A SNARK player actually announced that they will follow STARK?

A SNARK player announced following STARK.

Author: Haotian, blockchain researcher; Source: Author’s Twitter @tmel0211

A SNARK participant actually announced that they are following STARK?

I didn’t expect zksync’s STARK upgrade to come so unexpectedly. Starknet is trembling!

So, what is the new upgraded version Boojum of zkSync? Why did zkSync announce the upgrade to STARK so quickly? What is the fundamental difference between SNARK and STARK? What impact will this upgrade have on the L2 market?

From a technical perspective, I will give a quick review.

In simple terms, Boojum is a transitional version of zkSync from SNARK to STARK proof system.

This means that for a long time to come, zkSync’s Prover proof system will have the interface capability of STARK. The majority of mainstream requirements will still go through the mature proof pipeline of SNARK, and only certain applications, especially those in the future ZK Stack multi-chain environment, will use the ZK proof system and can access Boojum to achieve this.

Therefore, Boojum is an inevitable choice for zkSync to execute the ZK Stack multi-chain strategy.

Compared with SNARK, the SNARK proof method relies on recursive verification and is suitable for ZK deduction proofs based on the same public key within the same system. On the other hand, the STARK proof can be based on non-interactive verification, allowing for complex non-recursive verification in a cross-chain state.

Clearly, the multi-chain blueprint depicted by ZK Stack needs to be based on STARK.

This is the core difference between SNARK and STARK proof systems.

Compared to SNARK’s verification method based on mathematical assumptions, the STARK proof process contains a lot of redundant information, so it requires higher computational algorithm resources, and correspondingly higher fees.

Therefore, zkSync’s main chain will still use SNARK as the main proof system (gas is cheaper), and STARK is just an extended capability of its multi-chain strategy.

This aligns with zkSync’s spirit of lightweight development.

Therefore, zkSync’s Boojum is not in the same strategic dimension as Starknet, but it will pose a certain threat to others such as Op Stack, Arbitrum Orbit, and Polygon 2.0.

It should be noted that zkSync’s transition to STARK is equivalent to acknowledging the shortcomings of SNARK technology and using a killer move of its competitors to break through its own ceiling. The competition and ambition of these L2 players are truly remarkable.

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