zkSync’s Matter Labs Faces Pushback Over “ZK” Trademark Efforts

zkSync developers Matter Labs wants to trademark “ZK.”

Two twin robots fighting in a explosion of code.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • zkSync’s Matter Labs wants to trademark “ZK.”
  • Industry leaders have condemned the move.
  • The pushback has prompted a response from Matter Labs CEO Alex Gluchowski.

As zero-knowledge technology catches on in the Ethereum Layer 2 space, competition between solutions is heating up.

Over the past week, zkSync’s move to use “ZK” as its ticker had brought these rising tensions to the fore. However, things look set to reach a boiling point as the team behind the project now appears to be applying to trademark the acronym.


Has the zkSync developer gone too far?

Polygon, StarkWare, and Others Condemn Matter Labs 

“Matter Labs, the corporate entity developing zkSync, has filed trademark applications in nine countries to claim ZK as the exclusive intellectual property of Matter Labs,” a letter signed by executives from leading crypto ZK builders StarkWare, Polygon, Polyhedra, and Kakarot revealed on Thursday, May 30.

Screenshot of the contents of the signed letter
Screenshot of the contents of the signed letter

In the letter, the industry leaders vehemently condemned the move by Matter Labs as “a transparent attempt by a corporation to claim ownership over something that does not belong to it.” Stressing the perceived abhorrent nature of Matter Labs’ move, the group noted that beyond not owning the technology, the firm had not also contributed to its creation.

According to the group, ZK is a public good and should remain so. They called on the community to demand the withdrawal of Matter Labs’ trademark applications. 


The recent letter has elicited a response from Matter Labs CEO Alex Gluchowski.

Just a “Defensive” Move?

Responding to the letter, Gluchowski asserted that Matters Lab remained committed to libertarian and cypherpunk ethos, adding that all its products continue to be released under open-source licenses.

According to Matter Labs CEO Gluchowski, however, its registered trademarks are “defensive” and intended to protect users from bad actors trying to confuse their products with those of Matter Labs. Gluchowski further claimed that the firm had reached out to the Ethereum Foundation to help create a legal framework that would allow using terms like ZK in the public domain.

Gluchowski’s statements, however, have failed to inspire confidence. “I am not convinced sir,” StarkWare Head of Ecosystem Abdel Bakhta retorted, adding, “this move is really not cypherpunk!”

On the Flipside 

  • Per the letter, these trademark applications have yet to be approved.
  • Polyhedra had first laid claim to the ZK ticker.

Why This Matters

The recent debates over Matter Labs’ actions could impact future crypto ticker and trademark practices.

Read this for more on zkSync:
zkSync Fuels June Airdrop Rumors with V24 Upgrade Announcement

See how Polygon (MATIC) intends to secure its interoperability layer:
Why Polygon (MATIC) Prefers to Distrust Chains for AggLayer Security

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.