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Ethereum Layer 2 Promising 100x Gas Cuts Live by November

StarkNet Alpha is set to launch on Ethereum mainnet by November.

Shutterstock cover by ThePowerPlant

Key Takeaways

  • StarkNet is set to go live in November.
  • StarkNet is a Layer 2 solution built to scale Ethereum and reduce gas fees.
  • As a ZK-Rollup solution, StarkNet will improve on pain points in existing Optimistic Rollup Layer 2s.

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StarkNet, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution utilizing Zero-Knowledge Rollups, is set to launch in November. Testing shows a 100x to 200x reduction of gas fees for end users.

StarkNet Set to Scale Ethereum

The competition for Ethereum scaling solutions is heating up.

StarkWare, the developer behind StarkNet, has announced plans for an Ethereum mainnet launch no later than November. StarkNet aims to scale Ethereum, reducing congestion on the network while lowering the gas fees for transactions.

StarkNet is already being used to help scale transactions on several Ethereum dApps, including perpetual contracts on dYdX, spot trading and payments on DeversiFi, and NFTs on Immutable X and Sorare. StarkWare said that gas fees had seen a reduction by a factor of 100 to 200 when deployed in off-chain Validium mode and substantial gas savings for standard Zero-Knowledge Rollups.

When StarkNet Alpha goes live on Ethereum mainnet, it will initially only support permissioned smart contract deployment to ensure that everything is working as it should be. More complex features will be added at a later date once the developers are confident with deployment. 

Compared to other Ethereum scaling solutions such as Optimism and Arbitrum, which use Optimistic Rollups, StarkNet uses a specialized type of zero-knowledge (ZK) Rollup called STARKs (succinct transparent arguments of knowledge).

With STARKs, transactions can be settled without needing a trusted setup such as a multiparty ceremony. This preserves Layer 1 security and decentralization while allowing for permissionless interactions. The result is cheap, scalable transactions that don’t compromise on the security and decentralization of Ethereum. 

The biggest benefit of Zero-Knowledge Rollups is that they allow for much faster withdrawals than Optimistic Rollups. ZK-Rollups do not require a challenge period, as the validity proofs are already verified. In contrast, it can take up to a week for users to transfer funds from Optimistic Rollups to Ethereum mainnet. 

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has frequently pushed for the adoption of rollups for scaling Ethereum. In an interview on the Lex Friedman podcast in June, Buterin predicted that while Optimistic Rollups will play a role in the short term, ZK-Rollups will make up most of the network activity on Ethereum in the long-term future. 

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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