Maximizing the Benefits of Zero-Knowledge Proofs
Zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs), widely recognized as a significant development in blockchain technology, could leverage their full potential with the incorporation of efficient data availability solutions. As the blockchain landscape shifts towards more modular architectures, the emphasis on data availability is more prominent than ever before.
Anurag Arjun Sheds Light on Data Availability in ZK-Rollups
Anurag Arjun, the co-founder of Polygon and blockchain data availability protocol Avail, underscored the crucial role of data availability for ZK-rollups. As Ethereum continues to progress along its roadmap post its transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) following the Merge, data availability is expected to become a pivotal factor in the growing reliance on rollup scaling protocols for transaction batching and verification.
Unlocking Blockchain Efficiency with Layer-2 Scaling Solutions
ZK-rollups are layer-2 scaling solutions for blockchain networks that allow for transactions to be batched and submitted to a layer-1 blockchain with the provision of a cryptographic proof. The main objective of ZK-proofs is to facilitate faster and more efficient transaction processing while ensuring the security of a blockchain system.
Arjun, leading Avail’s expansion since its spin-off from Polygon Labs, pointed out that future base-layer blockchain protocols would need to prioritize data availability for proofs, verifications, and settlements over execution.
From Monolithic to Modular: A New Era of Blockchain Technology
The shift in focus from execution to data availability signifies a transition from the “monolithic sort of blockchain architecture” to more modular systems like Avail, providing infrastructure for ZK-rollups and other off-chain scaling solutions.
Arjun believes that the significance of ZK-proofs is often underestimated, given their ability to eliminate the need for crypto-economic assumptions in blockchain systems. The data availability aspect of ZK-proofs is inherently linked to its technological nature, which offers proof of a transaction or network state without disclosing the data itself.
The Interplay of Proofs and Data
According to Arjun, ZK-rollups face two primary costs associated with submitting transaction data and proof data, with nearly 70% of today’s costs allocated for storing transaction data on Ethereum. These costs could be substantially decreased with the use of a base-layer data availability protocol.
The integration of a protocol that manages data availability also resolves the existing costs associated with submitting ZK-rollups and Optimistic Rollups to the Ethereum blockchain. Arjun further explained that proofs and data are intrinsically interconnected, despite the fact that ZKs provide verifiable mathematical proofs or “absolute execution proof guarantee” on-chain without revealing data or the data needing