At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM


All products with technical characteristics as the main selling point are semi-finished products.

The hype and controversy about EVM and ZK EVM have continued for some time, especially after Vitalik divided the types of ZK EVM, popular science articles on bytecode, virtual machines, compatibility and other difficult concepts have emerged one after another, but what do these words mean, and where the popularity of ZK EVM will lead the public chain pattern, etc. have not been clearly explained.

The ZK track is also officially hot, if the previous ZK-Rollup limited it to the L2 local field, then at the moment has become a faint trend of the general technology of the entire blockchain network, R3PO believes that ZK EVM will end the multi-chain coexistence pattern to some extent.

In this alternative historical process, more new projects will inevitably erupt, R3PO is committed to exploring the hidden value, we will start from the “understanding” of EVM, and explore the future direction of the public chain.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

Imagine the following scenario:

Alice wants to pass a Word document running on Windows to Bob, but Bob only has a Mac that can use Pages, so Bob can’t open the document. If Bob does not consider installing the Mac version of Word and copying the text in the article, there are four ways left:

1. Alice uploads articles to the cloud, such as Google Docs, where Bob can open and edit documents on browsers that support cross-platform;

2. Alice hands the Word .exe and the document to each other, and Bob can use Crossover or a virtual machine (VM) to simulate the Windows environment, so that he can run .exe applications and open documents on the Mac;

Crossover can only support Word.exe running alone, and cannot do anything about other .exe applications;

A virtual machine (VM) installs a Windows subsystem on the Mac, where any .exe application can run;

3. Alice changes the document into a Java understandable file format and hands it to the other party, Bob can install the Java environment on the Mac to open the document;

4. Alice turns the document into a binary file and passes it to the other party, and Bob can open the document with the lowest level of compatibility.

If you can understand the above process, try to replace the following concepts:

Operating systems such as Windows and macOS –> public chains such as Ethereum and Cosmos;

Application formats such as .exe and .dmg –> Dapps of different public chains;

Word documents –> on-chain assets;

Crossover –> Cross-chain bridge;

Virtual machine (VM) –> A less compatible EVM, such as Polygon Hermez, is a ZK VM, which implements functions against EVM and needs to be manually iterated to keep up with the update;

JVM –> EVM, language-level equivalent compatibility, such as the planned Scroll, which implements ZK EVM and EVM is completely equivalent, which can be understood as EVM adding ZK feature version;

Binary compatible –> This is EVM or Ethereum ontology;

The characteristics of the entire VM and EVM are described above, and the operation mode is basically similar to the process of transferring files across operating systems. In R3PO’s view, the biggest trend is that ZK EVM will not only replace the existing EVM-compatible solutions, but will eventually lead to Ethereum becoming the only application-layer communication protocol, while other public chains will become domain-specific use chains, similar to Linux active in the server field, and Windows active among ordinary users.

The reasons for this assertion are detailed below.

If you want to know people, you must know yourself: the essence of ecology is a two-way rush between developers and users

EVM has promoted the victory of Ethereum in the public chain competition, which is not due to Ethereum’s “computing power superiority”, but mainly due to compatibility, because the old generation of Ethereum killers such as EOS, the previous generation of Ethereum killers such as Solona, and the new generation of Ethereum killers such as Aptos have all flaunted the ultra-high speed of their TPS.

However, Ethereum is still standing, maintaining the absolute lead in the number of TVL and Dapps with single-digit TPS, which can be summarized as the ecological cluster effect, but why is it that after other public chains are compatible with EVM and vigorously build cross-chain bridges, the gap has not narrowed, but there are signs of further expansion in the bear market?

R3PO believes that a solution to the problem can be derived from a relatively certain starting point.

This starting point is the developer experience, the current Web 3 is still in a very early stage, can be compared to the Internet 2000 years ago, is still the domain of geeks and early adopters, even with the Token mechanism, most users are still precipitated in CEX, TradiFi institutions built by CeDeFi, the real chain users are pitiful, Ethereum’s active address is only 400,000, but TVL is as high as $32 billion, with a market value of $200 billion.

In the context of the huge contrast between the number of users and the amount of funds precipitated, competing for developer power has become the most important way to maintain the ecology, and the logic lies in who can persist until the advent of truly billion-level consumer applications, which public chain can truly become the infrastructure of the next generation of the Internet, just like the World Wide Web and Netscape Browser in the past.

The development experience that Ethereum gives developers is the most complete.

In a sense, this is also an emulation of the success of the Java language, before Java, the biggest problem of the C/C++ language was that programmers needed to consider the adaptation of software and hardware, such as 32-bit numeric types could not be directly migrated to 16-bit machines to run.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

In addition to the improvement of Java in the language usability of the language, the biggest improvement is the design of the JVM, in a word, its feature is “hardware softening”, through language scheduling to achieve the same adaptation of different hardware, as long as it is implemented once in the EVM, it can run on any device, truly cross-platform development, without additional consideration of hardware issues.

With the JVM, Java is one of the most popular development languages in the world, perhaps not specialized in one domain, but applicable to any field, which is the essence of compatibility.

