- zkSync launches new STARK-based proof system with a focus on mass usability.
zkSync launches new STARK-based proof system with a focus on mass usability

Crypto This Week: zkSync Era Launches Boojum has exciting news this week as Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution zkSync Era has launched a new Scalable Transparent Argument of Knowledge (STARK)-based proof system called Boojum. This system promises to run on consumer-grade general processing units (GPUs), and is one of a handful of Ethereum scaling protocols using zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) to increase capacity and speed while reducing fees.

Most importantly, the new Boojum proof system allows provers to be run on everyday personal computers instead of powerful hardware and servers. The upgrade can run on computers with only 16 gigabytes (GB) of GPU random-access memory (RAM), ensuring regular users can participate in network activity. For context, zkSync currently runs on a cluster of 100 GPUs, each with 80 GB of RAM.

The Boojum proof system is based on a Rust-based cryptographic library from zkSync that implements an upgraded version of arithmetic circuits for zkSync Era and its ZK developer stack. It uses two prominent proof systems: zk-STARKs and Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs).

The Benefits of Boojum and zkSync

Before the launch of Boojum, the zkSync platform was mainly powered by zk-SNARKs, which were reliable but not as transparent as zk-STARK-based systems. The earlier iteration processed about 100 transactions per second, whereas Boojum promises to offer superior performance.

In the final stage of the implementation, the new proof will combine STARK proofs with a non-transparent pairing-based SNARK. This upgraded version of the SNARK-based proof system requires less storage and is cheaper to verify, resulting in lower transaction fees.

Boojum is currently live on the zkSync Era mainnet for testing, generating and verifying “shadow proofs.” Developers are currently testing shadow proofs with real production data before full migration to the new system. No regenesis will be required.

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