Starknet moves closer to EVM compatibility with upcoming ‘Kakarot’ testnet

Kakarot Aims to Bring EVM Compatibility to Starknet

Starknet, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum with zero knowledge, is one step closer to full EVM compatibility, as Kakarot, a new zkEVM, is set to launch its testnet in August.

On June 3rd, it was announced by the Kakarot team that they had acquired support from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Ledger co-founder Nicholas Bacca, and Starkware.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Kakarot CEO and Co-Founder Elias Tazartes noted that while Starknet is a top Zero Knowledge roll-up in the Ethereum environment, it is not EVM compatible, creating a “kind of a barrier to entry.”

Starknet is utilized by developers to expand decentralized applications, transactions, and computations on Ethereum, but it employs its own distinct language, Cairo. According to Starknet, Cairo’s utilization makes it simpler and swifter to create, assess, and keep up with new code.

The disadvantage is that it is not compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which might put off some developers.

“Kakarot is currently similar to a language engine such as Solidity. Eventually, it will be possible to incorporate this engine into Starknet, making it compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).”

Kakarot Testnet to Launch in August

Currently, Starknet operates its own distinct smart contract Virtual Machine, referred to as “Cairo VM”, which utilizes its proprietary Cairo coding language. As a result, Starknet does not have immediate EVM compatibility, which could be an important impediment to the overall success of its rollup system.

“Certain teams must be able to work with Solidity. For instance, if someone created a DEX or an AMM for the Ethereum environment and already has 60,000 lines of code that have been audited and are prepared to be deployed, but it is only available on EVM chains.”

If the developers wished to begin utilizing Starknet, they would need to recruit an entirely new development team, re-examine the code, and maintain two sets of code, which Tazartes has referred to as “excessively costly.”

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Tazartes stated that the suggestion for the zkEVM was initially brought up at a Starkware conference in July 2022. By October, the development team had the opportunity to assemble for a week at a hacker house event in Lisbon, Portugal to begin work on the zkEVM.

In two months and twenty days, by December, the coding for the project had been finished, resulting in a fully operational execution layer – all this was accomplished without any financial support from venture capitalists.

Tazartes noted that Vitalik Buteirn, a cofounder of Ethereum, later showed his enthusiasm for a multiple-zkEVM approach to developing the Ethereum ecosystem by investing in Kakarot.

Tazartes has announced that the testnet version of Kakarot will be made available to the public in August of this year.

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