Good things come to … those who can’t wait any longer?
Scaling has been a major topic throughout the blockchain space in recent years, and Ethereum’s ecosystem has been no exception here. To that end, one interesting new scaling avenue on the rise is ZK-Rollups, i.e. the mass validation of transactions using the seemingly magical ZK-SNARKs technology.
Simply put, ZK-Rollups can be used to boost Ethereum’s current transactions per second (TPS) from ~15 to ~500, and that’s without working in tandem with other scaling solutions.
Thus the latest good news for the reigning smart contracts platform is that its first dApp scaled with ZK-Rollup tech is now live in the wild and released ahead of schedule, courtesy of the Loopring team.
In short, Loopring, like the more widely-known 0x project, is a protocol for building decentralized token exchanges. In this sense, Loopring’s team has built out foundational infrastructure that can be used in various ways.
To demonstrate one powerful new way Loopring can be used, the project’s teamed announced Loopring.io on February 27th, a new beta DEX live on Ethereum that is powered by ZK-Rollups.
“Loopring Exchange is the first publicly accessible zkRollup exchange on Ethereum mainnet,” the project’s builders noted on the launch, adding:
“[The DEX] is 100% non-custodial, inheriting Ethereum-level security guarantees while capable to perform at a throughput 1000x greater (and 600x cheaper settlement cost) than the current state of the art layer-1 DEXes.”
The Loopring Exchange’s launch was originally slated for March 2020, but with the final touches already in place and prepped for the public, the project’s leadership decided to ship early.
Ready to Roll
Loopring Exchange is not simply a test, but rather an actual DEX that users can trade on straightaway.
In order to keep a lean regulatory surface, the exchange’s builders have barred security tokens from being listed on it, though other tokens are open to apply. The initial trading pairs on the platform include:
- Ether/Dai (ETH-DAI)
- Ether/Tether (ETH-USDT)
- Dai/Tether (DAI-USDT)
- Loopring/Ether (LRC-ETH)
An Amazing Time for Rollups
ZK-Rollups are but one scaling avenue for Ethereum dApps. A related genre of solutions, dubbed Optimistic Rollups (OR), are another incredibly promising avenue.
Luckily enough for Ethereum stakeholders, a comprehensive status report on the OR scene was released this month by Daniel Goldman. His report, “The State of Optimistic Rollup,” was commissioned by the grassroots Ethereum funding group MolochDAO to take the pulse of Ethereum’s OR sector as it stands today.
Accordingly, Goldman reviewed nine projects that are currently building out OR systems in the here and now, outlining how they engage with the tech in their development work. The projects included:
- Fuel Labs
- Interstate Network
- Offchain Labs
- Whitehat, Cellani, Lim
As for specifics, Goldman concluded that OR systems could provide the advantages of “broader smart contract support;” “permissionless block production;” and “relative simplicity of implementation.” In other words, as these solutions continue to rise, Ethereum’s extended functionalities are set to become considerably more flexible.
Optimism Reveals Alpha OVM
A related and major wrinkle this month came from the aforementioned Optimism team, which just revealed its Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM) alpha.
The OVM, described by its creators as a “containerized [layer 2-compatible Ethereum Virtual Machine] inside of the EVM,” can be used to port the smart contract platform’s popular base layer contracts into the L2 OVM for improved scalability.
“We put Uniswap on L2, but there are so many cool smart contracts on Ethereum — we need to support them all,” the Optimistic team said.
With all that said, Ethereum’s teeming rollup scene may eventually help the platform scale to 100,000 TPS, which would be no insignificant feat indeed.