How does ZKSpace face the Ethereum Merge
1. How will The Merge affect ZKSpace?
For the sake of steadiness, we will suspend all services on ZKSpace approximately an hour before The Merge (expected on 15th September). Once The Merge is accomplished, we will run a series of tests to make sure everything works and restart ZKSpace’s services. We expect the suspension time to be about 2 hours, but will be adjusted in real time according to the progress of The Merge. If there is a significant delay, a separate announcement will be made.
All your assets on ZKSpace (including Token, LP Token, and NFT) are safe, users do not need to conduct any operations. Just wait patiently for The Merge to complete, and log in after ZKSpace restarts the service to continue to use Layer 2 products.
2. How will Layer 2 develop in the ETH 2.0 era?
Ethereum’s vision is to have better scalability and security to better serve existing and potential users while maintaining decentralization and supporting sustainable development. However, Ethereum is currently facing many difficulties, such as network congestion, rising thresholds for running nodes, and high energy consumption caused by PoW.
After years of discussion and research, the Ethereum development team proposed the ETH 2.0 upgrade scheme, and planned to overcome this trilemma through the following technical solutions:
- Utilizing sharding, separate chains to address scalability issues
- Utilizing “a beacon chain” to randomly assign validators to ensure security
- Utilizing Proof of Stake to reduce node threshold and achieve decentralization
As you can tell by the complete upgrade roadmap of ETH, the merge we are currently experiencing is a minor step of many previous steps, transitioning from PoW to the PoS. On one hand, the node threshold is lowered to achieve stronger decentralization. On the other hand, it reduces energy consumption, which is in line with the concept of energy conservation, environmental protection and sustainable development. However, before the shard chain is officially launched, The Merge will not reduce the gas fee of the mainnet, nor will it significantly improve performance e.g, block generation speed and TPS. The Layer 2 platform and protocol can process a large amount of data off-chain, reducing the burden on the base layer (ETH mainnet), while ensuring the same security of Layer 2 transactions as Layer1 through mathematical means, thereby enhancing the scalability of the entire blockchain network. Hence, after a successful merge to ETH 2.0, Layer 2 is still a very important means of scaling.
At present, there are several solutions for Ethereum Layer 2, namely: state channels, side chains, Plasma, Rollups, Validium, and hybrid solutions. Rollups are mainly divided into Optimistic Rollups and ZK Rollups solutions. Among them, Optimistic Rollups has an advantage in short-term ease of use and user experience because it is compatible with EVM, but its capital efficiency and scalability are weaker than ZK Rollups in the long run. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also predicted in a recent speech that ZK Rollups will defeat Optimistic Rollups in the Ethereum scaling war and become the main Layer 2 solution for Ethereum in the future.
3. Is there still a need for Layer 2 when a shard chain exists?
3.1 The launch of the shard chain is premature
Due to the huge user base on Ethereum and the huge amount of assets on the chain, each upgrade requires the Ethereum development team to conduct a long cycle of discussion, decision-making, research and development, testing to ensure that nothing goes wrong once it’s officially launched. From the previous question, we can also see that the implementation of ETH 2.0 is not achieved overnight. The process is being implemented in stages, and the launch of the shard chain is also a slow process that will probably take months or even years.
3.2 Layer 2 is still necessary in the era of sharding
Layer 2 will never exist without Layer 1. Layer 1 is like a foundation, and Layer 2 is a tall building built on top of it. Assuming that the shard chain is launched in a few years, the performance and TPS of ETH Layer1 are improved by 10 times. Then Layer 2 can be further expanded on this basis, performance and TPS can be improved to a higher dimension just like if the area of the foundation expands by 10 times, and it is natural to build bigger and taller buildings on top of the new foundation.
With the rapid development of web3 worldwide, it is foreseeable that more and more users will flood into the world of web3 in the future. In front of billions of potential users around the world, even the performance improvement that the shard chain can bring is still far from enough, and Layer 2 is still in need to further improve its scalability.
3.3 More directions and conclusion
Due to the difficulty of ZK Rollup solutions and the long development cycle, ZK-EVM, which is more friendly to the vast majority of dApp developers, is still on the way. There is no good solution to the problem of non-interoperability of asset liquidity among different Rollups. Helping more gamefi projects build low-cost, high-liquidity NFT trading markets through Layer 2 is another direction.
There are numerous examples on the list. ZKSpace has built ZKSquare, ZKSwap, ZKSea, and ZNS (to be launched) as the core Layer 2 products in the ETH 1.0 era. The team has many years of technical accumulation and R&D experience in the ZK field. Our vision is to continue to provide users with ZK Rollups-based blockchain services in the ETH 2.0 era, and build a more complete Layer 2 ecosystem to “relieve the burden” of a congested Ethereum blockchain and to truly lower the threshold for users to participate in the ecosystem. We will grow together with web3 users and community members, and make more excellent products to give back to the community.
The ZKSpace (formerly ZKSwap) platform consists of three main parts: ZKSwap, the first Layer 2 AMM DEX utilizing ZK-Rollups technology, payment service ZKSquare supporting fast and cheap Batch Transfer, and an NFT minting center and marketplace ZKSea. ZKSpace has been running since February 2021 with hundreds of function iterations, and no security incidents have ever occurred. With innovative NFT L1-L2 transfer, unlimited token listing, cheap and smooth deposit & withdrawal and optimized efficiency, ZKSpace aims to implement EVM-compatible ZK-Rollups and bring the community more Layer 2-based products in the near future.