In an official announcement, zkSync highlighted the properties attributed to Boojum, which includes PLONK-style arithmetization.
Ethereum layer-2 zkSync Era has released a new high-performance proof system called Boojum for radical decentralization. zkSync took to Twitter to announce the proof system on the 17th of July, noting that it is an upgrade that will cause zkSync to change to a proof system backed by STARK. In addition, the newly-launched system will offer upgraded performance as it runs on consumer-grade hardware.
zkSync Era Unveils Boojum Upgrade
zkSync is committed to building a secure, permissionless, and affordable blockchain network that will advance personal freedom universally. The Alpha version of zkSync Era went live in March with a SNARK-based system, and the network has had significant activity. The total value locked is $577 million in addition to 23,750,000 transactions over the past 30 days. Also, 9,735 source-code-verified smart contracts are on record. The Boojum upgrade will not cause disruptions as zkSync is designed to allow cryptographic upgrades without regenesis. In other words, users and developers are assured of no disturbance as the network deploys cryptographic upgrades. After working backstage on a cryptographic upgrade, zkSync is now transitioning to Boojum.
“Boojum is the name of our Rust-based cryptographic library, which we use to implement the upgraded version of the ZK circuits for zkSync Era and the ZK Stack. The name Boojum was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Hunting of the Snark”, where the Boojum represents the most fearsome kind of Snark.”
In an official announcement, zkSync highlighted the properties attributed to Boojum, which includes PLONK-style arithmetization. This is the process that converts general computation into mathematical forms. As such, the ZK circuits “are simpler to write relative to some alternative formalisms, making the system easier to develop, audit, maintain, and upgrade”.
More on the Upgrade
Speaking further about Boojum, zkSync also referred to the FRI commitment scheme, which is a major component that contributes to the network’s efficiency. In addition, the ‘efficiency of “boring” parts of the system’. According to zkSync, it offers parallelized witness generation with Boojum. There is also an efficient development process if users change the circuit structure and pick different types of gates. Users can include their custom gate types in various fashions.
Basically, Boojum leveraged foundation papers on STARK, FRI, and DEEP-FRI to provide its two major selling points. They are world-class performance and the ability to reduce hardware requirements for decentralization.
The zkSync team has been developing Boojum for months, beginning with the designing stage. After then, the team moved to the testing stage, after which it shifted to Prime Time. zkSync assured that it will further audit and ensure the network’s security ahead of the full deployment of Boojum.