What is Ethereum’s position regarding zkEVM adoption

  • Advances in zkEVM may drive adoption improvement in 2023
  • Despite the potential, the TVL of ZK aggregates could hold Ethereum back

For most of 2022, several Ethereum [ETH] scaling solutions rose to the occasion to help the blockchain’s lagging transaction speed. This happened without compromising its security and decentralization. Yet for this reason Optimistic roll-ups included Optimism [OP] and Arbitration have managed to gain wide distribution.

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Gatherings can’t beat optimism

Zero-Knowledge (ZK) bundles are part of the scaling solutions developed to solve the inherent scalability problem. Unfortunately, this group has not been able to attract the attention of their optimistic counterparts, despite the abundance of ZK Ethereum Virtual Machines (zkEVM)

For context, zkEVMs help execute smart contract transactions in a manner compatible with zk proofs existing in the Ethereum infrastructure. This therefore leads to custom off-chain and in-chain scaling.

Bankless, in his recent newsletterhighlighted the possibility that zkEVMs could copy the optimistic aggregate performance of 2022. But why do these projects have potential? According to the blockchain analysis platform, ZK aggregates have the potential to become Ethereum’s main scaling platform because they can increase transaction speed by 6,500%.

However, there is Limits if these gatherings can reach their potential. The most notable is the Total Value Locked (TVL) factor. TVL describes the amount of base provisioning fully provided by a protocol.

At press time, L2BEAT revealed that none of the pooled ZKs were able to reject Arbitrum or Optimism on this metric. The largest pooled ZK dYdX only had a TVL of $360 million. This was far below the optimistic leaders who operate in the billions of dollars. This implied a struggle in the unique liquid deposits to collect ZK.

Ethereum TVL for optimistic gatherings and zk gatherings

Source: L2BEAT

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zkEVM come to the rescue?

However, on the bright side, zkEVM looks poised to balance Optimistic’s dominance with Tier 1 (L1) designs. This is because there are new developments that could change the course of the scaling race. It should be noted that zkEVMs from type 1 to type 4 do not hold back in seeking compatibility with Ethereum applications.

The likes of Starknet are now in stage 3 of the process. zkSync has already released its mainnet for developers in February. And more may be on the way as A polygon [MATIC] already set March 27 as his Mainnet Beta startup.

It is worth noting here that Bankless admitted that it may take some time for these EVMs to catch up to the ground gained by layer two (L2) protocols.

In conclusion, there is no certainty that Ethereum will upgrade to zkEVM on-chain scaling. However, the possibilities cannot be written off as Starknet, Polygon and other EVM enhancements could drive intensive adoption later in the year.

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