Starknet’s Roadmap for Enhanced Decentralization
Ethereum layer 2 scaling network Starknet has outlined plans to improve the decentralization of three core components of its zero-knowledge proof rollup solution (ZK-rollup).
Starknet’s Centralized Elements Under Scrutiny
Starknet product manager and blockchain researcher Ilia Volokh outlined the firm’s intent to address certain centralized elements of its protocol aimed at defending against censorship and making its system more robust.
The Mechanics of Starknet’s Layer 2 Operation
Starknet operates as a validity rollup using zero-knowledge proof technology to bundle transactions into rollups, with cryptographic proofs submitted to Ethereum to achieve security and finality for layer 2 transactions.
Addressing Centralization Concerns
According to Volokh, Starknet’s protocol remains dependent on StarkWare for creating L2 blocks, computing proofs and initiating layer 1 state updates to the Ethereum blockchain.
The Move towards Decentralization
For Starknet, the latter consideration is part of the main reason to decentralize parts of its protocol in an effort to combat two main causes of censorship in consensus-based systems.
The Threats to Decentralization
Intentional censorship is one consideration, while “non-robust” systems that have a single point of failure present another threat to decentralization given that all network participants would be “censored” if this central point caused a network or system outage.
Starknet’s Approach to Decentralization
Decentralizing these different components of Starknet’s system entails varying degrees of difficulty. This includes decentralizing block production through its consensus protocol, decentralizing the proving layer which is in charge of computing proofs to blocks and to decentralize the process of L1 state updates.
The Path Forward
Volokh adds that Starknet is still in the process of outlining the process of testing and implementing these decentralized mechanics to its network. This is likely to be carried out through a series of interconnected test nets to test simultaneous functionality of the different components.