RISC Zero, developers of leading general purpose zero-knowledge (ZK) virtual machine technology, today announced Zeth, a first-of-its-kind “Type 0” (fully Ethereum-compatible) zkEVM built on the RISC Zero zkVM and Bonsai proving service. Zeth is a new way of architecting L2’s and scaling Ethereum, making this milestone release a significant step forward for ZK tech and the Ethereum ecosystem. Zeth paves the way for unprecedented ease in building powerful and efficient ZK infrastructure such as ZK rollups, ZK light clients, and ZK bridges.
Type 0: A new category of zkEVM
Ethereum was not originally designed around ZK-friendliness, so there are many parts of the protocol that take a large amount of computation to ZK-prove. Type 1 aims to replicate Ethereum exactly, and so it has no way of mitigating these inefficiencies. At present, proofs for Ethereum blocks take many hours to produce. However, using Zeth, Ethereum blocks can be proven in minutes.
“This is a watershed moment for the blockchain industry and the Ethereum ecosystem – Zeth is a compelling example of RISC Zero’s mission to maximize the utility of zero-knowledge cryptography. Our technology allowed Zeth to be built at a tiny fraction of the cost of similar efforts; RISC Zero’s zkVM can be used by any team to build innovative new offerings in record time.” said Brian Retford, CEO and Co-Founder of RISC Zero.
Roughly one year ago, Vitalik published The different types of ZK-EVMs. Zeth was built using standard Rust crates — the same crates used by popular full nodes like Reth. Because it makes no changes to Ethereum semantics and reuses code from popular Ethereum node software, Zeth is a new category of zkEVMs — Type 0 zkEVM (fully Ethereum compatibility and high code reuse).
ZK rollups and zkEVMs
Existing ZK rollups and zkEVM circuits are monolithic in design and lack upgradability without a high level understanding of ZK cryptography from the developer. In contrast, RISC Zero’s zkVM-based approach to Zeth enables any developer to customize and modify to suit their needs.
Zeth makes it possible to ZK prove a given Ethereum block without relying on a validator or sync committee in minutes. And with RISC Zero’s support for onchain verification, anyone can cheaply verify those proofs on chain. Zeth provides everything needed to generate ZK proofs for EVM-based blocks. This is a key component in any zkEVM or bridge.
Zeth, based on revm, and can easily be adapted to support other zkEVMs and EVM-compatible chains. This ensures easy updates to Zeth for future EIPs while providing modularity that enables developers to build their own block construction logic into Zeth.
As a Type 0 zkEVM, Zeth enables developers to build ZK rollups with completely native EVM and Ethereum support. Zeth is open source, so developers can easily modify and use it in their projects. The proofs can be verified onchain (perfect for bridges and L2s) or in native apps (perfect for full nodes and light clients).
To start building with Zeth, go to https://github.com/risc0/zeth
About RISC Zero
RISC Zero is revolutionizing the internet by creating the infrastructure and tooling for Web3 developers around the globe to build zero-knowledge proof software. The project is on a mission to empower Web3 developers to build with the latest zero knowledge technology, enabling individuals worldwide to leverage its benefits. Backed by notable investors, including Blockchain Capital and Bain Capital Crypto, RISC Zero has raised a $40M Series A.