zkSync introduces Boojum upgrade: the ultimate solution for scalability and security.

zkSync introduces Boojum upgrade: the ultimate solution for scalability and security.

zkSync Upgrades to Boojum: A Major Milestone in Blockchain Technology

zkSync, a leading blockchain network focused on universal accessibility of digital self-ownership, has recently announced a significant cryptographic upgrade to its proof system. This upgrade involves transitioning to a new STARK-based proof system called Boojum, which brings several advantages and enhancements to zkSync Era and the wider ZK Stack ecosystem.

Introduction to Boojum and its Advantages

Boojum is a Rust-based arithmetization and constraint library that implements the upgraded version of the ZK circuits for zkSync Era and the ZK Stack. One of the notable properties of Boojum is its PLONK-style arithmetization, which refers to the use of PLONK (Permutation-based Linear-based SNARKs) as the underlying zero-knowledge proof system.

Compared to previous proof systems like Sonic and Halo, PLONK offers several advantages that make it an excellent choice for zkSync’s upgraded proof system. It is designed to be more transparent, universal, and upgradeable, providing a solid foundation for zkSync’s goals of scalability and accessibility.

Performance Improvements and Hardware Requirements

The transition to a STARK-based proof system represents a significant performance improvement for zkSync Era and other ZK Stack-based systems. One notable benefit is the achievement of low latency for finality, ensuring faster and more efficient transaction processing. This is crucial for maintaining a seamless user experience and supporting increased levels of activity on the network.

Additionally, the hardware requirements for running Boojum have been significantly reduced. Unlike prevalent proof systems that require hundreds of gigabytes of RAM, the GPU provers used for Boojum only require 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM. This reduction in hardware requirements allows zkSync to utilize cheaper machines, enabling horizontal scalability at a lower cost.

By reducing the barrier to entry in terms of hardware requirements, zkSync aims to encourage broader participation in the network, leading to enhanced decentralization and a more robust ecosystem.

Testing and Optimization

To ensure a smooth transition, zkSync is currently running the new proof system alongside the existing one in a testing phase called mainnet shadow mode. In this phase, the network generates and verifies “shadow proofs” for Mainnet blocks using real production data from zkSync Era’s user activity. This off-chain testing helps identify edge cases, uncover bugs, and optimize the implementation for maximum efficiency.

As part of the commitment to transparency and inclusivity, zkSync is open-sourcing the Boojum codebase. This allows anyone to use the new proofs and verify them using a command-line interface (CLI) tool. By opening up the codebase, zkSync invites the broader community to contribute to the ongoing improvement and security of the system.

Future Audits and Security Reviews

While the migration to the new proof system represents a significant step forward for zkSync, the network acknowledges the importance of thorough audits and security reviews before the final implementation. This commitment to security ensures that the upgraded system meets the highest standards of reliability and protection against potential vulnerabilities.

Implications for the Blockchain Industry

The transition to Boojum signifies a major milestone in the blockchain industry. The improved performance and reduced hardware requirements offered by Boojum enable zkSync and other ZK Stack-based systems to achieve greater scalability, making them more accessible to a wider user base. This advancement aligns with the industry’s vision of empowering individuals with digital self-ownership, allowing them to participate in decentralized networks securely and efficiently.

In conclusion, zkSync’s upgrade to the Boojum proof system marks a significant step towards a future of user-powered, decentralized proof generation. The adoption of PLONK-style arithmetization and the reduced hardware requirements bring tangible benefits, ensuring low latency, scalability, and affordability. As zkSync continues to undergo audits and security reviews, the industry eagerly awaits the widespread adoption of this upgraded proof system, bringing us closer to a world where digital self-ownership is universally accessible.

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