Kakarot Phase 3 Roadmap: How to Empower Starknet and Ethereum Ecosystem

Source: Kakarot; Compilation: Karen, Foresight News

Kakarot zkEVM is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) implementation written in Cairo. Cairo is a Turing-complete language associated with the CairoVM.

CairoVM achieves verifiable computation by leveraging polynomials and the ZK-STARK proof system. zkEVM’s feature is the ability to generate provable transactions, resulting in provable blocks. Kakarot builds on CairoVM, and every transaction executed on Kakarot is provable.

Kakarot zkEVM enables teams to build and deploy EVM applications. Developers can deploy any Solidity (or any EVM compatible language) on Kakarot just like on Ethereum or Polygon. Then, their end-users can interact with the DApp using their preferred toolchain (such as Metamask or Wallet Connect).

Eventually, Kakarot will provide interoperability with the native Starknet protocol and composability between protocols, such as combining TVL in DeFi and user bases in GameFi.

Fractal Scaling

Kakarot zkEVM can exist in different forms. First, it can be deployed as a smart contract on top of Starknet L2, thus appearing as EVM (Ethereum RPC and transactions) on Starknet.

Alternatively, Kakarot can be integrated into the stack to deploy L3 zkEVM. This is where the Madara sorter comes into play.

By combining Madara (Starknet full node) and Kakarot (EVM runtime), an L3 zkEVM can be created. The stack is a Substrate full node with CairoVM as its execution engine and Kakarot as the runtime for smart contracts.

Transactions on Kakarot can be proven and verified on the settlement layer, achieving EVM-compatible fractal scaling.


Phase 1: Kakarot zkEVM on Starknet – Bringing EVM to Starknet

Kakarot will first exist as a loaded EVM on Starknet L2, enabling developers to deploy their Solidity (or any EVM compatible language) smart contracts directly on Starknet using their familiar toolbox (Foundry, Hardhat, Wagmi, etc.).

Then, their end-users will be able to interact with their DApp using their preferred toolchain (such as Metamask or Wallet Connect).

Developers and user experience on Kakarot will be identical to Polygon, Scroll, or Ethereum L1.

Phase 2: Kakarot x Madara – L3 zkEVM

Kakarot and Madara will merge into a unified stack to support L3 zkEVM, as well as L4, L5, and so on. The team will be able to deploy their zkEVM application chains and settle transactions on Starknet using validity proofs.

Why L3? Why provability?

Provability enables the following features: off-chain computation, or on-chain computation and off-chain verification.

Validated L3s (such as Kakarot) with validity proofs have an interesting but underestimated property: the ability to decouple security and decentralization. Users can benefit from Ethereum L1 security without the same level of decentralization.

Gas costs are much lower on L3 (like Kakarot) than on L2 since computations occur on another layer, and performance (TPS) is higher. L2 is already much cheaper than L1. Rollup scalability will stack and increase exponentially.

To further reduce gas costs, proof verification and data availability (DA) can be separated. Starknet L2 can be used only as a proof verification layer, and new data availability solutions (such as Celestia or EigenDA) can be used to publish transaction data.

Users can choose to opt into either option, depending on their security requirements. Publishing proofs and transaction data on Starknet is a more secure option, while using a DA solution to publish transaction data is a more cost-effective option.

Phase 3: Kakarot x Madara – type 1 zkEVM

Kakarot and Madara can also be combined to enable type 1 zkEVM.

Write Ethereum consensus rules in Cairo within a Madara x Kakarot full node, enabling proof of L1 consensus.

Move from Pedersen Merkle Patricia (MPT) to Keccak MPT.

Then, Kakarot will become a type 1 zkEVM, capable of proving L1 blocks. This is a more advanced use case, depending on Ethereum’s roadmap (most notably Verge). After Verge, Keccak may be replaced by Poseidon as Ethereum’s choice of hash function. This will help the zkEVM team become type 1, as the primary compatibility obstacle for zkEVM is storage layout, i.e., implementing Keccak MPT in a provable and reasonable cheap manner.

Other Research Topics

Madara enables Kakarot Chain to use the Substrate messaging protocol for cross-rollup communication.

The modularity of Substrate allows Kakarot Chain to innovate using its consensus protocol.

The non-forking runtime upgrade of Substrate enables Kakarot Chain to upgrade its EVM version without a hard fork.

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