Ethereum Layer 2 StarkNet service goes live on Alchemy, promises 100x lower gas fees

Ethereum Layer 2 StarkNet service goes live on Alchemy, promises 100x lower gas fees

In short

  • StarkNet relies on ZK technology to process masses of transactions quickly and affordably.
  • A number of major crypto players, including Alchemy and Immutable, already use it.

Don’t look now, but there are signs that Ethereum’s high gas issues may be easing. These high fees have long been a source of frustration for Ethereum users, but a series of so-called Layer 2 innovations have begun to offer a solution, the latest in the form of StarkNet, which is now part of the SDK. from crypto infrastructure giant Alchemy. .

For those unfamiliar, the idea of ​​layer 2 solutions (aka “roll-ups”) is to process large batches of transactions outside of the main Ethereum blockchain and then periodically write a record of these activities on Ethereum itself. The idea is to produce high transaction volumes at a much lower cost, while creating the same immutable records as Ethereum.

StarkNet was created by an Israeli company called starware it’s raised $173 million in funding. StarkNet is not the first to deploy its Layer 2 solution – other deployment options include Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum, which have gained traction over the past two years.

But StarkNet is buzzing because it relies on a form of cryptography known as zero-knowledge proofs (ZK in crypto parlance). ZK involves showing something to be true without also disclosing other private information, such as showing your driver’s license to prove you are 21, but also not revealing your name or address.

And in terms of rollups, ZK-based calculations are much faster than a competing technology known as optimistic rollups, which can take up to a week to clear. StarkNet describes its gas fees as “100 times lower” than transactions on the Ethereum base layer.

“were towards Vitalik’s vision of five-cent transactions,” Alchemy product manager Mike Garland said, referring to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.

Alchemy’s StarkNet integration is significant because the company provides behind-the-scenes support to a wide swath of Web3, with customers ranging from banks to crypto exchanges. Alchemy customers will now have the ability to build services using low-cost StarkNet tools, a development that Garland says could boost Web3 application development.

“StarkNet’s use of Validity and ZK rollups effectively solves major Web3 problems. Validity rollups increase scalability by bundling transactions off-chain and then verifying them on-chain with just a fraction of the cost,” said Alchemy in a statement.

Alchemy isn’t the only major crypto player rolling out StarkNet — Immutable, an NFT gaming startup that just raised $200 million, uses an earlier version of StarkNet called StarkEx to make its transaction-heavy operations affordable.

It’s too early to tell whether StarkNet – or other Layer 2 competitors’ gateways – will once and for all save Ethereum users from exorbitant transaction fees, but the technology certainly seems to be moving in that direction.

This story has been updated to clarify that Immutable uses StarkEx.

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