Cronos Labs Launches zkEVM Chain Testnet Utilizing zkSync’s ZK Stack Technology
Cronos Labs introduces its Cronos zkEVM Chain testnet, a zero-knowledge (ZK) rollup network that represents an important milestone on Cronos’ journey towards scalability and mainstream adoption.
Cronos Labs, a leading web3 accelerator with a focus on DeFi, GameFi, and the Cronos ecosystem development, has proudly announced the launch of its Cronos zkEVM Chain testnet. The testnet, leveraging ZK Stack technology, is the result of a strategic partnership involving Cronos Labs, Matter Labs (the brains behind zkSync), and engineering teams from notable entities like Crypto.com, VVS Finance, Fulcrom Finance, and Veno Finance.
With a vision to ease and secure the adoption process for over 80 million crypto users worldwide, Cronos is set on a mission to streamline the use of self-custodial Web3, DeFi, NFTs, and GameFi for the next billion crypto enthusiasts.
Ken Timsit, Managing Director of Cronos Labs, emphasizes the significance of this development: “The Cronos ecosystem already boasts a top 10 blockchain by Total Value Locked, a top 5 Cosmos network by staked amount, a top 30 cryptocurrency, and a substantial EVM-compatible app ecosystem with over 500 projects. Our next objective is to gear up for the impending surge in Web3 adoption. The Cronos zkEVM testnet is a pivotal step for us and our partners, including VVS, Fulcrom, and Veno, to delve into ZK layer 2 technology, setting the stage for growth from 2024. We invite other Cronos apps to participate in this testnet.”
Marco Cora, senior vice president of business and operations at Matter Labs, highlighted the potential of the ZK Stack: “The introduction of the ZK Stack was a game-changer, allowing anyone to build on Ethereum using hyperchains. This technology not only taps into Ethereum’s extensive user base and liquidity but also upholds its robust security and decentralization standards. The deployment of a hyperchain by Cronos, with its vast and diverse ecosystem and substantial on-chain value, is a prime example of hyperchains’ potential for widespread adoption.”
The Cronos zkEVM testnet, a ZK layer 2 roll-up network built on top of the Ethereum Sepolia testnet, is secured by Ethereum in terms of final settlement and data availability. It operates using the Boojum STARK-based zero-knowledge proof system, notable for its low hardware requirements and reduced fees. The network’s native token, TCRO, facilitates transaction fee payments, with the unique capability to support payments in various cryptocurrencies thanks to the native account abstraction of zkSync.
This testnet stands out as the first live public implementation using ZK Stack, a versatile and open-source framework based on zkSync’s technology, designed to create customized ZK-powered L2s and L3s, known as hyperchains. These hyperchains function in parallel, maintaining a unified settlement on the Ethereum mainnet. In 2024, they are expected to feature a shared native bridge and unified interchain messaging, enabling secure token, message, and transaction transfers across hyperchains. Already achieving more than 100 transactions per second in internal benchmarks, the testnet invites the community to conduct further tests and share findings with the broader Cronos community.
The launch of the Cronos zkEVM testnet marks a crucial milestone in the multi-year scalability roadmap for Cronos. Earlier in 2023, the Cronos network underwent significant performance enhancements and announced the commercial rollout of application-specific optimistic rollup networks, thanks to a partnership with Caldera. The transformation of Crypto.org Chain into Cronos POS chain in October 2023 further diversified the ecosystem. Cronos now operates as a multi-chain ecosystem, supporting a variety of user needs and use cases:
Cronos (the EVM blockchain): A leading Ethereum-compatible network built on the Cosmos SDK, hosting over 500 project teams and securing around $300 million in DeFi Total Value Locked.
Cronos POS chain: Serving as the layer-zero network ensuring the security of the entire ecosystem, it ranks in the top 5 of all Cosmos chains by staked value.
Cronos zkEVM (testnet): The newest addition, focusing on integrating Cronos apps into the zkSync hyperchain ecosystem to expand its user base and facilitate liquidity movements between Ethereum and Cronos chains.
The next steps for Cronos involve analyzing the zkEVM network’s performance and determining the optimal path for the mainnet deployment of ZK layer 2 technology. The protocol team is committed to ongoing experimentation with layer 2 technologies and data availability protocols to enhance the Cronos ecosystem. Additionally, they plan to maintain close collaboration with the Cosmos ecosystem for the integration of new Cosmos SDK modules and IBC functionalities into the Cronos chains.