ConsenSys announces public testing of ZK-Rollup network compatible with Ethereum

Blockchain development firm ConsenSys will begin a public test of a zkEVM rollup network compatible with Ethereum on Mar. 28.

The zero-knowledge, or ZK-Rollup, network performs off-chain computations on a secondary layer for faster and cheaper transactions while prioritizing Ethereum’s security; a private beta phase was successfully completed, having processed over 490,000 transactions from various decentralized apps, ConsenSys said.

One of the key features of the zkEVM rollup is its functionality with Ethereum Virtual Machine, which enables easy migration of existing dApps to the Layer 2 network. Developers can onboard apps from Ethereum, and use them on the zkEVM network without making significant changes, the firm noted.

“Our zkEVM is the culmination of years of research by ConsenSys R&D and offers fast finality, high throughput, and the security of Ethereum settlement,” the development team said. The rollup will come with built-in integrations with popular Ethereum tools such as RPC service Infura, development platform Truffle, and the MetaMask wallet.

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Competitive landscape

The zkEVM technology is considered the next major step in the development of Layer 2 solutions, but it has remained in the testing phase so far.

While they are considered more scalable than existing Layer 2 solutions like Arbitrum and Optimism, which have seen growth, zero-knowledge Layer 2 solutions currently lack Ethereum compatibility. To address this, teams including Polygon, Starknet, zkSync, Scroll and ConsenSys have fiercely competed over the past year to develop a functioning ZK-based Layer 2 that can support Ethereum apps.

While ConsenSys is one of the top contenders, Polygon is attempting to take a lead by releasing their zkEVM on the Ethereum mainnet in beta phase on March 27, one day before the ConsenSys public testnet goes live.

There’s also zkSync, which launched a zkEVM solution in October for restricted internal use only. Its mainnet launch may also take place in the coming months.

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