CoolWallet, the super-portable and secure Web3 Bluetooth hardware wallet and platform, now supports zkSync Era. Learn more about this powerful new Ethereum layer-2 network and zkEVM chain and how to secure it in convenient cold storage.
Written by Werner Vermaak
Table of Contents
- What is zkSync?
- zkSync’s Evolution: From 1.0 (Lite) to 2.0 (Era)
- ZK-Rollups vs. Optimistic Rollups- Who’s Better?
- What Makes It Special?
- How to Use zkSync
- Potential zkSync airdrop: How do I qualify?
- Most Secure and Convenient ZKSync Hardware Wallet- CoolWallet
- Getting Started With zkSync and CoolWallet
If you’re bullish on the Ethereum ecosystem, you’ll be keenly aware of the layer-2 scaling wars currently happening between projects that use either optimistic rollup or zero-knowledge (ZK) roll-up technology. Crypto leaders like Vitalik Buterin believe that a new generation of ZK rollup chains will determine the future of Ethereum, thanks to their ability to scale the network fast and cheaply while preserving user privacy.
One name that’s been making waves since it went into development in 2020 is zkSync, the newest leading ETH layer-2 chain supported by CoolWallet. Both CoolWallet Pro and CoolWallet App’s Hot Wallet module now support the Matter Labs-built chain‘s latest 2.0 version zkSync Era, the revolutionary new zkEVM chain that is still without a token at present, but which has seen tremendous ecosystem growth this year.
In this comprehensive zkSync Wallet guide, we’ll dive deep into what it is, why it’s a game-changer with its zkEVM compatibility, and as always, how CoolWallet is supporting its groundbreaking technology and ecosystem to give zkSync users the best possible security and convenience with our CoolWallet Pro hardware wallet.
Learn all about the new Era of zkSync and CoolWallet below!
What is zkSync?
zkSync is a Layer 2 scaling solution designed to enhance the Ethereum blockchain’s efficiency. It aims to solve the two most pressing issues plaguing Ethereum: high transaction fees and low throughput. zkSync offers a much-needed respite by providing faster and cheaper transactions while inheriting the security and infrastructure of the main Ethereum blockchain (Layer 1).
How Does zkSync Work?
zkSync operates as a ZK-rollup, a specific type of Layer 2 solution. In simple terms, ZK-rollups bundle multiple off-chain transactions into a single transaction that is then verified and added to the main Ethereum blockchain. This mechanism not only speeds up transactions but also significantly reduces gas fees.
Who’s Behind zkSync?
zkSync was developed by Matter Labs, a team that has received funding from the Ethereum Foundation and top-tier investors like Union Square Ventures. The platform has been live since September 2020 and is poised to play a significant role in Ethereum’s future.
zkSync’s Evolution: From 1.0 (Lite) to 2.0 (Era)
2020 to 2022- zkSync 1.0 (now Lite) evolves into 2.0
zkSync started as a project by Matter Labs and initially launched its first version, zkSync 1.0, in June 2020. This version was all about scaling Ethereum but didn’t support smart contracts. Despite this, it managed to attract a whopping $170 million in Total Value Locked (TVL).
Fast forward to October 2022, and zkSync 2.0 came into the picture. This “baby-alpha” version was a big deal because it introduced Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility and smart contract support. It even accepted code written in multiple programming languages like Rust, Yul, Vyper, and Solidity.
2023- zkSync 2.0 Rebrands to zkSync Era and Mainnet Launches
In February 2023, zkSync 2.0 got a makeover and was rebranded as zkSync Era, while zkSync 1.0 became zkSync Lite. The big news? zkSync Era opened its doors to all users on March 24, 2023. This was the first zkEVM to hit the main net, and it presented a game-changer in the L2 space, which has been mostly dominated by optimistic rollups like Arbitrum and Optimism. Polygon followed soon after with its own zkEVM 3 days later in March, and the teams have been battling it out ever since, both in the lab and on social media.
