Integrating zkRollup into the Loom Protocol

This article was first published on Loom Network - Medium
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From its inception Loom Network aimed to provide a scaling solution for Ethereum dapp developers. Three years ago the most practical way to do so was to build an Ethereum sidechain secured by multiple distributed validators. To date, blockchains built using the Loom protocol have proved to be performant and secure, but the reliance on a consensus of validators to secure the chain has resulted in a lot of wasted CPU cycles, storage, and bandwidth. This wastage is an unavoidable artifact of distributed consensus because every validator has to run their own machines that all perform exactly the same computations when processing transactions.

Thanks to the extensive research work that’s been done into scaling Ethereum in recent years, we believe it’s time for a radical shift in our blockchain tech, rather than just incremental improvements. Our engineering team has been keeping an eye on practical applications of zero knowledge proofs, and the development of zkRollup based projects like zkSync by Matter Labs, and LoopRing. We believe that building a new Loom protocol based on zkRollup is the best way to reduce the environmental impact of our blockchains, while at the same time improving both the performance and security of the Loom protocol.

Architectural Overview

In the zkRollup based Loom protocol (which we’ll refer to as zkLoom from here on out) the validators accept transactions from clients, process those transactions, and then generate zero knowledge proofs (zkSNARKs) that are verified by a smart contract on Ethereum every time a new block is created on the Loom blockchain. The zkLoom protocol architecture offers a number of advantages, here are some of them:

  • Forging a zero knowledge proof is practically impossible so the smart contract on Ethereum effectively guarantees that every transaction in a block committed by the zkLoom protocol has been processed correctly. ...

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Loom Network - Medium

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