zkSync Era’s Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution launched a new proof system based on Scalable Transparent Argument of Knowledge (STARK) called Boojum that promises to run on consumer-grade general processing units (GPUs).
Era ZkSync is one of a handful of Ethereum scaling protocols that uses zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) to increase capacity and speed while reducing costs. The ZK-rollup mainly uses two prominent proof systems: zk-STARKs and Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs).
The new Boojum proof system is based on zkSync’s Rust-based cryptography library which implements an improved version of circuit arithmetic for zkSync Era and its ZK developer stack. Most importantly, it allows Boojum proofreaders to run on everyday personal computers instead of powerful hardware and servers.
The update can run on computers with as little as 16 gigabytes (GB) of GPU random access memory (RAM), ensuring regular users can participate in network activities. For context, zkSync is currently running on a cluster of 100 GPUs, each with 80GB of RAM.
Prior to the release of Boojum, zkSync relied mostly on zk-SNARK, which is capable but comparatively less transparent than zk-STARK based systems. The former system processes around 100 transactions per second, while Boojum promises superior processing capabilities.
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In the final stages of implementation, the new proof will wrap the STARK proof with a non-transparent pair-based SNARK. It will essentially be a slightly enhanced version of the current SNARK-based proof system. These tokens require less storage and are less expensive to verify, which lowers the cost of the proof system, and, therefore, the transaction itself.
Boojum is currently active on the zkSync Era mainnet to test, generate, and verify “shadow proof”. Developers are currently testing shadow proof against real production data before finalizing migrations and larger deployments. The new system will be upgraded without any regenesis.
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