ZkSync Era: What’s Next?
zkSync Era is like a supercharged version of Ethereum, that’s not only about making Ethereum faster and cheaper; it’s about keeping all the good stuff—like freedom and decentralization—while making it super scalable. Era also natively supports account abstraction (EIP-4337 update) enabling customized security parameters and wallet recovery options such as 2FA.
The team behind zkSync has some core values that they really stand by:
- Trustlessness: You don’t have to rely on anyone else.
- Security: Keeping your assets safe is a top priority.
- Resilience: This system is built to last.
- Forkability: If you want to branch off, you can.
- Community Ownership: It’s not just their project; it’s everyone’s.
- Ethereum Native: It’s built to work seamlessly with Ethereum.
Now, let’s talk about their motto of “hyperscalability.” Imagine the Internet, but for blockchains. That’s their endgame and it also aligns perfectly with the vision of Web3 proponents. They want to handle a crazy number of transactions without compromising on security or cost.
In terms of said security, zkSync is all in- they believe that ZK-rollups are the only scaling solution that can fully inherit Ethereum’s full protection.
ZK-Rollups vs. Optimistic Rollups- Who’s Better?
When you’re choosing between ZK-Rollups and Optimistic Rollups, think of it as a balance between privacy and scalability.
Optimistic rollups such as Optimism and Arbitrum (both supported by CoolWallet of course) came to market first and have attracted tons of deep funding and adoption from the likes of Coinbase (Base Network). When you’re choosing between ZK-Rollups and Optimistic Rollups, think of it as a balance between privacy and scalability.
ZK-Rollups are the cautious ones; they use something called zero-knowledge proofs to validate transactions. The neat thing is they do this without revealing the nitty-gritty details of the transaction. They’re sort of like keeping the essence of the story but leaving out the spoilers. This focus on privacy and security means they send less data to the main chain, helping to unclutter Layer 1.
On the other side, you have Optimistic Rollups. These are more like the optimistic friend who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. They assume every transaction is valid until proven otherwise. They’re a bit more open, sending all the transaction data to the base chain, which makes them easier to implement and offers a bit more scalability. However, they don’t have the intricate security features that zero-knowledge proofs provide. Instead, the likes of Optimism rely on a 7-day waiting period for full verification to be completed, which doesn’t make it ideal for the fast-moving world of crypto.
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So, when you’re picking between the two, it really comes down to what your network needs. Are you aiming for enhanced security and privacy? ZK-Rollups are likely the better fit. If you’re focused on scalability and ease of implementation, Optimistic Rollups might be more up your alley. Some networks even mix and match features from both to get the best of both worlds.
- Use zero-knowledge proofs to prove the validity of transactions without revealing specific transaction details.
- Post only the validity proofs to the base chain, reducing the amount of data transmitted to Layer 1.
- Offer enhanced security and privacy but have slightly lower scalability compared to Optimistic Rollups.
- Assume that all Layer 2 transactions are valid until proven otherwise.
- Post the entire transaction data to the base chain.
- Provide higher scalability and ease of implementation without the need for complex zero-knowledge proofs.
What Makes zkSync Special?
Speed and Scalability
zkSync can handle over 2000 transactions per second (tps), a stark contrast to Ethereum’s 14 tps. This high throughput makes it an ideal solution for DeFi platforms, NFT marketplaces, and other high-traffic applications.
The layer-2 chain reduces gas costs by up to 1/100 of what you’d pay on Layer 1. This cost-effectiveness makes it a go-to choice for users who want to interact with the Ethereum ecosystem without breaking the bank. This will get even better once EIP-4844’s Proto-dank sharding update is implemented later this year.
zkSync is as secure as the main Ethereum blockchain. It uses cryptographic proofs, called SNARKs, to validate transactions. These proofs are easily verified on Layer 1, ensuring top-notch security.