The same is true of EVM and Ethereum development ecology, developers only need to develop for EVM once, and they can continue to follow the Ethereum ecology and continue to progress, regardless of the compatibility of public chain upgrades, hardware differences, etc.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

Solidity is not perfect, EVM is not without problems, but the best compatibility is enough to ensure developer loyalty, and as more and more public chains are compatible with EVM, this compatibility has gained passive benefits, the workload of inter-chain migration is small enough, and other public chains are only localized versions of Ethereum Dapp, which is ultimately conducive to the dominance of the Ethereum ecosystem.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

And language-level compatibility also helps ensure the efficiency and safety of the EVM.

The virtual machine (VM) in the figure above refers to the operation mode between different operating systems, such as Parallels Desktop, which can ensure that the Windows subsystem runs on the Mac, but it is necessary to allocate specific software and hardware resources from the original system to establish the subsystem, and then install the Windows application in the subsystem, and then the application can run, but limited by the limitation of allocated resources, its running efficiency and native application cannot be compared.

EVM is similar to JVM, from the Solidity language level to carry out compatibility operations, developers use the API provided by Infura and mainnet interaction, the use of Truffle for smart contract development, testing and deployment, etc., development kits are readily available, after completing the adaptation of EVM, the Dapp can run on any public chain compatible with EVM.

Not only for developers, the EVM-level compatible development guarantee brings a completely consistent experience to any user, saving the minimum seed user group for the Ethereum ecosystem, and maintaining the leading edge of the Ethereum ecosystem over other public chains with only developers and a small number of users.

EVM refers to the JVM, which does not need to consider too many hardware and coding problems, and only needs to be developed for the functions that the application really needs.

The meaning of ecology is development + application + user, and EVM plays an initializing role in ecological construction.

If you want to talk about people, you must first say to yourself: EVM compatibility does not promote the victory of competitors

EVM has promoted the success of Ethereum, but why can’t other public chains compatible with EVM, the “vampire project” of the vampire Ethereum ecology work?

Compatible logic:

For developers: Compatible with EVM to reduce the migration cost of Ethereum developers and provide new public chain features such as higher TPS;

For users: provide some level of token stimulation to encourage users to migrate;

Complete the replacement of Ethereum.

Logic vulnerabilities for compatibles:

For developers: Compatible EVMs are not native EVMs after all, and there are hidden migration costs;

For users: Ethereum’s security is the highest except for the Bitcoin network, and this security is not comparable to short-term temptations such as gold mining and airdrops;

The result: Ethereum still occupies the most mainstream position.

In fact, other public chains are in a dilemma, compatible with EVM has the danger of becoming the de facto sidechain of Ethereum, but incompatibility has the consequence of becoming an island, and everyone is eager for traffic, which becomes a last resort.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

At this time, it is mainly other public chains that are taking the initiative, and Ethereum is immersed in improving its old problems, such as PoW to PoS, L2 road selection, account abstraction implementation, DankSharding, etc., on the compatibility path, there are mainly three kinds of implementation EVM, inter-chain compatibility and EVM compatibility chain with the help of applications.

The public chain achieves EVM compatibility, represented by BNB Chain and others.

BNB Chain or OKX Chain and other exchange public chains, with the user base of the exchange, and the ability to operate the project, its on-chain TVL and ecology should not be underestimated, taking BNB Chain as an example, according to DeFi Llama data, there are 492 protocols running on it, TVL up to 6 billion US dollars, in terms of scale and volume, it is the second largest public chain after Ethereum.

Its main operation mode “imitates” Ethereum, such as the largest DEX Pancakeswap on it is the earliest forked version of Uniswap, the same Dapp can be seamlessly switched on the two public chains, behind the huge advantages brought by EVM compatibility, the project only needs to focus on operations, rather than developing products from scratch.

On-chain EVM compatible, represented by Solona.

Solona is a single blockchain with a PoH mechanism, and it has long been the only public chain that is not compatible with EVM among the top ten public chain projects by market capitalization, but it does not mean that it cannot communicate with EVM-compatible chains, and its Neon project running on the chain provides EVM compatibility.

This compatibility can be understood as matryoshka compatibility, rather than directly compatible at the level of the public chain itself.

Neon provides a development experience that is highly similar to the EVM itself, such as Solidity language programming support, seamless smart contract deployment experience, direct call to MetaMask, and development kits such as Truffle.

Compatible with EVM chains, represented by EVMOS.

Modular blockchains such as Cosmos or Polkadot have more options, and the applications on them themselves can become L1-level public chains alone, and EVMOS is also a sub-chain of Cosmos and a public chain that provides EVM compatibility, which means that Evmos can not only “pass” EVM compatibility between Cosmos, but also provide EVM compatibility between any other public chain.

In addition to being an EVM compatibility provider, it can also deploy DeFi and other applications as a public chain, such as DEX Exswap on it, which is a forked version of Uniswap.

Summary of this paragraph: It is this wide compatibility that has contributed to the opening up of the entire public chain world, and the links are EVM compatibility, cross-chain bridges and exchanges, in view of this, R3PO summarizes the specific genres of compatibility above to warm up the terminator role of ZK EVM.

