- Starknet is focusing on decentralizing three core components of its Ethereum Layer 2 scaling network to combat censorship and improve robustness.
- The protocol currently relies on StarkWare for creating Layer 2 blocks and computing proofs, with plans to decentralize block production, proving layer, and Layer 1 state updates.
Starknet’s Path to Decentralization
In a groundbreaking move, Starknet, the Ethereum Layer 2 scaling network, has announced plans to advance the decentralization of its zero-knowledge proof rollup (ZK-rollup) solution. This initiative is aimed at bolstering the network against censorship and enhancing the robustness of its system.
Addressing Centralization Concerns
Currently, Starknet’s protocol is dependent on StarkWare for crucial operations such as creating Layer 2 blocks, computing proofs, and managing Layer 1 state updates on the Ethereum blockchain. Starknet’s product manager and blockchain researcher, Ilia Volokh, explains that while StarkWare operates the network, it cannot modify or steal money due to Ethereum’s verifier acting as a safeguard.
Maintaining Integrity Amid Centralization
Despite StarkWare’s centralized role in Starknet, Volokh assures that the protocol maintains complete honesty and cannot falsify transactions or information, thanks to Ethereum’s Layer 1 blockchain acting as a filter. However, potential concerns arise from StarkWare’s ability to exclude specific transactions or proofs, highlighting the need for decentralization.
Combatting Censorship and System Failures
Starknet’s decentralization aims to address two main causes of censorship in consensus-based systems: intentional censorship and system failures due to a single point of failure. By increasing the number of operators, Starknet intends to mitigate these risks.
Complexity in Decentralizing Core Components
Decentralizing Starknet’s system involves various degrees of complexity across different components. This includes:
- Decentralizing Block Production: Implementing a consensus protocol and sybil resistance mechanism.
- Decentralizing the Proving Layer: Innovating new methods for computing proofs to blocks.
- Decentralizing L1 State Updates: Ensuring secure and decentralized updates to the Ethereum blockchain.
Challenges and Future Steps
Volokh acknowledges the unique challenges in decentralizing Starknet’s prover, a task that requires innovative solutions. He notes that while competi ng ZK-rollups transfer Ethereum‘s decentralization to their solutions, they still rely on central entities for block creation and proof, leading to inherent centralization.
Testing and Implementing Decentralized Mechanics
Starknet is in the process of developing and testing decentralized mechanics for its network. The plan involves interconnected testnets to evaluate the simultaneous functionality of different components, ensuring a seamless transition to a more decentralized and robust system.