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Chainstack introduces zkSync Era∎ support

At Chainstack, we’re always looking for innovative solutions to enhance our platform and provide our users with the best tools to develop and manage their blockchain projects. We’re excited to introduce the latest addition to our ecosystem—the zkSync Era protocol.

As a Layer 2 solution, zkSync Era opens up new possibilities for scalability and efficiency within the Ethereum network. This trustless protocol employs cryptographic validity proofs, performing most computations and data storage off-chain, offering users transaction security equivalent to Ethereum’s.

What is zkSync Era?

zkSync Era is a Layer 2 scaling solution built on Ethereum. It stands out as a trustless protocol that uses cryptographic validity proofs, also known as Zero-Knowledge (ZK) proofs, to offer scalable and cost-efficient transactions on the Ethereum network.

This protocol conducts most computation and data storage off-chain, while still preserving the high security of the Ethereum network. This is achieved by submitting cryptographic proofs of all transactions on the Ethereum mainchain. Such a design significantly enhances Ethereum’s scalability while ensuring that the security is not compromised.

In terms of functionality, zkSync Era closely resembles Ethereum but with considerably lower transaction fees. It supports Ethereum’s primary smart contract languages, Solidity and Vyper, and is compatible with existing Ethereum wallets and clients. As of now, zkSync Era is operated and run by the zkSync team’s servers, rendering it centralized. However, a transition to a decentralized system is planned soon.

The operation cycle within zkSync Era is designed for efficiency and seamless interactions. It enables users to deposit, transfer, and extract assets with ease. An integral part of this process is the operator, who compiles the transactions, calculates a zero-knowledge proof for accurate state transition, and stimulates this state transition by collaborating with the rollup contract. This streamlined workflow forms the core operational foundation of zkSync Era.

The main aim of zkSync Era is to tackle the most pressing issue of scalability on the Ethereum network without compromising on security. It presents a robust infrastructure for developers, making it possible to create scalable, secure, and cost-efficient large-scale applications. The protocol is also anticipated to introduce new features that will open up vast opportunities for experimentation with applications previously not feasible on Ethereum.

Why zkSync Era?

zkSync Era comes with a multitude of benefits that equip it to meet most applications on Ethereum. With more features scheduled for future releases, it is expected to provide developers with a vast design space to experiment with applications that were not feasible on Ethereum before.

Among existing Layer 2 scaling solutions, zkSync Era stands out remarkably due to its enhanced security and usability. Thanks to advanced cryptography and on-chain data availability, ZK rollups, the core network of zkSync, are the only Layer 2 scaling solution that doesn’t require any operational activity to keep the funds safe. This means users can go offline and still be able to withdraw their assets safely when they return, even if the ZK rollup validators are no longer operational.

zkSync Era brings to the table numerous benefits such as mainnet-like security without reliance on third parties, permissionless EVM-compatible smart contracts, a standard Web3 API, preservation of key EVM features such as smart contract composability, and the introduction of new features like account abstraction.

Key features of zkSync Era include:

  1. zkStack: A modular, open-source framework designed to build custom ZK-powered L2s and L3s.
  2. Native support of ECDSA signatures: zkSync Era requires no special operation to register the user’s private key, allowing any account to be managed on Layer 2 (L2) using the same private key that’s used for Layer 1 (L1).
  3. Solidity 0.8.x support: Developers can deploy their existing codebase on zkSync Era with minimal changes.
  4. Web3 API compatibility: zkSync Era seamlessly integrates with existing indexers, explorers, and more due to its full compatibility with Ethereum’s Web3 API.
  5. Support for Ethereum cryptographic primitives: zkSync natively supports cryptographic operations like keccak256, sha256, and ecrecover.
  6. Enhanced security and usability: Thanks to advanced cryptography and on-chain data availability, zkSync Era provides a unique L2 scaling solution with superior security. Users can withdraw their assets safely even after being offline for a significant period.
  7. Mainnet-like security without reliance on third parties: zkSync Era offers the same level of security as the Ethereum mainnet without the need for third-party intermediaries.
  8. Permissionless EVM-compatible smart contracts: zkSync Era supports the development and deployment of permissionless smart contracts that are fully EVM-compatible.
  9. Preservation of EVM features: zkSync Era retains key EVM features like smart contract composability, providing developers with a familiar and efficient environment for building their applications.
  10. Introduction of new features: zkSync Era introduces innovative features like account abstraction, expanding the possibilities for developers to experiment with new application designs.

One of the most significant future upgrades is zkPorter. This feature will give users a choice between a zkRollup account, which offers high security and a 20x fee reduction compared to Ethereum, or a zkPorter account with stable transaction fees of just a few cents and a different security model.

Building on zkSync Era

The advent of zkSync Era brings about a new paradigm of possibilities for developers aiming to create large-scale applications on the Ethereum network. This Layer 2 solution not only maintains the look and feel of Ethereum but does so with reduced fees, presenting a familiar environment for developers accustomed to building on Ethereum.

zkSync Era supports the widely used smart contract languages, Solidity and Vyper, making it easy for developers to write and deploy smart contracts. It is compatible with existing Ethereum wallets and clients, eliminating the need to learn new tools or platforms.

Developers can seamlessly transition their existing contracts onto the zkSync Era network, thanks to its EVM compatibility. This means any existing codebase can be deployed with minimal changes.

Furthermore, zkSync Era offers a unique workflow that aids efficient operation execution. It includes user operations such as depositing, transferring, and withdrawing assets. It also introduces an operator role responsible for bundling transactions together, computing zero-knowledge proof of correct state transition, and interacting with the rollup contract to facilitate the state transition.

Developers can build applications that allow users to execute off-chain transactions. These transactions are grouped into batches, each of which is verified through a zero-knowledge proof. This not only helps increase the transaction speed but also makes transactions more cost-effective by reducing gas fees.

In summary, building on zkSync Era offers developers a familiar, efficient, and cost-effective environment to create scalable applications. The platform’s future upgrades, such as the introduction of zkPorter, present exciting opportunities for developers to experiment with applications beyond the current possibilities of Ethereum.

Robust and scalable zkSync Era infrastructure with Chainstack

The introduction of zkSync Era brings promising future enhancements that could revolutionize how developers build applications on Ethereum. With native support for ECDSA signatures, Solidity 0.8.x, and full compatibility with Ethereum’s Web3 API, developers can seamlessly integrate their existing codebase and tools into the zkSync Era ecosystem.

Our partnership with zkSync Era signifies a landmark moment for Chainstack. As we incorporate their highly secure and efficient Layer 2 scaling solution, we are now more equipped than ever to provide our users with the tools they need for fast, cost-effective, and privacy-preserving DApp development. We look forward to supporting further innovation in the blockchain space that this integration will unlock.

Eugene Aseev, Founder and CTO of Chainstack

At Chainstack, we’re thrilled to announce alpha support for zkSync Era on our platform. As we strive to provide developers with robust and scalable infrastructure for their journey, we believe that zkSync Era will significantly enhance their ability to build and scale DApps of any size and stage. We look forward to seeing how our users will leverage this innovative protocol to drive the future of decentralized applications.

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