If you want to win, you must first win yourself: ZK EVM is Ethereum’s initiative

If other public chains are busy with EVM, Ethereum is too busy taking care of itself, but after the PoS merger is successful and the L2 technical route is determined, ZK has become a general technology for the entire public chain track, and the combination of ZK technology and EVM will also promote the evolution of Ethereum’s modular architecture.

ZK technology is not limited to the L2 field, it has its use in the upper and lower layers such as Dapp and public chain, and the hottest ZK EVM track at the moment is slightly mixed, R3PO briefly sorted it out, and strives to save the elite.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

Vitalik has given the compatibility and performance relationship of different EVM classifications, and it can be found that the lower the implementation, the stronger the compatibility, but the worse its performance will be, which is actually very simple, and the poor performance and strong security of the Ethereum mainnet under Lenovo can be understood.

The closer you are to the bottom layer, the closer you are to the native EVM’s operating mode, the more compatible it is, but the performance will also be severely limited;

The closer to the upper layer, the more the ability to test its own EVM compatibility solution, the greater the difference with Ethereum’s native EVM, the worse the compatibility, but it will also bring more freedom of customization, which can greatly optimize performance.

Polygon Hermez was mentioned earlier and classified as a ZK VM, but Hermez calls itself a ZK EVM solution, which seems like a letter of difference, but its compatibility and security are very different.

The ZK VM/EVM implemented on Polygon Hermez is essentially a one-to-one “fork” of the functions of EVM, similar to the relationship between WBTC and BTC, the relationship between shadow and ontology, in daily operation, as long as the development team keeps updated, its experience is no different from EVM, but after all, it is not a language-level implementation, it can only be said that this is a whitewash under business competition.

Recently, StarkNet released ZK EVM Kakarot using the Cairo language for running Ethereum smart contracts on StarkNet, which can be considered the first ZK EVM to enter the testing process. The rest of the ZK EVM players on the road are Taiko, Scroll, zkSync 2.0 and others.

Why has ZK EVM become such a hot track, and why is this the terminator of the public chain? At present, in the stage of commercial competition, the information released by each project party is not comprehensive, and R3PO tries to give its own understanding and has the right to throw bricks and jade.

At this time, match point has come to the life and death of the new species and ZK EVM

The answer to the first question is that ZK EVM is actually where the Dapps of the future really are.

In the established understanding, Dapps run either on public chains or on L2 networks. But in R3PO’s view, in the future, ZK EVM will directly carry the application layer.

As shown in the figure above, the future ZK EVM will become a collection of EVM, Rollup, and cross-chain bridge functions, which are themselves an EVM without explanation, to focus on the latter two functions.

L2 level rollup is too low, in order to pursue higher performance, or take StarkNet developed by StarkWare as an example, it plans to use ZK recursion to prove the validity of verification data, recursion can be expanded infinitely in a “post-testipic” way, ZK can ensure the overall limited size of the data, so StarkNet itself can be used as the verification layer for its application, L3.

The cross-chain bridge itself is easier to understand, the essence of the cross-chain bridge is to exchange and transfer assets between different public chains, and if each other achieves EVM compatibility, there is no need for cross-chain bridge as an intermediary, ZK itself is more secure than the current cross-chain bridge scheme with frequent vulnerabilities, so ZK EVM is a better cross-chain bridge solution.

For the second question, the answer is that ZK EVM will turn the entire public chain into an EVM chain.

Even if the public chain such as Solona, Aptos and other public chains that are not compatible with EVM themselves, they can also be accessed through Evmos and the like, from this point of view, ZK EVM is the initiative of Ethereum, you do not access me, I also have to be compatible with you, so that it will further amplify the ecological advantages of Ethereum.

The Move ecological public chain such as Aptos and Sui, the Move VM claimed by it is also a general development mechanism similar to EVM, theoretically, the Move language transformed by Rust is indeed better than Solidity, but its biggest disadvantage is that time is not waiting, whether it can build its own traffic and ecology is doubtful, and this will fall into the dilemma of whether other public chains are compatible with EVM.


Whether a public chain can achieve market success depends of course on its own struggle, but it must also consider the historical process.

In the development process of ZK EVM, it can be clearly perceived that the difficulty of the public chain struggle behind it, in the tug-of-war between Ethereum and a number of public chains, endless romantic stories have been created, and at this time the match point has come to the life and death of new species such as EVMOS and Move VM and ZK EVM, R3PO believes that the future public chain pattern must be based on the interconnection brought by EVM compatibility as the premise of competition, and users and developers are still the whole meaning of the story.

If ZK EVM goes well, it is likely to make Ethereum the Windows of the public chain world, running the richest application layer, and ensuring itself as the most secure and robust settlement layer.

ZK technology is at least 5 years away from large-scale maturity, and under the large-scale ripening of capital and markets, it may slow down to about 3 years, and then we will be able to see whether today’s predictions will come true.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

Like (0)
Donate Buy me a coffee Buy me a coffee
Previous 2022-11-05 09:45
Next 2022-11-05 09:47

Related articles