Back to the list

Can zkOmnichain Be The New Holy Grail Of Web3?


news.coincu.com 15 February 2023 15:53, UTC
Reading time: ~8 m

If the market share of Ethereum itself can be maintained at more than 70% for many years, then Omnichain itself is a pseudo-concept. However, Ethereum cannot maintain a market share of 70% forever. The figure below shows the trend of the TVL ratio of Ethereum from August 2020 to February 2023. The latest market share of Ethereum is 59.24%.

Although the chain layer infrastructure of Web3 will maintain the pattern of “one super and many strong” for a long time, and Ethereum itself is constantly upgrading its technology, with the absorption of Layer 1 traffic by Ethereum Layer 2 such as zkRollup and opRollup, as BNB Chain, with the strong growth of challengers such as Polygon, with the rapid rise of new public chains such as Atpos and Sui, and with the sparks of the Cosmos system, we will see the market share of Ethereum itself below 50% for a long time after 2025.

TVL ratio of Ethereum from August 2020 to February 2023

Almost all applications after the DeFi summer in 2020 are deployed individually through the most primitive chains to achieve multi-chain status. This simple and crude method not only brings a lot of troubles to developers in terms of deployment and operation but also causes severe fragmentation of liquidity on each chain and huge price differences between chains of the same Token.

In addition to the above-mentioned original methods, there are three main paths for the application to achieve full-chain coverage: The first path is also a common path for the first generation of cross-chain products, that is, the Application communicates with the initial chain, and the target chain through an intermediate consensus protocol. Interoperability. Appplicatio is usually not deployed on this intermediary chain.

Typical representatives are self-contained Cosmos, Polkadot, and Multichain, Celer, Wormhole, Thorchain, and Axelar; the second path is completed through the Optimistic mechanism. Typical representatives of this type of path subdivision include Synapse, Nomad, and Hyperlane, which use Optimistic Verification & Fraud Proofs, LayerZero and Across, which use Optimistic Oracle & None Proofs; the third path is the application passes the full chain based on zero-knowledge proof.

The interoperability protocol zkOmnichain interoperates with other chains. Typical representatives are Electron, Polymer, and Succinct, which have come out of the Cosmos system, Overearlity, which focuses on NFT cross-chain, and Way Network, which is committed to providing general solutions.

Comparison of previous generations of cross-chain protocols

Finally, there is another path. After the application is deployed to a new smart contract public chain, it will interoperate with other chains through this chain. Typical representatives are ZetaChain and Map Protocol. This is a path that is both heavy on development and operations.

First of all, it is necessary to solve the problem of book alignment when the EVM public chain crosses heterogeneous chains, which is the same as the first generation of products.

Secondly, because it overlaps with the functions of the existing smart contract public chain, it must directly compete with them to snatch Application resources. But no matter which path you take, you are doing the same thing, that is, converting a single-chain application into a full-chain application.

In the first-generation intermediate chain (consensus protocol) mode, if there are too many verification nodes, it will be slow, and if there are few, it will be insecure, and the operation of nodes is particularly heavy, so it is difficult to become the task of Web3 Network Fabric. In this way, we can only focus on the non-intermediate chain (consensus protocol) model, focusing on the second-generation product model opOmnichain and the third-generation product model zkOmnichain.

Comparison of OP and ZK full-chain interoperability protocols

The Layer 0 track of the full-chain interoperability protocol, like the Layer2 track of the Ethereum expansion solution, has formed two types of solutions: OP and ZK. Let’s first look at the Optimistic Oracle sub-mode in OP’s solution.

LayerZero, in this mode, uses Chainlink oracles, and the Chainlink project party also has its own Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). The two project parties Both cooperate and compete. Across uses, UMA as an oracle, and UMA and Across are two projects belonging to the same team.

Such schemes cannot achieve true decentralization and do not have Shared Security. Shared Security means that a specific token or application running on a given infrastructure cannot freely choose its security model but must comply with any security requirements provided by the infrastructure.

All Layer 1 and Layer 2 have Shared Security, and Layer 0 should also have Shared Security instead of Isolated Security because only in this way can we provide end users with the unified underlying security, no matter which application they use no matter application What the program’s internal security policy is. This is the meaning of the word “basic” in infrastructure.

In addition, the aforementioned Optimistic Oracle has strict trust assumptions, and end users must trust that Oracle will not randomly verify. At this time, Oracle is A Third Trusted Party in this mode.

