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Getting Started with zkEVMs: From Testnet to Mainnet
Key Takeaways
13 min read
  • Multiple projects, including zkSync, Polygon, Scroll, Linea, and Taiko, are currently working on developing different types of zkEVMs.
  • The spectrum of zkEVMs ranges from Type 1 (bytecode-compatible) with full EVM equivalence and slow proof generation to Type 4 (language-compatible) with EVM compatibility and fast proof generation.
  • Polygon zkEVM and zkSync Era have recently launched on mainnet and currently host several protocols that account for a total of $750k and $50m TVL respectively as of April 4, 2023. These numbers are expected to increase rapidly as more protocols are added over time.
  • Scroll, Linea, and Taiko are currently in their testnet phase, but are expected to launch their mainnets later this year, around Q4 2023 or Q1 2024. Users can bridge, swap, pool, mint, and deploy contracts on the testnet.
  • ZkSync and Taiko have announced plans to launch a token to help decentralize their network. Meanwhile, Scroll and Linea have not yet made any announcements about launching one, but it is expected that they will follow a similar path.


ZK-Rollups aim to increase Ethereum's scalability by processing transactions off-chain and then verifying them in batches on-chain using Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs). A key goal over the past years has been to develop zkEVMs, a ZK-Rollup that is equivalent/compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

ZkEVMs exist on a spectrum. On the one end, there are Type 1 byte-compatible zkEVMs that have fewer obstacles for Ethereum native developers but come with longer verification times. On the other end of the spectrum, there are Type 4 language-compatible zkEVMs that are more efficient in proving but require more changes in the development process. Slower proof generation time means that while the end user may see their...