ZK rollups require data availability, says Polygon co-founder.

Zero knowledge proofs have been recognized as a significant improvement for blockchain technology, but the effectiveness of these protocols will require efficient data availability solutions to fully realize their potential.

Anurag Arjun, co-founder of Polygon and Avail blockchain data availability protocol, emphasized the importance of data availability for ZK rollups in an interview with Cointelegraph.

ZK rollups are a layer 2 blockchain scaling solution for blockchain networks that enable transactions to be batched and submitted to a layer 1 blockchain with cryptographic proof. ZK proofs aim to provide faster and more efficient transaction processing while maintaining the security of a blockchain system.

As Ethereum follows its roadmap after shifting to proof-of-stake, data availability is set to become an important factor in the increasing reliance on rollup scaling protocols for transaction batching and verification.

Arjun, who is leading Avail’s growth after the platform’s spin-off from Polygon Labs, said that future base layer blockchain protocols will have to optimize data availability for proofs, verifications, and settlements rather than execution.

“If the execution is being scaled by layer 2s or rollups, the base layer then doesn’t have to worry about execution. They now have to optimize on things that they are used for, which is data availability.”

The transition sees blockchain technology moving from a ‘monolithic sort of blockchain architecture’ to more modular setups like that of Avail, which provides infrastructure for ZK rollups and other off-chain scaling solutions.

Related: Polygon’s ‘holy grail’ Ethereum-scaling zkEVM beta hits mainnet

Arjun said that ZK proofs are under-appreciated given that they have removed the need for crypto-economic assumptions in blockchain systems:

“It changes the whole landscape, you no longer need these very heavy execution engines or validator run systems because you have ZKs that provide absolute execution proof guarantee. The only other thing that you require is data availability.”

The importance of data availability for ZK proofs is tied to the nature of the technology, which essentially provides proof of a transaction or network state without revealing the data itself.

“That’s why it’s named a validity proof, it does not give any indication of what the data is like.”

Providing a protocol that handles data availability also addresses the current costs associated with submitting ZK rollups and optimistic rollups to the Ethereum blockchain, for example.

As Arjun explained, rollups face two primary costs in submitting transaction data and proof data, with up to 70 percent of today’s costs spent on storing transaction data on Ethereum. Transaction data submission costs and proof verification costs could be significantly reduced by using a base layer data availability protocol.

Arjun added that proofs and data go hand in hand despite the fact that ZKs provide verifiable mathematical proofs or ‘absolute execution proof guarantee’ on-chain without revealing data or the need for data verification.

Magazine: Here’s how Ethereum’s ZK-rollups can become interoperable

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