zkSync Era Launches Boojum: Consumer-Friendly STARK-based Proof System


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Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution zkSync Era is stepping into the next stage with Boojum, its STARK-based proof system. Promising enhanced transparency and heightened transaction speed, Boojum operates on consumer-grade general processing units (GPUs).

zkSync Era has been a leader in Ethereum’s scaling solutions, utilizing technologies such as zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) to optimize transaction capacity, speed, and affordability. Typically, zk-rollups rely on zk-STARKs and zk-SNARKs, two prominent proof systems that have seen wide application in the field. Boojum, however, marks a strategic shift from this trend.

Powered by a zkSync-derived Rust-based cryptographic library, Boojum uses an upgraded version of arithmetic circuits to revolutionize the ZK developer stack and zkSync Era’s operational dynamics.

However, Boojum boasts its accessibility. The new system can run on personal computers with just 16 gigabytes of GPU random-access memory (RAM), opening up participation in network activity to regular users.

In contrast, zkSync’s previous operations required a 100-GPU cluster, each with 80 GB of RAM.

ZkSync’s previous performance averaged around 100 transactions per second, but Boojum will require less storage and is cheaper to verify, driving down the transaction costs significantly.

In its final implementation stage, Boojum will pair the STARK proofs with a non-transparent pairing-based SNARK, essentially an upgrade of the current SNARK-based proof system. Boojum is live on the zkSync Era mainnet, with developers testing the generation and verification of “shadow proofs today with real production data so that we can carefully test the system ahead of fully migrating,” according to the Twitter announcement.

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