Aztec, a privacy protocol evolving on top of Ethereum, on Monday announced the launch of its second iteration, promising private transactions and smart contracts, but at a lower cost than standard transfers.
Aztec’s Level 2 solution is based on zkRollups, such as Loopring or ZkSync. All of these protocols rely on a lack of awareness to help scale Ethereum, but have different benefits and targeted use cases.
Loopring focuses on decentralized exchange and ZkSync aims to be a generic second layer protocol that can increase the flow of Ethereum transactions.
In contrast, the Aztecs place great emphasis on privacy but allow a certain degree of scalability. The team states that the cumulative update could reach 300 transactions per second, while allowing transactions using ERC-20 protected tokens and private interactions with decentralized financial protocols. Users will be able to trade on Uniswap and other exchanges under a common contract, similar to the way it operates on Incognito, which is the Internet Privacy Protocol.
The alleged productivity is a far cry from the potential of other zkRollup solutions, but it still far exceeds Ethereum’s theoretical productivity cap of 40 transactions per second. As Cointelegraph previously pointed out, privacy always demands performance.
One of Aztec’s innovations is the Noir special smart contract language. This could allow developers to send in private transactions and use cryptographic measures on the chain, while still benefiting from privacy. The bulk upgrade also comes with standard social payback and many benefits like user-friendly accounts.
The network is currently working on Ropsten testnet, although there is no indication of the main network version.
Level 2 technologies are often seen as the next step in Ethereum’s evolution, allowing some of the burden of the underlying network to be shifted while downsizing is still in development.
Competition in this sector is very high and first solutions such as OMG Networks Plasma are reaching production. Level 2 smart contracts that can help Scale DeFi continue to be largely avoided by developers. Solutions like Optimistic Rollups and some types of zkRollups are ready to solve this problem, but it’s still relatively far from a full launch.