Cardano’s First Scaling Solution Based on ZK Rolloups to Support DeFi Innovation

The Cardano blockchain will have its first ZK rollup layer 2 solution – Orbis. The main objective is to support decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and a thriving blockchain ecosystem.

A Wave of ZK Companies

The official blog post by the team behind the protocol explained that Orbis offers the level of scalability and transaction throughput relevant for blockchain to transform into a “global financial system.” Similar to other zk-based solutions, the transactions will occur off-chain on the Orbis layer 2.

These will be then bundled together into a single ZK (zero-knowledge) proof and broadcasted on-chain to the Cardano layer 1 and verified. The two main components of Orbis are – the Prover and the Verifier.

The off-chain system of Prover and its function is to construct zkSNARK proofs verifying the transactions. It enables users to examine the state of the rollup and post-transaction. The Verifier, on the other hand, is an on-chain smart contract. Its primary purpose is to settle transactions occurring on-rollup on Cardano. The post reads,

“Orbis provides an off-chain context in which smart contract validator code can run. Instead of being run to create transactions on the Cardano layer 1, in this context a validator code is run to create transactions on the layer 2 rollup. Orbis will enable PlutusTx smart contracts to be easily ported over.”

Besides, Orbis will also support programming languages – Pluto and Plutarch.

Hydra Will Not Solve Every Scaling Problem

Cardano is often touted as a viable alternative to Ethereum. However, every blockchain requires a scaling solution, and according to the Orbis team, Hydra will not solve every scaling problem. Instead, the team proposed that Orbis is the best possible solution. It cited Orbis’ ability to maintain the core design principles of the Cardano blockchain while scaling the network so that it can safely host RealFi and DeFi apps extensively.

In addition to layer 1 functionality, the protocol also facilitates the creation of layer 3 solutions leveraging Halo 2 recursive ZK proofs to explore use cases with regards to DeFi, NFTs, supply chains, and micropayments. Meanwhile, for the development and subsequent launch on Cardano, Orbis devs are now looking for $1 million in funding.


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