Aztec, a London-based private transaction network on Ethereum, has introduced Aztec 2.0, the world’s first Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution that uses zero-knowledge (ZK) technology to bundle privacy with scaling.
Aztec 2.0 is now live on Ropsten, an Ethereum testnet used for testing purposes before deploying on the mainnet. The solution features scalable private access to the DeFi platforms like Uniswap, 200x gas reduction compared to the previous Aztech 1.0 version, secure, and programmable privacy with Noir, the private contract language.
According to the announcement, through Aztec 2.0, the Ethereum network can “scale on-demand up to a hard limit of ~300 TX/S, while preserving on-chain data availability.” The solution is based on an emerging technology known as zero-knowledge(zk) rollup. It employs an Aztec self-developed zkSnarks standard called PLONK. According to the company, PLONK has now become a widely-used standard within the community developing zkSNARKs to build L2 solutions.
Unlike classical layer-2 solutions that only offer scalability but leave privacy behind, Aztec 2.0 offers both these important features. To make transaction private, the solution first hides the sender, recipient, and amounts using zkSnarks. These transactions are then batched by relayers using a further rollup zkSNARK, thus creating a double (zk-zk) zk rollup. This single rollup proof is then sent to Ethereum, scaling the network.
The company has developed a new scripting language, called Noir, that developers can use to write zkSNARK transactions that are compatible with Aztec 2.0. It allows users to create accounts with multiple keys with social recovery baked in. User accounts can be created with or without a linked Ethereum address, and don’t need an initial on-chain transaction to receive funds. Furthermore, spending keys are separated from encryption keys.
Support for DeFi platforms is also coming in the next month. Aztec will launch a testnet this week that will allow private transactions of DAI and other ERC20 tokens. The announcement reads:
“In November, the network will be upgraded to support scalable private access to DeFi. This upgrade allows users to anonymously access DeFi transactions at a fraction of the gas price. And, without having to port DeFi protocols to layer 2.”
Aztec 2.0 is expected to be launched on the Ethereum mainnet in November.
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