- ZKSync, a scaling solution for Ethereum, has introduced its vision of a ‘Hyperchain,’ an interlinked network of blockchains designed to enhance scalability.
- The Hyperchain will be based on ZKSync’s zero-knowledge cryptography and built using individual code modules, allowing developers to create an intricate web of layer-2 and layer-3 networks on Ethereum.
In the intensifying race for layer-2 blockchain dominance, ZKSync’s team under Matter Labs has set ambitious goals by revealing the concept of a ‘Hyperchain.’ Instead of a solitary blockchain, the Hyperchain envisages an interwoven network of blockchains, each relying on ZKSync’s zero-knowledge cryptography, and paving the way for an even more scalable ecosystem.
ZKSync’s vision is anchored by the “ZKStack,” an assembly of customizable code blocks that developers can incorporate into their workflow. This feature will facilitate the creation of a complex network of layer-2 and layer-3 networks on Ethereum, a concept reminiscent of the OP-Stack developed by Optimism, a competing layer-2 project that already boasts renowned blockchain solutions like Coinbase’s BASE and Binance’s opBNB.
Both ZKSync and Optimism’s scaling solutions are rollups, which implies that transactions are processed off-chain, bundled together, and subsequently validated on the Ethereum mainchain. However, what sets them apart is their transaction validation method. Optimism employs Optimistic Rollup technology, which operates on the assumption that transactions are valid, providing a seven-day window for contesting on-chain activity. On the other hand, ZKSync uses intricate mathematical proofs known as zero-knowledge proofs, a method where the contents of a transaction do not need to be known for validation.
Zero-knowledge proofs are viewed as the ‘holy grail’ in blockchain scaling but are still relatively new. As such, Optimistic Rollups, including Arbitrum and Optimism, currently hold a ‘first-mover’ advantage. However, ZKSync aims to challenge them within the year.
ZKSync’s potential revolutionary technology is generating quite a buzz, not least because of the anticipation of an upcoming airdrop, which has significantly boosted the activity on the layer-2 chain launched in March. The subsequent token launch is eagerly expected by the community, with distribution likely to be activity-dependent, offering higher rewards for higher blockchain usage.
The Total Value Locked (TVL) on ZKSync has surged by 22% since the mainnet launch, placing it third among scaling solutions. Still, it falls hundreds of millions of dollars short of the leading rollups, Arbitrum and Optimism. While the current activity is remarkable, it’s unclear how much of it is driven by potential airdrop hunters, and the selection of dApps available on the chain compared to competitors leaves something to be desired. Hence, technology adoption might lag until it reaches its full potential.
Meanwhile, ZKSync faces competition from Polygon, which recently revealed a similar, interoperable ZK vision with Polygon 2.0. Even if ZK rollups outperform Optimistic rollups in the long run, ZKSync might still face a battle for the top spot. Nevertheless, the competition should stimulate the Ethereum ecosystem, as continuous innovation among layer-2 solutions promises benefits for the scalability of the largest smart contract blockchain.