Posted on Jun 06, 2024Read on Mirror.xyz

Inviting Teams to Advance the Decentralization of zkSync Era’s Prover

In another step towards decentralizing the core technology behind zkSync Era, the system’s prover network is now open to participants across the ecosystem. Introducing new participants will make zkSync Era’s prover more scalable, robust, and remove the reliance on any entity to maintain the critical mechanism responsible for computing proofs to validate transactions.

Read on to learn about the prover decentralization process, key milestones and objectives, and how to get involved.

Goals of the Prover Network

Opening the prover pipeline to more participants will be a gradual process. In the early stages, it will enable the core team to gain real-world experience with more provers and to further explore mechanisms for incentivizing a healthy prover market with robust dynamics.

The proof production pipeline will be available in a way that:

  • Allows more prover pools to participate

  • Enables long-term hardware/software co-design that reduces the cost of proof production and benefits end-users through lower fees

  • Leads to the creation of several prover pools through market dynamics and supply/demand mechanisms

  • Enables handling of differential proving speeds for differently-priced transactions

  • Supports solo-proving by smaller participants

Decentralizing the prover network and increasing the efficiency of proof production will benefit end users by resulting in lower fees. A significant portion of this process will require sophisticated software and hardware co-design. zkSync Era’s prover decentralization will be achieved with the more robust participation.

Prover Network Phases

Each prover will pass through five major milestones in a process that opens proof submission to provers that can be vetoed and then integrated with the proving network. The below timings are approximations and should be used for guidance only.

📍Phase 0: Test Integration (Early Q3 2024)

All provers start here. To ensure provers can work with zkSync Era prover code, an endpoint will be set up with fixed batch input and its corresponding proof. The smoke test is successful if a proof generated from the input produces the same proof exposed on the endpoint. An example of setting up a proving test using zksync-era prover implementation will be provided.

📍Phase 1: Proof Verification (Mid-late Q3 2024)

Provers announce intent and integrate with Matter Labs, one of the core contributors to zkSync Era. Once provers have passed the smoke test, they will contact Matter Labs to integrate with proof verification. During this step, provers will gain access to real batch inputs. The proofs for batches can be sent to the endpoints available in zkSync, and zkSync will validate whether the proof works as intended. After the first successful proof, these prover will move to Milestone 2.

📍Phase 2: Real-Time Proof Verification (Late Q3 2024)

Provers are ready for testing. In this milestone, provers will produce proofs in real time and get verified on them. After enough confidence is gained by submitting proofs that are verified at a regular cadence, provers will move on to Phase 3.

📍Phase 3: Live Proving Under Test (Early Q4 2024)

Provers earn trust on their implementations. A small subset of proofs generated will be sent to L1. Provers must still provide correct proofs at a regular cadence, but given that confidence is established, their output should end up on L1 as well.

📍Phase 4: Live Proving (Q4 2024)

Provers become part of the proving network. In the final step, provers are fully integrated, their proofs are sent to L1, and they continuously produce proofs as part of the prover network.

Get Involved

This initiative is a major step toward further decentralization of zkSync Era’s technology, enabling prover pools to emerge through market dynamics and paving the way for large-scale solo proving with consumer-grade hardware. If you’re interested in joining the network and contributing to zkSync’s decentralization, get in touch at [email protected].