Interview Technology
November 21, 2023

Scroll’s Shahryar Hasnani Delves into Zero-Knowledge Solutions’ Impact on Web3’s Future

Scroll's Shahryar Hasnani Delves into Zero-Knowledge Solutions' Impact on Web3's Future

The emergence of Zero Knowledge (ZKP) Protocols is leaving an indelible mark on the Web3 ecosystem with its ability to empower privacy and scaling solutions. This novel approach not only bolsters security but also ushers current developments to a new era of trust and transparency.

In an interview with Metaverse Post — Scroll‘s Partnerships Manager, Shahryar Hasnani shared intriguing insights on the evolving domain of Zero-Knowledge advancements. He discussed implications of practical solutions such as zkVMs, ZK Rollups and highligted Scroll’s strategic initiatives for molding the Web3 landscape.

Scroll recently announced its mainnet launch, after an extensive 15-month journey featuring multiple testnets, rigorous security audits, and a commitment to open-source collaboration. Founded in 2021 with a mission to enhance Ethereum scalability, the company actively collaborates with the open-source community.

With a strong emphasis on developer experience, Scroll offers EVM-compatible solutions, enabling transition for existing applications and developer tooling from Ethereum to Scroll.

Scroll’s Hasnani believes that L2 solutions built around zkVMs introduce distinct capabilities not found in those constrained by the EVM instruction set. Specifically optimized for the technical architecture of zero-knowledge proof, zkVMs allow verification of arbitrary code.

He said that although the current development environment may not revolve around Ethereum staples like Solidity, notable strides are being made to enable coding in more familiar languages like Rust.

“The convergence of zkEVMs and zkVMs is inevitable, broadening the scope of zk-based solutions and positioning zkVMs as a critical element in guiding the future of blockchain scaling solutions. This will lead to more zkEVM components designed to provide development flexibility beyond catering exclusively to Ethereum, broadening the scope of zk-based solutions,” Scroll’s Hasnani told Metaverse Post. “As a result, zkVMs are a critical element in guiding the future of blockchain scaling solutions.”

The Rise of Universally Applicable Solutions in ZK

Sharing his views on the indicators that suggest the rise of practical, universally applicable solutions in the Zero-Knowledge sector, Hasnani shared that in his opinion — key indicators include the usage and value present on ZK-rollups, with scalability and cost-effectiveness becoming universal needs that are beginning to be addressed.

“ZK rollups on Ethereum cumulatively surpass a billion dollars in TVL already, with tens of millions of transactions per month. This is an early indicator of the confidence in the ZK sector’s ability to push the blockchain ecosystem forward. Another critical indicator is the number of developers and overall developer activity, both in terms of ZK-focused projects as well as applications that also leverage ZK,” said Hasnani.

He added that while overall developer numbers have naturally been weaker in the bear market, the ZK space has seen growth from a niche, academic domain to a critical field in the advancement of blockchain tech — with the numbers of developers in the space and projects indirectly using its technology increasing.

Scroll contributes to this trend by working on ZK privacy and verifiability applications, fostering growth from a niche academic domain to a critical field in the advancement of blockchain technology.

“While Scroll’s near-term protocol roadmap is focused on issues closer to the current state of the EVM, there are a variety of ways zkML may be utilized on-chain at the application layer (and perhaps eventually at the infrastructure layer),” said Hasnani. “We already work with and encourage the development of ZK privacy and verifiability applications; extensions of that within ZKML.”

Scroll has bolstered the security and privacy features of its projects through collaborations on Zero-Knowledge (ZK) privacy and verifiability applications, along with extensions within the Zero-Knowledge Markup Language (ZKML).

“Verifiable computation allows for offloading arbitrary compute (such as that of a compute-intense algorithm or model) and utilizing the results on-chain in smart contracts. Projects that take this approach, like Axiom, can very soon enable data-rich experiences across applications on Scroll, from DeFi to gaming.

Consensus Mechanisms in the Scroll Ecosystem

In the pursuit of decentralization, Hasnani said that Scroll currently confronts pivotal decisions regarding its consensus mechanism. He believes that currently, both Proof of Authority (PoA) and Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) are deemed impractical for permissionless blockchains aspiring towards decentralization.

These mechanisms rely on trusted sets of parties, finding more applicability in niche use cases within permissioned blockchains.

“Proof of Stake (PoS), aligns with Ethereum’s model, but there’s ongoing debate around its centralizing tendencies (some argue not unlike the PoA model). MEV Auctions are another consideration for decentralization: MEVAs mitigate toxic MEV and redistribute value to users through block auctions; this can be extended to sequencer rights as well. Unfortunately, MEVAs can introduce similar capital centralization concerns as PoS or even exacerbate them,” explained Scroll’s Hasnani.

“Although there’s no clear answer yet, there’s an incredible amount of research being done in the space, with real decentralization hopefully on the horizon,” he added.

Scroll’s Strategy for Nurturing Developer Engagement in Web3

Amid a decline in developer numbers, fostering and sustaining developer engagement in the Web3 domain is a pressing concern for many companies. To navigate this challenge, Scroll’s approach centers on two primary channels: content and real-world engagement.

Scroll’s devrel team prioritizes the creation of clear, comprehensive, and intuitive documentation, coupled with engaging and user-friendly content tailored to developers of all proficiency levels. Recognizing the significance of this approach, the team aims to capture the broadest spectrum of developers, both within and beyond the crypto community.

“Real-world engagement is the key to creating strong relationships with groups of developers and spreading your tech by word-of-mouth. Here as well, the Scroll team is present at nearly all major conferences and hackathons to support and reward developers,” Scroll’s Hasnani told Metaverse Post. “Other areas for real-world engagement are with universities and their blockchain clubs, which are pipelines for high-quality talent and new, risk-taking developers.”

For navigating the dynamic landscape, Hasnani asserts that organizations can foster sustained developer interest and positive industry momentum by crafting informative and accessible materials, and actively participating in key industry events.

The future painted by the Zero-Knowledge Protocol is one where blockchain technology empowerment takes center stage. As we navigate this transformative era, its impact becomes more profound, setting the stage for a digital landscape where security, privacy and user control are paramount.

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Victor is a Managing Tech Editor/Writer at Metaverse Post and covers artificial intelligence, crypto, data science, metaverse and cybersecurity within the enterprise realm. He boasts half a decade of media and AI experience working at well-known media outlets such as VentureBeat, DatatechVibe and Analytics India Magazine. Being a Media Mentor at prestigious universities including the Oxford and USC and with a Master's degree in data science and analytics, Victor is deeply committed to staying abreast of emerging trends. He offers readers the latest and most insightful narratives from the Tech and Web3 landscape.

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Victor Dey
Victor Dey

Victor is a Managing Tech Editor/Writer at Metaverse Post and covers artificial intelligence, crypto, data science, metaverse and cybersecurity within the enterprise realm. He boasts half a decade of media and AI experience working at well-known media outlets such as VentureBeat, DatatechVibe and Analytics India Magazine. Being a Media Mentor at prestigious universities including the Oxford and USC and with a Master's degree in data science and analytics, Victor is deeply committed to staying abreast of emerging trends. He offers readers the latest and most insightful narratives from the Tech and Web3 landscape.

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