User Control and Flexibility
Get frictionless transfers between Layer 1 and Layer 2, allowing users to move their assets back to Layer 1 whenever they wish. This feature provides users with greater control over their assets.
How to Use zkSync
To start using zkSync, you’ll need a compatible wallet. Look no further than CoolWallet, which supports all major Ethereum layer-2 chains like Optimism, Arbitrum, Polygon, Linea and has now integrated zkSync to offer users a seamless experience. With CoolWallet Pro and our free CoolWallet App, you can easily onboard to the zkSync network and start enjoying the benefits of fast and cheap transactions.
Potential zkSync airdrop: How do I qualify?
At the time of writing (September 2023), zkSync still has no token and there’s no guarantee that it will launch one (eg. competitors Base Network and Linea won’t), however in most cases layer-2 chains eventually do (see Arbitrum and Optimism) for the purposes of governance and to build a strong community growing by rewarding early supporters and investors. In 2023 we’ve seen a couple of big fumbles in the airdrop arena, most notably Sui’s lack of an airdrop and Sei’s minuscule one, so chances are that the zkSync team has taken note not only of this but also the massive success of Optimism and Arbitrum’s airdrops that have catapulted them from day 1.
To qualify for a potential airdrop, and this is pure speculation, a user should consider interacting with the zkSync ecosystem immediately, doing tasks like bridging assets across, supporting projects like DEXes, minting NFTs, checking out test nets where available, and more.
Warning: Be careful which Dapps you interact with and make sure they’re trustworthy and authentic. Our new Web3 Smart Scan feature will help point out any smart contract vulnerabilities in real-time to help you stay safe.
To bridge assets over to zkSync, use their official bridging portal here.
zkSync Era Ecosystem
Over 150 projects are already partnered with zkSync and big names like Binance, OKX, Kyberswap, Uniswap, Balancer, and 1inch are already live on their network. The list of partners reads like a who’s who of DeFi, which you check out for yourself right here.
Most Secure and Convenient ZKSync Hardware Wallet- CoolWallet
CoolWallet’s Support for zkSync
CoolWallet is thrilled to support the zkSync ecosystem. While zkSync doesn’t have a native token yet, interacting with its ecosystem through CoolWallet may qualify you for a future airdrop. At a minimum, our battle-tested hardware wallet provides an extra layer of security, ensuring that your assets are safe while you explore the exciting world of this groundbreaking new zero-knowledge rollup layer-2 chain.
Getting Started With zkSync and CoolWallet
If you’re looking to dive into the world of zkSync, there’s no better time than now. And what better way to do it than with CoolWallet, a hardware wallet that not only provides top-notch security but also supports the zkSync ecosystem.
Enjoy the protection of an EAL6+ secure element, military-grade Bluetooth encryption, biometric verification, a waterproof and tamperproof exterior, and of course the discretion of a wafer-thin hardware wallet that looks like a bank card and goes with you wherever you go, without anyone knowing- unlike our more obtrusive USB form wallet friends. Use our safe Web3 browser right from our CoolWallet App to avoid becoming a phishing statistic.
zkSync is more than just a Layer 2 solution; it’s a glimpse into the future of Ethereum and blockchain technology. With its high-speed transactions, reduced gas fees, and robust security, this Ethereum layer-2 network is set to revolutionize how we interact with the Ethereum ecosystem.
So, CoolWallet Clan, are you ready to be part of this exciting journey? If you haven’t already, grab your CoolWallet today and step into the future with us and zkSync!
Powerful Inside and Out – On top of Security
CoolWallet Pro supports the best Ethereum layer-2 scaling solutions and more are coming. Be prepared for the next wave of ETH scaling solutions that will help make Ethereum the blockchain of the future.
There you have it, folks! A beginner’s guide to zkSync that covers all the bases. We hope you found this article educational and informative. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the world of crypto!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Always do your own research before making any investment decisions.