zkEVM: Vitalik Buterin Proposes Solution to Ethereum Verification Problems

3. April 2023 0 Comments

• Vitalik Buterin proposes two options to solve layer-1 verification problems on-chain while improving scalability.
• The first option is to reduce the mainnet gas-per-block target from 15 million to 1 million, with the only function of layer-1 being to verify layer-2 protocols.
• The second option is using Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge (SNARK) to verify the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) execution of an Ethereum block.

Verification Problems in Ethereum

Ethereum, a smart contracting platform powering decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) operations, and more, has a problem that cannot be solely solved by layer-2 scaling platforms, its cofounder Vitalik Buterin recently stated. In a blog post, Buterin said though the network is widely used and there are users, it is a challenge to verify mainnet transactions. This means many people rely on trusted third parties including light clients instead of running their own nodes. Additionally, verifying whether a particular Ethereum validator follows established protocol rules can be difficult.

Proposed Solutions by Vitalik Buterin

Buterin proposes two solutions for addressing this issue: constraining the mainnet and forcing activity to layer 2; or utilizing Succinct Noninteractive Argument of Knowledge (SNARK) for verifying EVM execution of an Ethereum block. Constraining the mainnet would require reducing the mainnet gas per block target from 15 million to 1 million with only one purpose – verifying layer 2 protocols. However, this approach could render many existing L1 based applications economically unfeasible as well as lead user funds getting stuck due to high fees. On another hand SNARKs could be used for generating proofs in real time but could exhaust device’s browser or drain battery rapidly in case of portable devices syncing data on chain for first time or after long offline period.

Benefits of using zkEVM

Using zkEVM could help solve verification issues while making scalability improvement possible on chain basis without having user funds at risk due high fees associated with mass migration process in case of constraining mainnet solution proposed earlier by cofounder Vitalik Buterin . It would also enable easy verification on various devices like laptops , phones and browser extensions without causing any strain on those devices when syncing data initially or after long offline periods .

Challenges Ahead

Although both solutions have their merits there still remain some challenges that need addressing before either solution can be fully implemented . For instance , it needs further research into writing SNARK code for verifying consensus side of a block , which may take considerable amount time depending upon complexity involved . Moreover , constraining main net could make certain existing applications unfeasible thus requiring careful consideration before implementation .


In conclusion , zkEVM presents an opportunity for solving verification problems while maintaining scalability improvements in Ethereum network . There are still challenges ahead but sufficient research into both proposed solutions can help develop feasible plan that can address these issues while providing suitable environment for users looking forward towards leveraging blockchain technology .