Vitalik Buterin suggests that ZK-SNARKS can help ethereum to scale by a huge amount. Buterin said that by using ZK-SNARKS, second layer technologies, such as channels and plasma, can be avoided to scale ethereum. Buterin was bullish on scaling ethereum to 500 transactions per second without using second layer scaling solutions. On asking whether ZK-SNARKS technology will successfully scale ethereum to 500 transaction per second, Cyrille Wetter, Co-Owner of WavesGo, community manager of Waves Platform and Incent, told BlockPublisher that he was not fully aware of the prospects brought by ZK-SNARKS . He said;
Frankly speaking, I don’t know too much about ZK-SNARKS. Would be worth looking into, though.
The prospect of scaling ethereum opened up when Buterin responded to a minimalist who suggested that developing dApps on ethereum should be stopped. While disagreeing with the minimalist, Buterin introduced his idea for the first time. He suggested that with the use of ZK-SNARKS, the cost of transaction could be reduced and 500 transactions per second, with all the security guarantees of on-chain, could be achieved. Upon disclosing his idea, he was flooded with several queries from different people on twitter. Some of them raised the issue of data availability while others inquired about second layer technologies. So, to address the issues, Buterin responded with a write-up on ethereum research forum. He explained the role of ZK-SNARKS in eliminating second layer technologies and helping out to achieve the goal of scaling high amount on the forum. He said:
There are two classes of user: (i) transactor, and (ii) relayer. A relayer takes a set of operations from transactors, and combines them all into a transaction and makes a ZK-SNARK to prove the validity, and publishes the ZK-SNARK and the transaction data in a highly compressed form to the blockchain. A relayer gets rewarded for this by transaction fees from transactors.
At the moment, ethereum is capable of 15 transactions per second. Surprisingly, without acquiring any second layer scaling solution, Buterin aims to catch an 3200 percent increase in network capacity. He explained the reduction of cost while relayer uses ZK-SNARKS and further suggested ways to optimize the process. He said:
We can optimize further by allowing a relayer to (with ZK-SNARKs proving the operation) rebalance the tree, moving more frequent users into lower indices, changing the encoding for the value so that common values (eg. round numbers of ETH) are represented, and changing the nonce scheme so that, for example, details in the signature change every 100 blocks and so the nonce can reset every 100 blocks.
We await the acceptance and implementation of Buterin’s idea on ethereum to verify the scaling claims made by Buterin with the help of ZK-SNARKS.