants to see zk-EVMs built on Ethereum’s first layer to speed up the verification process on the base blockchain.
Buterin explained in a March 31 X (formerly Twitter) post that it was possible to integrate a zk-EVM on the base layer without compromising decentralization and security. The technology would have enabled Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVMs) to execute smart contracts on the blockchain with ZK proofs.
Ethereum was designed with a commitment to a “multi-client philosophy” to maintain decentralization at the protocol level, as its co-founder explained. Integrating zk-EVMs directly within Ethereum at layer 1 would represent the third type of client.
“Once that happens, zk-EVMs de-facto become a third type of Ethereum client, just as important to the network’s security as execution clients and consensus clients are today,” Buterin said.
Buterin said that zk-EVMs should maintain an “open” nature, meaning that different clients would possess different zk-EVM implementations. Each client would wait for proof compatible with its specific implementation before validating a block.
He prefers this method as it aligns with the “multi-client” model, and an open zk-EVM framework would facilitate the development of new clients, contributing to increased decentralization of Ethereum at its foundational layer.
“Ethereum blocks would be smaller than today, anyone could run a fully verifying node on their laptop or even their phone or inside a browser extension, and this would all happen while preserving the benefits of Ethereum’s multi-client philosophy,” he said.
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