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Jun 28, 2024 | Updated Jun 28, 2024

What Is zkEVM?

To understand zkEVM, it’s essential to have a grasp of both zk-rollups and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). 

Zero-knowledge rollups (zk-rollups) are a type of blockchain scaling solution utilizing zero-knowledge (zk) proofs. They increase the efficiency of Layer 1 networks by handling transactions off-chain.

The EVM, on the other hand, is a software environment where Ethereum smart contracts are deployed and executed. Think of it like a giant decentralized computer that runs on thousands of different devices around the world. 

Thus, a zkEVM is a new type of rollup that is EVM-compatible. It combines the scalability benefits of zk-rollups with the compatibility of the EVM, allowing existing Ethereum applications to run more efficiently without modifications. This integration means that zkEVMs can handle smart contracts and dApps with enhanced speed and lower costs while maintaining security and privacy.

Why Does Ethereum Need zkEVMs?

Ethereum has long faced issues with high transaction costs and slow processing times, especially during periods of high demand. Although the latest upgrades have improved scalability, more efficient solutions are still needed.

zkEVMs significantly lower transaction fees by processing transactions off-chain and using ZK proofs to validate them. This process reduces the computational burden on the main Ethereum network, allowing it to handle more transactions at a lower cost. By only submitting proof of the processed transactions to the mainnet, zkEVMs can distribute the cost of a single on-chain transaction across many off-chain transactions. This method can reduce individual transaction fees to a fraction of a cent.

Moreover, zkEVMs enhance Ethereum’s interoperability by being fully compatible with existing smart contracts and dApps. This means developers can migrate their projects to zkEVMs without any changes to their code, making it easier to adopt this scalable solution. 

Overall, zkEVMs offer a promising way to improve Ethereum’s performance and user experience, paving the way for broader adoption and innovation in the blockchain space.

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