Optimistic Rollups vs Zero-Knowledge Rolleups

Optimistic Rollups vs Zero-Knowledge Rolleups


While there are many positive developments, the rise of Ethereum has also brought about significant setbacks. Ethereum is the perfect platform for many innovative trends like DeFiNFTs. It is easy to see how the Ethereum and decentralized ecosystem are expanding with new applications, innovation and technology. The other side of the coin is the radical growth in network activity, which has led to the optimistic rollups against ZK rollups debate in order to identify the best scaling solution.

With every passing day, transactions on Ethereum are becoming more expensive. This calls for urgent scaling. Rollups offer the best solutions to scale but have significant trust assumptions and security properties. You can find the right option by comparing the layer two scaling solutions. This post will explain in detail the differences between ZK rollups.

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Rollups that are different from ZK and Optimistic

Before you dive into the comparison of optimistic rollups and zero-knowledge rollsups, it is important to have a general overview of rollups. Rollups, which are a popular option among layer 2 scaling solutions, move transaction processing off of the chain. They can also store transaction data on Ethereum chain and facilitate security from Layer 1 network.

Rollups are mainly performed by smart contract, which can bundle transaction data and then move it off the chain to perform processing tasks. Participants in the network, such as sequences or validators, manage the data and submit highly compressed transaction data to main chain.

Rollups are a way to move computation tasks off the blockchain, while still posting the compressed data to Ethereum main network. Rollups may also include off-chain data availability. This does not post data to Ethereum main network, but can result in significant throughput increases. The differences in verification methods for each rollup make the debate between ZK and optimistic quite clear.

Zero-knowledge rollups, for example, create cryptographicproofs that can be used to prove transaction validity. Each transaction batch would have its own ‘validity proof’, which must be submitted to the main chain. optimist rollups believe that all transactions are valid, and can submit batches of transactions without any computation. However, optimistic rollups have a difficult period where anyone can challenge the authenticity of the transaction batches.

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Differences Between Optimistic And ZK Rollups

Starting the Ethereum layer 2 comparison with a high-level overview must be done of all differences. As you can see, optimistic rollups assume that transaction batches are valid, while ZK-rollups require cryptographic validation. What makes ZK rollups different than optimistic rollups? Cryptographic proofs are required to verify transaction integrity.

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However, optimistic rollups can face a difficult period between the submission of the rollup and the acceptance on the base chains. The dispute period is when fraud proofs can be submitted by those who are unable to submit them. As such, optimistic rollups are able to work securely with only honest nodes and submit fraud proofs as required. Furthermore, optimistic rollups can also benefit from economic incentives to avoid spamming the network with false fraud proofs.

ZK rollups may have more appeal than optimistic rollups due to the cryptographic proof element. They are not recommended for scaling in all situations. An overview of ZK rollups versus optimistic rollups provides some insight into the differences.

Transactions are presumed to be valid in the case of optimistic rollsups. Zk-rollups rely upon computation verification of state changes through validity proofs. However, optimistic rollsups are more production-ready and easier to program. EIP-4844 can also be used to ensure cost efficiency. Optimistic rollups are more efficient. Optimistic rollups are therefore a better option in reality.

Before making our final decision, let’s take a look at their differences on the basis of important factors.

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Differences in Optimistic and ZK Rollups

It is easy to see which rollup is more efficient and faster than the other by comparing optimistic rolls with zk rolls. It is important to compare the differences between them based on different critical factors like transaction finality, DeFi readiness and security.

This is a comparison of two popular layer 2 scaling options.

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  • Ready to DeFi

ZK rollups are a notable reason to believe that they offer the best alternative. ZK rollups have many problems scaling DeFi solutions. EVM readiness is possible due to the comparison of optimistic rollups and zero-knowledge rollups.

The Ethereum blockchain is used by most of the DeFi apps. Optimism, Arbitrum and other optimistic rollups rely on execution models that are very similar to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (or EVM). Developers can easily change to optimistic rollups without any code complexity.

Arbitrum’s recently improved documentation makes it easy to migrate applications. You are therefore less likely to encounter issues when attempting to achieve the functionalities of other EVM-supported scaling solutions for optimistic rollups.

Compatibility is another important issue in ZK rollups protocols. Rollup technology development is complicated because of the need to have validity proofs for every type of transaction in ZK rollups. Zero-knowledge rollups are promising in use cases that cover discrete tasks like trading and direct transfer.

