zkSync introduces Boojum, a new proof system.

zkSync introduces Boojum, a new proof system.

The Boojum Upgrade: zkSync Era Transitions to a New STARK-Powered Proof System

The blockchain industry is constantly evolving, and one of the latest developments comes from zkSync Era, a zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs layer 2 protocol for Ethereum. They have recently announced the launch of their high-performance proof system called Boojum. This upgrade not only aims to scale network performance but also significantly improve overall decentralization by allowing the use of consumer-grade hardware.

Boojum: Transitioning from SNARK to STARK

Boojum is a Rust-based arithmetization and constraint library that zkSync is transitioning to from its SNARK-based prover system. This transition is a significant step forward for zkSync Era as it introduces a more efficient and powerful proof system. The new proof system will power the platform’s upgraded version of ZK circuits.

The current SNARK-based system, while effective for today’s needs, won’t be able to handle the high-volume, near real-time transactions that zkSync Era aims to support in the coming years. Boojum, on the other hand, is designed to provide world-class performance on consumer-grade hardware. This means that regular consumer-grade hardware will be capable of processing transactions at an unprecedented speed, bringing us closer to near-real-time and cheap transactions.

Improving Decentralization and Reducing Hardware Requirements

In addition to improving performance, Boojum also aims to enhance decentralization by reducing hardware requirements. Traditionally, blockchain systems have relied on powerful hardware setups to process transactions. However, zkSync Era’s goal is to create a more inclusive and decentralized ecosystem. With Boojum, GPU provers with as little as 16 GB of RAM will be able to participate in the network. This low barrier to entry will enable more individuals and organizations to contribute to the network’s security and operation.

Phased Rollout and Continuous Improvement

The rollout of the Boojum upgrade will be conducted in phases to ensure the security and functionality of the new proof system. In the initial phase, the upgrade will be implemented in “shadow mode.” This means that the new proof system will run simultaneously with the current one, generating and verifying “shadow proofs” from real production data on Mainnet blocks.

During this testing phase, the zkSync team will continually fine-tune the upgrade’s functionality based on real-world usage. This iterative approach ensures that any potential issues or bugs are identified and resolved before the full migration to the new proof system.

The Future of zkSync Era

The introduction of Boojum marks an important milestone for zkSync Era and the blockchain industry as a whole. By leveraging the power of STARK-based proof systems, zkSync Era aims to achieve unprecedented transaction speeds and near-real-time finality. This will enable interoperability between different blockchain networks, paving the way for a more connected and efficient ecosystem.

In conclusion, the Boojum upgrade represents a significant advancement in the blockchain industry. By transitioning to a new STARK-powered proof system, zkSync Era is not only improving network performance but also enhancing decentralization by allowing the use of consumer-grade hardware. This upgrade will pave the way for near-real-time and cheap transactions, bringing us closer to the future of blockchain technology.