This new feature will make Solana’s blockchain even faster

Solana developers Light Protocol and Helius Labs have introduced a new technology called “ZK Compression”. This innovation promises to significantly improve scalability for applications on the Solana network. But what exactly does this technology entail and why is it causing a stir in the crypto world?

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How does ZK Compression work?

ZK Compression uses a process that ‘state compression‘ is called. This allows developers to store certain types of data in Solana’s cheaper ledger space instead of the more expensive account space. A hash or digital fingerprint of off-chain data is stored on-chain for verification using sparse state trees.

Benefits for developers

According to Light Protocol, ZK Compression allows developers to store 100 compressed token accounts for around 0.00004 sol, while it would normally cost around 0.2 sol. This is a cost saving of no less than 5000 times. Helius Labs founder Mert Mumtaz illustrates this with an example: an airdrop to 1 million users would normally cost more than $260,000, but with this new technology only $50.

Criticism from the Ethereum community

ZK Compression’s announcement has sparked criticism from the Ethereum community. Alex Gluchowski, founder of ZKsync, stilt that the entire monolithic Solana thesis has disappeared at once. Ethereum investor Ryan Berckmans criticized the announcement for not characterizing the new approach as a Layer 2 network, which he called “unethical nonsense.”

Response from Solana

In response to the criticism, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko stated that ZK Compression can indeed be seen as a Layer 2 solution, but without the drawbacks that people often complain about with traditional Layer 2 networks. It doesn’t need a multi-signature security board, users don’t need to switch chain IDs, it doesn’t need a governance token, and it doesn’t need an external sequencer, he said.

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