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December 13, 2023

Levitation Protocol 101: A Guide to SKALE's ZK Solution | SKALE

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What is the Levitation Protocol?

The Levitation Protocol is a transformative decentralized Zero-Knowledge (ZK) scaling solution embedded within the SKALE architecture. Offering interoperability with existing open-sourced ZK Rollups, the protocol enhances the SKALE AppChain network's flexibility and security, fostering decentralization across multiple ZK Rollups on a single Levitation-enabled chain.

What is Zero Knowledge

Zero Knowledge (ZK) is a cryptographic concept that allows an entity to prove the authenticity of a piece of information to another party without revealing the actual data. It serves as the bedrock for ensuring privacy and security within numerous applications, also outside of the blockchain industry.

Why Zero Knowledge

ZK rollups are a significant advancement in blockchain scaling and efficiency. Unlike traditional scaling solutions, ZK rollups bundle hundreds of transactions into a single transaction, reducing the overall burden on the blockchain. This results in faster transaction speeds and lower costs, as the network is no longer congested with individual transactions.

Furthermore, ZK rollups enhance privacy and security using cryptographic proofs, ensuring that transaction data is valid without revealing any sensitive information. This combination of efficiency, speed, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced privacy makes ZK rollups a promising solution for scaling blockchain networks.

What Problems Levitation Protocol Solves, and How

Levitation is crafted to expedite the mainstream adoption of ZK Rollups (ZKRs) by tackling three primary challenges:

  1. Centralization: Current ZKRs in operation often exhibit a centralization bias.
  2. Fragmentation: With numerous ZKR initiatives underway, Dapps are in dire need of a modular layer promoting interoperability so that various ZKRs can operate cohesively.
  3. Isolation: Existing ZKRs cannot peek into each other's states, complicating cross-ZKR operations like token transfers.

How Levitation Differs from Other ZK Rollup Solutions

  1. Decentralization: Unlike traditional ZK solutions that are centralized in nature, Levitation Protocol introduces a decentralized sequencer, housed within smart contracts on a SKALE Chain.
  2. Interoperability & Modularity: Levitation transcends its role as just a protocol, it acts as a transformative toolkit. It has the capability to change existing ZK rollups into interoperable modules that function together.
  3. Unified Security: Levitation ensures that various ZK Rollups can function on a single Levitation-enabled SKALE chain. This offers a consolidated transaction record, facilitating seamless interaction between rollups.
Levitation is crafted to expedite the mainstream adoption of ZK Rollups (ZKRs) by tackling three primary challenges: centralization, fragmentation, and isolation.

How Dapps Can Benefit from Levitation

Dapps running on a Levitation-enabled chain see Levitation as two chains, ZKChain and FastChain, connected by a bridge. Dapps can take advantage of the high security of ZKChain and high performance of FastChain.

The ZKChain is tailored for higher value transactions and the minting of new assets. However, it trades off a bit of speed, as it waits for transaction finalization on Ethereum and the ZK proof calculation time. On the other hand, the FastChain prioritizes actions that demand faster speed and performance operating with the regular security of the SKALE Network, which remains robust thanks to SKALE's shared security model and the cryptographic security it inherits from Ethereum.

As an example, a blockchain game built on SKALE will use ZKChain to mint NFTs, while implementing interactive gaming dynamics on FastChain.

Dapps running on a Levitation-enabled chain see Levitation as two chains, ZKChain and FastChain, connected by a bridge. Dapps can take advantage of the high security of ZKChain and high performance of FastChain.

How Levitation Works and Interacts with ZK Technologies

Levitation serves as the foundational framework, efficiently managing the initial processes of transaction acceptance, ordering, and network relay. In contrast, ZKRs are specialized systems focused on Zero Knowledge-specific operations (execution, proving and verification). In this collaborative process, Levitation handles the primary steps, while the ZKR is responsible for executing and verifying ZK proofs, ensuring a streamlined and secure transaction flow.

How Levitation Enables Transparent MEV Protection

Levitation's protocol ensures transactions are ordered on-chain prior to their relay to the ZKR. This approach provides a straightforward yet powerful defense against front running and MEV without the need for ZKR modification. The system, called Transparent Transaction Encryption (TTE), ensures transactions are encrypted and only decrypted when it's too late for other users to alter the transaction sequence. This timely decryption shields users against front running and MEV threats.

The Levitation Protocol marks a significant leap forward in blockchain technology, specifically addressing the challenges of scalability, security, and interoperability within the Zero-Knowledge Rollup (ZKR) landscape. By embedding within the SKALE architecture, Levitation offers a decentralized, flexible, and secure solution, enhancing the app-chain network's functionality. Its innovative approach tackles centralization, fragmentation, and isolation issues prevalent in existing ZKR systems, streamlining the integration and operation of multiple ZK Rollups on a single chain. This protocol not only facilitates faster and more cost-effective transactions but also upholds privacy and security standards, essential in today's digital world.

About SKALE

SKALE is the world's fastest blockchain, designed for fast, secure, user-centric Ethereum scaling. SKALE chains offer zero gas fees to end-users and have advanced features such as ML/AI smart contracts, on-chain file storage, interchain messaging, zero-cost minting, and enhanced security features.

The SKALE Network enables developers to deploy their own EVM blockchain in minutes without sacrificing speed, security, or decentralization. Welcome to the SKALEverse.

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