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Kakarot: the zkEVM Revolution

As we traverse the landscape of blockchain technology, the arrival of Ethereum stands as a significant landmark, propelling a wave of novel developments. Among these, the Kakarot zkEVM rises as a luminary - a transformative innovation that heralds the advent of a new technological epoch. Let us embark on an explorative odyssey, delving into the inception, architectural design, operation, and the future potential of the Kakarot zkEVM, emphasizing its cardinal potential in the ever-evolving universe of blockchain.

The Kakarot zkEVM, having magnetized global attention, emerges as an influential actor poised to catalyze a profound paradigm shift in the fabric of blockchain technology. The project recently marked the successful culmination of a pre-seed investment round, drawing the endorsement from esteemed benefactors such as Ethereum's co-founder Vitalik Buterin, while StarkWare has shown considerable faith in the project, offering a substantial grant of $150,000 alongside its investment, while other notable backers include LambdaClass and Nicolas Bacca, co-founder of Ledger.

Elias Tazartes, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Kakarot, attributes their journey as a "hacker house success story". The seed of this revolutionary technology was sown during an intense coding marathon in Lisbon, where the founding team, aided by advisors, congregated to lay the bedrock of this technology. The remarkable stature of the investors lends further credence to the potential of Kakarot zkEVM, affirming their conviction in its capabilities.

Kick-started in October 2022, the team has already crafted a working MVP and is on track to release a public testnet in the summer of 2023. Encouragingly, there are indications of potential incentives for early adopters during the testnet phase. Due to Kakarot's lightweight infrastructure and rapid developmental speed, a fully operational mainnet is projected to be available by Q1 or Q2 of 2024.

At the core of Kakarot zkEVM lies the integration of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) into Cairo - a Turing-complete language ingeniously crafted to facilitate verifiable computation with polynomials using the ZK-STARK proof system. The deployment of STARK proofs for both transactions and blocks endows Kakarot with a layer of transparency and robust security, thereby enabling it to reap the benefits of Ethereum L1's security while simultaneously minimizing costs through validity proofs.

ZK & Optimistic Rollups Valuation Comparison

Critically, Kakarot delegates its proofing responsibilities to Starkware, a distinction that sets it apart from other Type 2 solutions like Scroll and Taiko. This delegation brings to the surface an intriguing observation about the feasibility of Type 1 zkEVMs. The initial expense of proving a Type 1 compared to a Type 2 zkEVM is exorbitantly high without a clear advantage. Given the circumstances, the more pragmatic approach appears to be to commence as a Type 2, conserve resources, and transition to a Type 1 zkEVM when the timing and financial aspects are favorable.

Kakarot currently stands as a Type 3 zkEVM, with plans to transition to Type 2.5 following the introduction of compilers, and ultimately achieve Type 2 status once its fees align with those of Ethereum. This strategy, coupled with the platform's lean codebase and swift developmental pace, sets Kakarot apart from its competitors.

Different ZK EVMs - source:

In a marked departure from the past, Kakarot zkEVM liberates developers from the necessity of proficiency in Cairo, Starknet's native language. This shift heralds a new era, allowing developers to deploy code crafted in Solidity or any other EVM-compatible language onto Starknet, akin to Ethereum or Polygon, essentially democratizing the landscape for developers. In its nascent stages, Kakarot will serve as an EVM nestled within Starknet L2, empowering developers to directly deploy their Solidity contracts on Starknet, utilizing familiar toolchains such as Foundry or Hardhat. This ensures a seamless user experience, inclusive of compatibility with Metamask.

The team at Kakarot envisages fortifying interoperability with native Starknet protocols, thereby fostering composability between a diverse array of protocols spanning DeFi and GameFi. The subsequent phase of the roadmap projects a confluence between Kakarot and the Madara sequencer, leading to the establishment of a unified stack.

With 142 opcodes, 9 precompiles, and an open process for updating these elements, the EVM is truly a feat of modern virtual machine architecture. The potential for a Cairo-based EVM immediately sparked interest in the StarkNet community, leading to the rapid development of what the team describes as a "free" zkEVM.

In a remarkably short span of six months, the team transformed this bold aspiration into reality, presenting a viable solution to scale Ethereum without compromising on the essential tenets of security or decentralization. Kakarot's zkEVM now allows any smart contract, no matter its complexity, to run on StarkNet without modifications, ushering in a new era for developers constructing and scaling applications on Ethereum.

The ripple effects of Kakarot's arrival extend beyond just scalability. The platform retains the richness of the Ethereum development environment, allowing developers to leverage their existing knowledge and codebase. Plus, with the wealth of applications already built on Ethereum, Kakarot's zkEVM opens the door for these projects to capitalize on StarkNet's enhanced scalability. The potential repercussions on DeFi, NFTs, and other decentralized applications (dApps) are immense.

Kakarot's robust lineup of supporters positions it favorably to instigate significant change in DeFi and blockchain gaming (GameFi). The team's emphasis on promoting composability between different protocols and enhancing interoperability with native StarkNet protocols paves the way for a more interconnected, seamless ecosystem.

The significance of this development shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly in light of the swift evolution of blockchain technology and decentralized applications. As we step into a new era of blockchain-empowered applications, scalability solutions like Kakarot will be critical in facilitating user adoption and enhancing usability to fuel the overall growth of the ecosystem.

The Kakarot success story is a beacon for other decentralized, community-driven initiatives, embodying the ethos of blockchain technology. It serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovative thinking in driving technological progress and overcoming challenges. With ongoing support from industry heavyweights, the future for Kakarot is bright, with its potential to shake the very foundations of the blockchain world.

The completion of the pre-seed investment round is a pivotal moment in Kakarot's journey. Observing how this venture evolves, in its journey to impact the landscape and influence the development and adoption of decentralized applications, promises to be fascinating. The trailblazing team behind Kakarot zkEVM has undoubtedly set the stage for a profound change in the blockchain industry.

Kakarot zkEVM represents an exhilarating phase in the world of blockchain technology. Despite its brief history, it has made significant strides, garnered the attention of major industry figures, and demonstrated enormous potential to revolutionize the field. As we look towards the future, we eagerly anticipate the innovative advancements and contributions this platform is poised to deliver. Without a doubt, Kakarot zkEVM represents a pivotal development in the blockchain and Ethereum landscape.



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