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Layer 2 rollup Taiko launches on mainnet with Vitalik Buterin proposing inaugural block

Taiko positions itself as an Ethereum-equivalent (Type 1) ZK-EVM with maximal compatibility with Ethereum's core architecture.

Futuristic landscape with Ethereum L2

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Taiko, an Ethereum-based rollup, has launched on the mainnet following a year of development and seven testnet iterations.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed the inaugural block, which included metadata containing the names of all Taiko core contributors.

As a based rollup, Taiko relies on Ethereum block validators to sequence transactions, benefiting from the liveness and security assurances provided by Ethereum. Initially, Taiko’s rollup protocol contracts on Ethereum are controlled by a multisig arrangement, with plans to transition to requiring 50% of blocks to use zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs as part of its long-term strategy.

The project incorporates a type-1 zero-knowledge virtual machine built to emulate Ethereum’s core architecture. Such a design enhances protocol security by allowing the submission and contestation of proofs.

“It’s been a long time in the making, and we’re beyond thrilled to deliver what we believe is the most secure technology to scale Ethereum,” Taiko co-founder and CEO Daniel Wang shares.

The project will be launching a token some weeks after the mainnet launch, with plans to introduce an incentive program to engage its community through rewards for task completion and interaction. Ahead of the mainnet launch, an airdrop was run for its community, with a distribution scale of 5% of the planned token’s 5 billion supply. A DAO is also slated for launch sometime before the end of the year, with a phased governance mechanism to incrementally update its systems.

To ensure network stability post-mainnet launch, Taiko says that it will be setting up controls for block proposals and proving for up to two weeks. Based on the progress, the processes will then be decentralized and permissionless, enabling node running, and other requisite functions for all users.

Taiko has raised $37 million from two previous funding rounds, with a seed raise led by Sequia China in Q3 2022 and a $12 million pre-Series A round led by Generative Ventures. Its Series A funding round was completed on March 2 this year led by Lightspeed Faction, Hashed, Generative Ventures, and Token Bay Capital, with participation from Wintermute Ventures, Presto Labs, Flow Traders, Amber Group, OKX Ventures, GSR, and WW Ventures, among others.

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