What Is Layer 2 Scaling, and What Does ZK Rollup Technology Solve?

Zero-knowledge rollup (zkRollup) is a Layer 2 blockchain technology. Layer 2 scales applications to offer the same level of security of layer 1, i.e., the Ethereum Mainnet, while simultaneously processing Ethereum transactions. In this article, we answer the two important questions that are interrelated. These questions include, “What is layer 2 scaling?” and “What does zkRollup solve?Read on to learn more. 

What Is Layer 2 Scaling?

We already touched upon what layer 2 scaling is in the introduction, but it’s also important to know that layer 2 improves transaction speed (which is known as throughput). In addition to that, they help reduce gas fees. Thus, layer 2 scaling makes Ethereum more usable without compromising the security and decentralization of Ethereum. Typically, Ethereum transactions take a lot of time, and they include high gas fees. Layer 2 (L2) scaling simply reduces those costs and improves throughput.

There a few different Layer 2 solutions that help with the scaling process. These solutions include Polkadot, Immutable X, and Polygon. 

Why Are Layer 2 Scaling Solutions Essential?

Layer 2 scaling solutions are essential because they reduce costs by allowing more and faster Ethereum transactions. At the same time, they still hold all of the primary features of the Ethereum blockchain, which include:

  • Complete decentralization
  • Security 
  • Transparency 

Layer scaling solutions reduce the carbon footprint of transactions by better efficiency and less gas usage. Thus, there are reduced fees, and it’s better for the environment. 

One of the major shortcomings of the Ethereum blockchain is that it has a slow transaction speed, i.e., 15 transactions per second. Therefore, layer 2 scaling solutions help improve that and the gas fees. 

What Does zkRollup Technology Solve?

It’s important to understand that a single Layer 2 scaling solution cannot overcome all of the shortcomings of the Ethereum blockchain at once. Therefore, zkRollup technology helps solve that. A rollup is an L2 scaling solution that performs Ethereum transactions but also posts transaction data to the Ethereum Mainnet (Layer 1).

What this means is that transaction data are stored on Layer 1. As a result, the safety features of Layer 1 remain intact. Therefore, there is proof of transactions, allowing for uncompromised security. In addition to that, all transactions are performed on Layer 1, which allows for a reduction in gas fees. 

Another important feature of rollups is that a smart contract on L1 can execute transactions on L2 through the use of the transaction data stored on L1. 

An Explanation of zkRollup Technology 

zkRollup is thus zero-knowledge rollups. These perform computations off-chain and submit proof of those computations to the main chain. Some advantages of zkRollup solutions include almost instant Ethereum transfers, high security, and complete decentralization. 

That said, there are some disadvantages of zkRollup solutions, one of which includes the user’s ability to vary transaction ordering. Another one is that the proof of validity is difficult to compute for small apps that have less activity on-chain. 

The end result of the solution zkRollup technology offers is more participation with the Ethereum blockchain. 

Last Few Words

To conclude, the answer to the question, “What is Layer 2 scaling?” is the process of helping improve transaction speed, which benefits both companies, and the end-user. There are also several zkRollup projects out there, many of which have diverse ecosystems of various companies that use the technology for certain functions. One important use of zkRollup technology among companies is to limit their own costs, which also improves the user experience.

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