Vitalik: ZK-Rollup Will Beat Optimistic in Ethereum Scaling War

Ethereum founder bets ZK-Rollup technology will surpass Optimistic Rollup in the competition for top layer-two scaling solutions on Ethereum.

Why ZK-Rollup?

At the ETH Seoul event, Vitalik Buterin emphasized that although Optimistic Rollups have a longer development process, the strong fundamentals of Zero-Knowledge Rollup (ZK-Rollup) technology will quickly make them the preferred scaling method for the Ethereum chain.

Optimistic Rollup and ZK-Rollup are the most popular layer-two (L2) solutions right now. Both are designed to scale Ethereum by incorporating off-chain computation while preserving the security of the main blockchain. However, they differ in their architectures.

The strength of ZK-Rollup is its cryptographic validity proofs eliminate waiting periods during which, on an Optimistic Rollup, the validity of a transaction might be challenged, enabling much faster transaction times.

“My opinion is that in the long run, ZK-Rollup will eventually beat Optimistic Rollup because they have basic advantages like users don’t need to wait 7 days for a withdrawal,” Buterin said at the event.

However, he also admitted that ZK-Rollup tech is still incomplete and faces many challenges in the construction process.

“At the moment, ZK technology is complicated to build. There’s a lot of mental challenge, especially in doing all this safely and ensuring it’s all correct. We have actually started to see ZK-EVM implementations that are almost ready to scale with Ethereum transactions; that is amazing,” he said.

Indeed, the major weakness of ZK-Rollup is its low interoperability with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), making it difficult to run Decentralized Applications (dApps). But this may soon change because ZK-Rollup is making significant strides.

For example, ZK-Rollup L2 projects such as ScrollzkSyncPolygon zkEVM, and BNB Chain ZkRollup are designed to be compatible with a range of smart contracts.

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