Vitalik Buterin and StarkWare Founders Invests in zkEVM Project on StarkNet

Kakarot Labs, a zkEVM network development firm, has successfully completed its pre-seed funding round with the participation of Vitalik Buterin and the founders of StarkWare. Kakarot zkEVM is an Ethereum-compatible network written in Cairo, which is the programming language of computation for StarkWare. The protocols and applications built on StarkNet, as well as the StarkWare ecosystem, all utilize Cairo.

According to the project’s announcement on June 1st, Kakarot zkEVM will enable teams to build and deploy Ethereum-compatible applications. Developers can use Solidity, the language of Ethereum, and Kakarot will also support interactions between protocols on StarkNet.

The development roadmap of the project consists of three stages. Initially, Kakarot will operate as Starknet Layer 2. The goal of this stage is to bring the EVM to StarkNet and help expand the network’s ecosystem. Subsequently, Kakarot will collaborate with Madara to create Layer 3 zkEVM, aiming to reduce transaction fees and increase scalability through rollup technology.

Zero-knowledge rollup technology has garnered significant attention from the cryptocurrency community recently. Even Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, highlighted the importance of zk-SNARK technology at the EDCON 2023 conference in May. Furthermore, in a post from 2017, the young engineer also mentioned zk-Stark as a younger sibling that helps improve the shortcomings of zk-SNARKs.

However, Vitalik also emphasized that both zk-Stark and zk-SNARKs require considerable time to build. Introduced since 2017, the zk-Stark ecosystem still remains relatively modest compared to other scaling solutions like Optimistic Rollup. According to DefiLlama, the Total Value Locked (TVL) on StarkNet is only $11 million, representing just 0.5% when compared to Arbitrum.

The StarkNet team hopes that Kakarot zkEVM will serve as a bridge between the ecosystem and Ethereum, attracting more developers and capital to StarkNet. Previously, non-EVM projects have also developed compatible layers with Ethereum for similar purposes, such as Near’s Aurora or Solana’s Neon.

With the completion of its pre-seed funding round and its ambitious roadmap, Kakarot Labs aims to contribute to the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem and provide developers with a powerful platform for building decentralized applications. As the adoption of zero-knowledge rollup technology continues to expand, the role of projects like Kakarot zkEVM becomes increasingly vital in the evolution of blockchain networks.

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