Layer-2 Network Starknet Gets Ethereum Virtual Machine With Zero-Knowledge Proofs

The zkEVM, called Kakarot, already in testing, will be available via the Starknet Stack.

AccessTimeIconMay 22, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. UTC

StarkWare, the main developer firm behind the layer-2 blockchain Starknet, shared Wednesday plans for its own zero-knowledge rollup compatible with the existing Ethereum infrastructure, a setup commonly known as a zkEVM.

The zkEVM, called Kakarot, already in testing, will be available via the Starknet Stack, a set of software tools that make it easier for developers to spin up their own customized application-specific chains.

Starknet already has its own zero-knowledge virtual machine (zkVM), but using a programming language called Cairo. With the zkEVM, developers will instead be able to code with Solidity, the most common programming language for Ethereum smart contracts, making the Starknet blockchain more accessible to a broader array of project builders.

Kakarot is currently in a “public whitelist” phase, according to a press release seen by CoinDesk. This means that only a select few developers will have access to the Kakarot zkEVM before it hits mainnet, to test out new protocol changes.

“This is a great sign of Starknet’s growth and maturity," said the CEO of StarkWare, Eli Ben-Sasson, in a statement to CoinDesk. "Starknet dared to be different, and use the powerful Cairo language, instead of Solidity. At the same time, some developers want the zkEVM approach, and for that reason, this is excellent news for the network.”

The announcement comes as StarkWare recently shared that it will be coming out with a new cryptographic prover, called “Stwo.”


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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.