Starknet, a zero-knowledge Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum, is one step closer to being fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM): is awaiting the August release of Kakarot, a new zkEVM.
On June 3, The Kakarot team announced that it had received new endorsements from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Ledger co-founder Nicholas Bacca, and Starkware.
We have powered up and entered Super Saiyan mode⚡. Kakarot Labs has officially been incorporated and closed a pre-seed round with top-tier investors.
Let’s unpack our vision, current standing, and the exciting future ahead. pic.twitter.com/VI8QRdPLfw
— Kakarot zkEVM (@KakarotZkEvm) June 2, 2023
We have turned on and we have entered Super Saiyan mode⚡. Kakarot Labs has been officially incorporated and has closed a seed funding round with top-tier investors. We’ll talk about our vision, our current situation and the exciting future that awaits us.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Kakarot CEO and co-founder Elias Tazartes explained that, while Starknet stands as a leading zero-knowledge roll-up in the Ethereum ecosystem, it does not support EVM, so there is “sort of a barrier to entry.”
Starknet is used by developers to scale decentralized applications, transactions, and computing on Ethereum, but it uses its own native language, Cairo. According to Starknet, using Cairo makes developing, reviewing, and maintaining new code faster and easier.
The downside is that it doesn’t support EVM, which might put some developers off.
“The biggest impact Kakarot can have is making Starknet EVM compatible.”
“Kakarot right now is like a Solidity engine or any language. Eventually you can put that engine inside Starknet to make it EVM compatible.”
Currently, Starknet runs its own custom smart contract Virtual Machine, called the “Cairo VM”, which leverages Cairo. This means that Starknet does not have direct support for EVM, which could be a major hindrance to the overall performance of the rollup.
“Some teams really need to be able to use Solidity. For example, if someone wrote a DEX or AMM for the Ethereum ecosystem and now they have 60,000 lines of code already audited, ready to go, but it’s only on EVM chains.”
If these developers wanted to start using Starknet, they would have to hire a whole new development team, write to it, re-audit the code, and maintain two code bases, something Tazartes describes as “prohibitively expensive.”
According to Tazartes, the idea for zkEVM came up during a Starkware conference in July 2022. In October, the development team was able to meet for a week at a hacker event in Lisbon (Portugal) to get hands-on with the new zkEVM.
Two months and 20 days later, in December, the coding of the project was complete, ready to create a fully functional runtime layer, all without risk funding.
In particular, Tazartes said that Buteirn invested in Kakarot due to his enthusiasm for a multi-zkEVM approach to building the Ethereum ecosystem.
“For Vitalik, the more zkEVMs the better, because as long as you have a wide diversity of architecture and a diversity of approaches… then this is really good for the space as a whole.”
Tazartes shared that the testnet version of Kakarot will be released for public use this August.
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