ZkSync's new era: Is an airdrop coming?

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The Ethereum zkSync Layer 2 blockchain made a major update on March 24th, launching the new Mainnet zkSync Era.
zkSync Era has been in development for four years, as the team conducted extensive testing before its final release. Now, the mainnet is available for dApp and DeFi application developers, which will eventually increase the number of projects on zkSync and deploy the ecosystem to its full capacity.

We decided to analyze this upgrade to clarify its significance for the Ethereum and zkSync ecosystems.

What is ZkSync?

ZkSync is a Layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum network built on zk-rollup technology. Utilizing zero-knowledge proofs, such innovation is aimed to improve the scalability of the underlying blockchain, drastically speeding up and lowering the cost of transactions while minimizing the load on the main network.

A few months prior, zkSync transitioned to the Fair Onboarding Alpha stage, which allowed a select group of developers to begin testing their applications on the Era mainnet. Now, the ecosystem will begin to develop faster, as the network is open to everyone.

zkSync Lite vs zkSync Era

Formally, ZkSync has two protocols – zkSync Lite and zkSync Era. The first is often referred to as version 1.0, although developers dislike this comparison. As a result, the positioning was changed to characterize the transition of Ethereum and all its updates into a new era.

The key difference between the two protocols is that zkSync Era supports all EVM-based applications and dApps, while zkSync Lite supports only some. Despite this, transactions in zkSync Lite are processed in a mainnet-like environment, requiring users to pay with real money for all transactions.

As a result, this limited the number of projects in the first version of the protocol, with only a few cross-chain bridges and DEXs, as developers focused on preparing the platforms for the mainnet.

ZkSync Era features

● Launch of a cross-chain bridge for token transfers and the start of dApp testing;

● Completed security audits, contests, and Bug Bounty programs;

● Improved tools for developers, plugins, documentation, and development templates;

● Full synchronization of platforms and protocols with the Ethereum blockchain.

Potential airdrop. When can we expect the token?

It's no surprise that the Matter Labs team launched the Mainnet at this particular time. With the recent release of projects like Arbitrum on exchanges, liquidity on cryptocurrency markets has significantly increased, which has also boosted user interest.

In one of his posts, the CEO of Matter Labs let slip that the release of the ZKS token is expected to happen in around a year.
Matter Labs CEO’s hint on the upcoming zkSync token release (theblock.co)

Matter Labs CEO’s hint on the upcoming zkSync token release (theblock.co)

This announcement has made zkSync a promising candidate for a retroactive airdrop. Potential activities that are already available on zkSync Era include:

● The official cross-chain bridge from zkSync;

● The Orbiter bridge, which also has no native token, making it a highly promising application to work with;

● The development and launch of your own application within the zkSync Era.

Due to high demand, transactions in zkSync Era are currently running very slowly, so it makes sense to wait for network relief and reduced user activity. 

In the future, ZkSync Era will release more dApps, interacting with which will likely increase the chance of getting a reward.
Potential zkSync Era ecosystem

Potential zkSync Era ecosystem

When it comes to activities in zkSync Lite, it's not entirely clear if it's worth performing any actions there. However, we have a detailed article on the available applications in the first version of the protocol.