Users must believe that Oracle and Relayer will not conspire to do evil and steal user assets. Moreover, this type of scheme does not produce any Fraud Proofs or Validity Proofs, and there is no such thing as on-chain verification Proofs. Teams such as L2BEAT, Nomad, and Way Network have pointed out various drawbacks and problems that will not be discussed here.

Next, let’s look at the Optimistic Verification sub-mode in OP’s solution. This mode is more rigorous and prudent than the Optimistic Oraclementioned above and will generate Fraud Proofs. Messages are optimistically signed on the source chain, and a network of off-chain Validators is responsible for submitting fraud proofs to the target chain within the enforced Optimistic Window (Timeout Period).

Fraudulent messages may be challenged during this window. The Validator can check and reject the message and ban any fraudulent transactions if any errors are noticed. Optimistic Verification relies on the assumption of a single honest verifier, compared to the assumption of an honest majority in the external verification network of the first generation of products.

Optimistic verification only needs an honest Validator who initiates a Change to guard the security of the system. But Tradeoff is the delay brought about by this window period. Fortunately, this Latency is not as long as opRollup. Instead of waiting for 7 days, wait for dozens of minutes. For example, Nomad has set a Timeout Period of 30 minutes.

Finally, let’s look at the most important zkOmnichain, which belongs to Zero-Knowledge Verification and has better robustness. Like zkRollup, zkOmnichain also produces Validity Proofs. One of the most important steps is to call the Sum-Check Protocol module, do proof (Sum) off-chain, and verify (Check) on-chain. Completeness and fairness are achieved through this very rigorous mathematical and cryptographic verification.

As for simplicity and Succinctness, Groth16 can be used to further compress the Proof Size. For example, the original Proof Size generated by Way Network’s zkSpark is about 100KB, but it can be reduced to 130B after Groth16 compression.

Way Network zkPark Sum-Check Protocol

It is with zkOmnichain, a “strong cryptography” full-chain interoperability protocol, that we can finally achieve the highest standard of infrastructure products, that is, remove the trustless of any third-party trusted subjects, and remove any central privileged subjects. With the emergence of zkOmnichain, we finally saw the possibility of changing from “chain” to “network”, and saw the feasibility of building an infrastructure Layer0 that can support the deployment of large-scale full-chain applications to various smart contract public chains.

What changes will zkOmnichain-based full-chain applications bring? The first is to remove the Intermediate Chain in the first generation of cross-chain products, which reduces the operating cost of expensive verification nodes; secondly, the Intermediate Token and Wrapped/Staked Token derivative tokens are removed, and users do not need to trust these tokens. Native Token cross-chain transactions can be completed.

Finally, the Oracle oracle machine, the third-party trusted subject, is removed. The significance of this move will help improve the resilience of the entire chain network. The full-chain application based on zkOmnichain neither depends on the intermediary chain nor on the oracle machine nor does it have intermediary tokens and derivative tokens.

It uses rigorous mathematics and cryptography to prove the validity and verify on the chain to achieve the goal of decentralized Decentralized and trustless and realize peer-to-peer full-chain communication like the Bitcoin network.

From Singlechain to Multichain to Omnichain, this is the basic trend of the big wave of Web3. At that time, full-chain applications will no longer be sparse as they are now but will be ubiquitous. Applications based on zkOmnichain have higher cross-chain security, lower communication costs, and faster communication speeds, so they are more likely to succeed.

Full chain application based on zkOmnichain

Over the past period of time, there have been endless chain-wide interoperability protocols aimed at connecting various blockchains into a veritable Web3. In contrast to the context of Web2, Cosmos is equivalent to building a Local Area Network (LAN), while Way Network is dedicated to building a Wide Area Network (WAN) and even the Internet.

The standard for judging the quality of this type of product is not the number of chains that the protocol can access or other things, but whether the access method has the Nakamoto consensus, that is, Decentralized and Trustless, because this is “1”, and the others are “0”, no 1, no more 0 is useless.


It is foreseeable that full-chain applications will gradually replace single-chain/multi-chain applications as the mainstream deployment mode of Web3 applications in the next three years, and zkOmnichain Interoperability Protocol is the key technical means and infrastructure to realize this process. Soon, we will see zkOmnichain-based full-chain AMM applications, full-chain Lending applications, full-chain SocialFi, full-chain NFTs, etc., springing up like mushrooms after rain.

DISCLAIMER: The Information on this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. We encourage you to do your research before investing.

Back to the list