They still need to provide general support for DeFi smart contract smart contracts. However, the optimistic vs ZK comparison for DeFi readiness cannot be completely shifted in favor of optimistic rollsups. ZK rollups may also be able to catch up with the functionality of optimistic rollups such as the recent update that supports EVM compatibility.

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  • Validity proof

The validity proof is the most notable difference between ZK rollups and optimistic rollups. It is actually the first difference between the two layers 2 scaling methods discussed in this discussion. To verify transaction validity, validity proofs can be made using zero knowledge proofs or ZKP methods.

optimistic rollups do not come with inherent validity checks. To verify the validity of transactions, users would need to challenge transaction bundles in optimistic rollups. For proof of transaction validity in optimistic rollsups, fraud proofs are helpful. The correctness of transactions in optimistic rollups is dependent on game-theoretical incentive. Mathematical proof can however be used to verify the validity of validity proofs in zkrollups.

  • Finality

An overview of Ethereum Layer 2 would reflect on the finality of transactions. What is the speed at which you can withdraw tokens from layer 2 transactions? This case could be a problem for optimistic rollups because they have a one-week delay during the challenge period.

The challenge period must be completed by users before they can withdraw funds. This delays transaction completion. Zero-knowledge rollups, on the other hand allow immediate withdrawal of funds because of the validity proofs. Users don’t need to wait for funds to be withdrawn because the validity proofs are unquestionable proof that off-chain transactions are authentic.

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  • Programming

Programming ease is another important factor in deciding which rollup is better for you. Data compression flexibility and EVM compatibility are two of the key features of optimistic rollups that allow for easier programming. Data compression benefits in optimistic rollups allow for publishing transaction data to Ethereum mainnet as the ‘calldata’.

Even though you may have to pay slightly more for rollups, you will have greater data compression and programming capabilities. ZK rollups do not require the publication of transaction data on Ethereum. Rollup accuracy is verified by the ZK-STARKs and ZK–SNARKs . Programming ZK rollups can be difficult as they require the cryptographic proof to be clearly understood.

  • Transaction Costs

Transaction costs are the next critical factor in the optimistic rollups discussion vs zero-knowledge rollsups. As long as you only invest in areas that are scale, optimist rollups can present an optimistic view of the costs.

Rollup costs are significantly lower because optimistic rollups rely on publishing very little data on Ethereum. You will likely have higher cost efficiency with optimistic rollups since you don’t need to prove transactions, unless otherwise challenged. EIP-4844 protocols support optimistic rollups, which can make them cheaper for users.

Zero-knowledge rollups, on the other side of the optimism vs. zk debate, have higher costs because they require computational proof. Overhead is due to the cost of creating and verifying proof for different transaction blocks. It is important to remember that zero-knowledge proofs require high-end hardware. Zk rollups are clearly a more expensive alternative to optimistic rolls due to the high cost of on-chain verifications.

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  • Trust

Trust is also a significant determinant in the Ethereum layer 2 comparison based on different factors. A trusted setup is not necessary for optimistic rollups. ZK rollups require a trusted setup to achieve desired functionality.

  • Live Monitoring

Live monitoring is another important difference between ZK and optimistic rollups. ZK rollups allow you to monitor the layer 2 chain live in real time for fraud detection. Verifiers, on the other hand, must keep track of the rollup state in order to enable fraud detection in optimistic rollsups. Consequently, positive rollups rely on live monitoring to detect fraud.

  • Security

Security is the last and most important difference between ZK rollups and optimistic rollups. Security in optimistic rollups is dependent on crypto-economic incentive for users to ensure rollup security. Verifiers could be rewarded for submitting fraud-proof submissions. Zero-knowledge rollups, on the other hand, depend on cryptographic evidence of security with ZKPs and zero-knowledge proves. Both types of rollups can be compared in a security competition.

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Final Words

Both solutions can be used for different purposes. This is evident in the comparison of the optimistic rollups and zero-knowledge rollsups. Due to the use cryptographic proofs, Zero-knowledge rollsups are more secure than optimistic rollups. The facility to offer crypto-economic incentives can make optimistic rollups more secure.

However, optimistic rollups make DeFi projects more attractive to EVM compatibility. EVM compatibility and zero-knowledge rollups can also change the narrative about layer 2 scaling solutions. Find the right rollup for you by learning more about these types of rollups.

source https://101blockchains.com/optimistic-rollups-vs-zk-rollups/

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