ZK-Rollups Landscape Overview Report [July 2023]

Cryptomeria Capital
4 min readJul 3, 2023

Today, Cryptomeria Capital, together with research partners Hashkey Capital, Polygon zkEVM, Scroll, ZKX, INTMAX, ZKEX, Hashstack, SpaceShard, zkPass, Antalpha Ventures, Veridise, Privacy & Scaling Explorations, Radius, ScalingX, Pragma, and community partners Starknetics, zkSync Rater and ZK seasons releases a “ZK-Rollups Landscape Overview” — the newest and most comprehensive report on ZK-rollups.

Being the key issue in the debates on the future of Ethereum scaling, ZK technologies are now experiencing a breakthrough moment. Taking that increased interest within the community into account, we found it critically important to create a report that would fully grasp the landscape of ZK-rollups and delve into details of current technological advancements. Together with leading teams on the forefront of ZK-rollup development, we have compiled the most complete and comprehensive report on ZK-rollups and major ecosystems that every interested reader would find profoundly efficient.

The 50+ pages of original research encompass both the current functioning of ZK-rollups and their prospects of development.

Starting with the definition of how ZK-rollups emerged and why they are needed, the report focuses on the analysis of the operation principles of rollup and bulletproof technologies. Furthermore, it provides an explanation of the differences between ZK-rollups and Optimistic rollups, highlighting advantages, disadvantages, and current challenges. Complemented by the timely survey of SNARK and STARK proof constructions, it concludes with the most comprehensive and detailed overview of major existing ZK-rollup ecosystems, including their architecture specifics, network and TVL activities, fundraising results, and information about current investors.

Although we encourage you to read the complete version of the report, here are a few topline insights:

1.At the moment, there is a race between L2 solutions on Ethereum, with optimistic rollups having the largest TVL and ecosystem and offering native EVM compatibility. However, they have lower bandwidth and security than ZK solutions.

2. Our report compiles clear information about ZK-SNARK and ZK-STARK proofs, detailing their advantages and disadvantages between Optimistic Rollups and L1 Ethereum. Additionally, it provides the latest updates about SNARK’s tech improvements and Quantun Resistance cases. It covers the progress made by teams around Optimistics and Zero-Knowladge Rollups ecosystems, their path, and approach comparison to previous Layer 2 solutions.

3. One of the key requirements for fully running ZK rollups is their EVM compatibility level. There are different types of these levels, but most ZKRs have yet to achieve full compatibility. However, some of them have new architectural solutions that can make this achievement closer. Some projects rely on more efficient programming languages and their architecture, but given the number of Ethereum-based developments, everyone is interested in EVM. So, many advanced dev teams create SDKs and Solidity compilators to make the life of other devs easier. Those solutions that are the first to create a more user-friendly and efficient environment for developers will be able to build an ecosystem faster and attract a huge userbase.

We’re especially excited that the research is co-authored with our partners:

  • HashKey Capital, a leader in digital asset management and blockchain solutions
  • Polygon zkEVM, the first zero knowledge scaling solution compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine to integrate smart contracts and developer tools
  • Scroll, the community-first, native zkEVM built upon Ethereum — designed for scaling without sacrificing security, developer, or user experience
  • ZKX, the first perpetual futures exchange on StarkNet with self custody and true community governance
  • INTMAX, the most secure hyperscaling solution in Ethereum
  • ZKEX, a multi-chain DEX secured by Zero-Knowledge Proofs
  • Hashstack, a permissionless zk-native protocol enabling secure under-collateralised loans to the crypto retail
  • SpaceShard, an R&D blockchain lab, with focus on Zero-Knowledge Proof technology, that supports blockchain primitives on all fronts
  • zkPass, a composable identity protocol leveraging Zero-Knowledge attestation from Web2 & Web3
  • Antalpha Ventures, a venture fund investing in the world’s future infrastructure for Web 3.0, blockchain and digital asset technology
  • Veridise, a blockchain security company founded by a team of world-class researchers
  • Privacy & Scaling Explorations, a cutting-edge technological research group exploring practical applications for Zero-Knowledge Proofs and scaling solutions
  • Radius, a trustless shared sequencing layer
  • ScalingX, a global accelerator across Singapore, Hong Kong and San Francisco dedicated to the development of Web3 and blockchain technologies, with a focus on Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) technology.
  • Pragma, a first zk-native oracle, bringing the principles of DeFi to data infrastructure: decentralization, transparency and composability

and supported by community partners — Starknetics, zkSync Rater, and ZK seasons.

The full report is AVAILABLE HERE.

Cryptomeria Capital is an early-stage VC firm based in Dubai with presence in Singapore and Hong-Kong. The firm believes decentralized projects, cryptocurrencies, and Web 3.0 will dramatically reshape economic relations and focuses on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain technology and crypto assets. Cryptomeria Capital supports transformation by providing early-stage financing for ambitious projects in a rapidly developing industry.

The firm has a corporate partnership with Axon Partners Group, an international consulting and investment firm that has backed over 50 companies and trades on the BME Growth Market under the ticker “APG”.

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Cryptomeria Capital

Passionate about the future of decentralized technology, we are investing in early stage projects