Bankless: Why will ZkEVM unleash the huge potential of NFTs?

The future of Ethereum is scaled through Rollups, and a special class of Rollups — ZK Rollups compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine — is the most promising way to achieve this in the future.  

Looking ahead, it is no exaggeration to say that the “zkEVM” scheme will be a game-changer for Web3 projects in general (including NFTs). 

What is zkEVM?


Rollups are L2 scaling solutions as they work on top of Ethereum L1 to make Ethereum transactions affordable and fast. The two most popular types of Rollups on the market today are Optimistic Rollups and ZK Rollups.

Both types execute transactions off-chain, i.e. outside of Ethereum L1, and both also inherit Ethereum’s extensive security guarantees by publishing their bulk transaction data onto Ethereum. The difference between Optimistic Rollups and ZK Rollups is the difference between fraud proofs and zero-knowledge validity proofs, and their advantages.

From the outset, Optimistic Rollups are well suited for “general EVM computation”, meaning that Ethereum projects – such as NFT projects – can easily port L1 smart contracts written in Solidity, or create L1-like smarts on top of those L2s contract.

In contrast, ZK Rollups are very efficient and secure, and this feature will become more apparent over time. However, so far, this kind of Rollup does not provide EVM compatibility due to some technical differences involved.

Therefore, a ZK Rollup with a compatible EVM execution environment is zkEVM. So far, no such project has landed, so that’s why zkEVM advancements represent the “holy grail” of ZK Rollups: as they finally allow these L2s to combine general-purpose EVM computations with the efficiencies provided by zero-knowledge proofs.

As Buterin predicted, this level of upgrade will help ZK Rollups outperform the competition across all use cases. And now, “all use cases” encompass a large NFT ecosystem. But before we talk about the impact of zkEVM+NFTs, let’s briefly recap this week’s developments and see how the future of zkEVM is being realized here and now.

Three new zkEVM announcements

On Monday, July 18th, the Scroll team released a Pre-Alpha testnet for their zkEVM-based ZK Rollup, with the same name as Scroll:


Then on Wednesday, July 20, there were two other important zkEVM announcements:

  • Matter Labs, the builder of zkSync, revealed that zkSync 2.0, a ZK Rollup based on zkEVM, “will be live on mainnet in 100 days.”
  • Polygon has launched Polygon zkEVM and implemented it as open source, and will soon launch a public testnet. It is worth noting that this ZK Rollup is designed not only for EVM compatibility, but also for full equivalence with EVM, which means that writing code and using tools on this ZK Rollup is no different from Ethereum, which Very friendly to Web3 builders.


Why is zkEVM important for NFTs?

We are moving towards a future where zk rollups based on zkEVM will be the gold standard for scaling Web3 projects.

ZK Rollups are relatively more secure than Optimistic Rollups because they are based on encryption rather than economic incentives. Multiple cases show that ZK Rollup also significantly reduces the cost of transactions. In addition, extracting NFTs from ZK Rollup takes as little as 15 minutes, while Optimistic Rollup takes about a week.

Therefore, fast and affordable transactions + extremely high security guarantees + EVM compatibility + NFT fast withdrawal = zkEVM.

In fact, the bottleneck of the early NFT ecosystem has been the technical limitations of Ethereum L1, and the consequent poor user experience, such as expensive transaction fees. The arrival and development of zkEVM will help break this bottleneck completely, allowing NFT projects to provide millions of users with a good Ethereum experience at any time. 

It’s also worth noting that the future of zkEVM may be even brighter. Because later this year, Ethereum’s much-anticipated Merge update is due, but that’s not the end of the roadmap. After Merge, Ethereum will usher in The Surge and bring greater improvements to Rollup’s scalability by introducing sharding technology.


This means that L2 with ultra-low transaction costs and ultra-high performance is coming, and these upgrades make NFTs more prepared to take to the world stage. In the long run, Ethereum itself may migrate from EVM to zkEVM mode, so it is very likely that NFTs will also run via zkEVM in the future. In the cryptocurrency space, sometimes you get a rare opportunity to see the future very clearly, and this is certainly one of them.

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.

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