- zkSync Era has rolled out an upgrade dubbed Boojum.
- With the upgrade, the network is transitioning to a STARK-based prover.
- The transition has serious implications for zkSync Era’s hyperchains vision and decentralization.
zkSync Era, a zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM), is the latest to release an upgrade. The recent upgrade, among other benefits, promises to encourage decentralization and cut down transaction costs.
“The Most Fearsome Snark”
In a long-form tweet on Monday, July 17, Matter Labs, the primary development team behind the zkSync Era protocol, announced the Boojum upgrade. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” poem, the upgrade’s name refers to “the most fearsome kind of snark.”
Despite this naming choice, it is worth noting that Boojum represents the network’s transition from a SNARK-based proving system to a STARK-based system.
Matter Labs explains that while its current proving system is still functional, it can not scale for the volume expected in zkSync Era’s hyperchains roadmap. The firm asserted that Boojum was better suited for zkSync Era’s sequencer, capable of processing 100 transactions per second.
Another significant impact of the Boojum upgrade is that it significantly reduces the hardware requirement for proof generation. While the SNARK-based system requires high-end graphic processing units boasting at least 80 GB of RAM, the STARK-based system only requires GPUs with 16 GB of RAM. Additionally, Matter Labs reveals that central processing unit provers with 64 GB of RAM can also be used.
As highlighted by the team, this drastic reduction allows more users to be involved in maintaining the network, boosting decentralization. The less complex proving process also allows for cheaper transaction fees.
Following the announcement of the Boojum upgrade, the zkSync Era network has processed an average of 11.32 TPS, more TPS than Ethereum and every other Ethereum Layer 2 solution, per data from L2Beat at the time of writing.
On the Flipside
- zkSync Era’s TVL has been on a steady decline since July 3, falling from over $735 million to $554 million at the time of writing, per data from L2Beat.
- The bulk of the network’s activity has been attributed to airdrop farming.
Why This Matters
zkSync Era is one of Ethereum’s most popular scaling solutions. The continued dedication to improvements highlights the growing competitiveness within Ethereum’s Layer-2 ecosystem.
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