Snarkifying Ethereum: The Future of Scalability and Security

In a recent podcast episode with Bankless, co-founder of RISC Zero Brian Retford, Justin Drake, and the Bankless team discussed the concept of "snarkifying" Ethereum, shedding light on the future of scalability and security for EVMs. The episode dives deep into how ZK proofs are an important breakthrough for cryptography. Let’s review some highlights from the episode.

Understanding Snarkifying

Snarkifying” refers to the process of utilizing zero-knowledge proofs, specifically ZK-SNARKS, to enhance the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and the overall Ethereum network. By implementing SNARK technology, Ethereum can achieve significant advancements in scalability, security, and decentralization.

The Promise of the Next Gen zkEVM

Zeth, RISC Zero's Type 1 zkEVM is a groundbreaking development that aims to process the full range of Ethereum transactions while providing succinct proofs of correctness. Unlike other zkEVM implementations, the Type 1 zkEVM adheres strictly to the original Ethereum specification, making no compromises. This opens up possibilities for enshrined rollups, multi-provers, and improved performance.

Implications for Scalability

Snarkifying the EVM has the potential to revolutionize Ethereum's scalability. By removing computation as a bottleneck, the gas limit can be significantly increased or even removed for computation. This means that Ethereum can handle a higher number of transactions per second, paving the way for mainstream adoption and improved user experiences.

Enhanced Security and Decentralization

The use of SNARKS in Ethereum not only improves scalability but also enhances security and decentralization. Validators will no longer require high-end hardware, enabling anyone with a basic consumer-level computer or even a smartphone to participate in the validation process. This democratizes the network and strengthens its decentralization.

The Role of RISC Zero and Zeth

Because the RISC Zero zkVM supports Rust crates, Zeth is able to leverage key building blocks from the Rust-Ethereum ecosystem, such as reth, ethers, and alloy. This approach reduces the complexity and capital required to build a zkEVM, making it more accessible and cost-effective.

Partnerships and Collaboration

RISC Zero's collaboration with projects like Optimism highlights the potential for further advancements in the Ethereum ecosystem. By zk-proving the Optimism stack, the scalability and liquidity of rollups can be significantly improved, enabling faster asset transfers and access to funds.

The concept of snarkifying Ethereum through the development of a Type 1 zkEVM holds immense promise for the future of web3. With advancements in SNARK technology, Ethereum can achieve unprecedented scalability, security, and decentralization. RISC Zero's Zeth exemplifies the potential of snarkifying Ethereum and opens up new possibilities for the broader Ethereum community. As zero knowledge proofs become more of a reality, we can expect exciting scalability that will shape the future of mainstream blockchain adoption. For those looking to start building with ZK proofs, apply for a Bonsai API key today.

Give the full podcast episode a listen at the link!

* For full transcript of the episode, click here.