Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin explained in his personal blog the different types of ZK-EVMs (zero-knowledge verification technology for the Ethereum virtual machine used to run smart contracts) and their features. The developer says that the main difference between the various ZK projects is the balance between practicality and speed.
Beyond their specifications, all ZKs share a goalButrin says. It is “using ZK-SNARK technology to cryptographically verify transaction execution on Ethereum”, either on the main chain or in other layers, via zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups. It is a type of scalability solution that bundles transactions and then puts them all together in the core layer.
Next, we will list the different types of ZK projects that were taken apart by a Russian-Canadian developer. In addition, the main pros and cons of each will be covered.
ZK Type 1
The first type of ZK-EVM that Vitalik Buterin describes is “completely equivalent” with Ethereum. To make it simple, it doesn’t “change any part of the system”.,
Its main advantage is compatibility, and these kinds of projects are essential to “make Ethereum more scalable”. According to the Russian-Canadian expert, Type 1 ZKs are ideal for rollups because they allow them to use a large amount of infrastructure.
For the loss of these ZK projects, Time and resource demands are most important for checking transactions, This is because, they state, that they intend to replicate the Ethereum network exactly, and therefore have no way of “mitigating those inefficiencies”.
ZK Type 2
The second type of ZK is “completely equivalent to the Ethereum EVM”. he is, Although it is not fully compatible with Ethereum, it is compatible with smart contracts created on this network.,
They differ from the main layer of the network in the structure of the blocks, among other technical data. Basically, they make small modifications to Ethereum so that applications can confirm transactions more easily,
Buterin’s weak point in these ZKs is that They do not eliminate the slowness in the confirmation of operations in EVMsas well as “its inefficiency and hostility”.
“Intermediate” is a class of ZK (or 2.5, as Vitalik Buterin calls it). Which is equal to EVM except the cost of gas). They take advantage of improvements in confirmation times, but reduce compatibility and “may break some apps,” he explains.
ZK Type 3
The third type of ZK that Ether’s leaders describe is “partly equivalent with EVMs”. These ZK tests make “some sacrifices” to improve time and development prospects,
The downside of these ZK projects, of which Polygon is an exponent, is that their App compatibility is low, This is because many use up resources (such as precompiles) which ZK Type 3 removes.
Ultimately, Buterin claims that no ZK-EVM development team intends to create a Type 3 project, rather it is. A transition phase until they reach Type 2.5 . don’t manage to complete their move towards, However, in the future, many Type 1 and 2 ZKs could “voluntarily” become Type 3 in order to optimize their operations in terms of delays and costs, he clarified.
ZK Type 4
This last category includes: The ZKs that are equivalent to Ethereum in its high level language, These ZKs “take smart contract source code written in a high-level language, such as Solidity or Viper, and pass it into a language explicitly designed to be compatible with ZK-SNARKs.”
The positive result of this process is that Very fast test times are achieved, Such efficiencies are achieved in EVMs by omitting certain stages of ZK checks from different stages of execution and starting “straight with high-level code”. This, says Buterin, is a huge step towards cost reduction and decentralization.
Its disadvantages, meanwhile, are the incompatibility of some applications due to differences in their smart contracts, the greater difficulty in the use of certain bytecodes in EVMs, and fewer options in terms of “debugging” or fault correction. In short, compatibility is significantly reduced,
ZK. the future of
To conclude his article, Buterin assured that No ZK is better or worse than other types, They are different, he explains, and it all has to do with the balance I mentioned earlier.
Similarly, it is possible for a ZK project to start with a lower number (more consistent but less efficient) and eventually become a higher number (more efficient but less consistent). “Personally, I wish everyone would one day become Type 1, through a combination of improvements to ZK-EVM and Ethereum,” the developer concluded, further clarifying that “it will take time to achieve that future.” “