What is Astar Network zkEVM

What is Astar zkEVM - blockchain network guide
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A complete blockchain guide to understand the possibilities of Astar Network zkEVM

Astar Network zkEVM is an enhanced version of the original blockchain, but instead using zero-knowledge cryptography to provide an ecosystem that’s faster and more secure. Dive into this complete blockchain guide and learn everything there is to know about Astar Network zkEVM.

Astar Network explained

Astar Network is one of the leading Japanese smart contract platforms, supporting both EVM and WebAssembly (WASM) dapps. The blockchain even supports interoperability between these two environments, thanks to the built-in cross-virtual machine. Astar Network exists as part of the Polkadot umbrella, tapping into the security of this multichain network. 

Essentially, the Astar ecosystem now consists of two main pillars:

  • Astar Network, part of the Polkadot umbrella
  • Astar zkEVM, which connects to Ethereum

Currently, only the Astar zKatana testnet is available. Astar zkEVM mainnet will go live soon.

Who is behind Astar Network?

The Japanese tech company Startale Labs is building Astar Network. At the head of the company we find Sota Watanabe, the founder and CEO of Astar Network and Startale Labs.

Originally Astar Network launched in 2019 as Plasm Network, but it rebranded to its current name in 2022.  

How does Astar Network’s zkEVM work? 

Astar Network already supports EVM and WASM dapps, but the introduction of zero-knowledge proofs is the real cherry on the cake. Astar zkEVM leverages zk-rollup technology to improve scalability and security. Therefore the bridge between Astar zkEVM and Ethereum is trustless, thanks to the zero-knowledge technology. This also means that the network automatically inherits the security of the Ethereum mainnet. 

Astar zkEVM will be interoperable with the regular Astar Network and all other EVM networks on the market. This means that the network seamlessly connects to chains like Polygon, BNB Chain, Ethereum, Ronin and so on. 

The new zero-knowledge proof chain is built utilizing the framework provided by Polygon Labs. The Astar network utilizes Polygon CDK, automatically making it interoperable with the wider Polygon 2.0 ecosystem.

Key features and characteristics

Astar zkEVM comes with various benefits for developers and users alike. Moreover, the ecosystem has some strong benefits within the highly regulated Japanese market. Below we summarize some of the key features of the network:

  • Bridging the Japanese market with global projects and developers
  • Trustless interoperability and shared security inherited from Ethereum mainnet
  • Significantly reduced transaction cost, especially when compared to Ethereum mainnet
  • High equivalency with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible ecosystems
  • High scalability thanks to the zero-knowledge technology

How do you pay gas fees?

For the time being, Astar zkEVM uses ETH as its gas token. Users need to bridge ETH to the chain. In the future bridged ASTR may also be added as an option.

Astar zkEVM or Astar Network, which one is cheaper?

As mentioned, Astar zkEVM utilizes the Ethereum mainnet for its security. This means that there’s a direct connection to Ethereum, and therefore the zkEVM network also inherits some of the transaction costs involved on Ethereum. As a result, sending a transaction can be more expensive then one of the Polkadot-native Astar Network.

ASTR crypto token explained

ASTR is the native token of Astar Network, and the team has no plans to introduce a special token for the zkEVM blockchain. Users and developers also need ASTR to participate in governance. 

Will there be a token airdrop? 

Astar Network has no plans to introduce a new token, but they will introduce various ways for early participants to earn incentives. Astar Network has the zkEVM Journey Campaign to make their community familiar with the new ecosystem. 

What is Dapp Staking?

In an ecosystem where incentives push the narrative, Astar introduces Dapp Staking. This unique mechanism allows communities to stake their ASTR to a dapp. Both the dapp developers and the person staking, then receive a percentage in staking rewards. 

At every network block, a portion of the inflation is allocated to dapp staking. These rewards get distributed between the operators (developers) and the stakers. This allows developers to earn a basic income and continue the development of their project, without the need to drain their community from money through for example NFT sales. 

Benefits of Dapp Staking on Astar Network

For Web3 to find success, there needs to be a symbiotic relationship between developers and communities. On Astar Network and Shiden Network you can support this idea through Dapp Staking. 

  • Developers receive as basic income as long as their dapp has been dominated
  • Increased popularity of a dapp, which also means increased rewards for developers 
  • This compensation system ensures that developers don’t rely on gas fees to generate an income. 
  • Finally, stakers can support developers, and earn an APY on their staked tokens. This then creates more long-term value. 

Best wallet to use for Astar Network zkEVM

You can find various wallets for Astar Network, and these are some of the most popular ones: 

  • Enkrypt – a multichain, non-custodial browser wallet by the team of MyEtherWallet
  • MetaMask – one of the most popular multichain EVM wallets for mobile and browser
  • SubWallet – a non-custodial wallet solution for Substrate and Ethereum ecosystems, available for browsers and mobile devices.

Connect MetaMask to Astar zKatana testnet

  • https://rpc.startale.com/zkatana
  • Chain ID = 1261120 
  • Block explorer: https://zkatana.explorer.startale.com/
  • Currency: ETH

How to bridge ETH to Astar zkEVM?

Astar zkEVM can connect to a wide variety of blockchain ecosystems, thanks to its EVM compatibility. Users have various ways to bridge assets to Astar zkEVM, for example by using LayerZero enabled services. However, Astar also built their own bridge, the Astar Bridge Portal.

Does DappRadar track Astar zkEVM? 

DappRadar does not track Astar zkEVM at the time of writing, but we do tracks dapps on Astar Network on Polkadot Substrate. 

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