What Is ZKsync and How Does It Work?
Ana sayfa
What Is ZKsync and How Does It Work?

What Is ZKsync and How Does It Work?

Yay─▒nlanma: Jun 19, 2024G├╝ncellenme: Jun 26, 2024

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. The information provided through Binance Academy does not constitute advice or recommendation of investment or trading. Binance does not take responsibility for any of your investment decisions. Please do your own research and seek professional advice before taking financial risks.

Key Takeaways

  • ZKsync is a Layer-2 scaling solution that makes transactions on Ethereum cheaper and faster by utilizing zero-knowledge rollups (zk-rollups) and zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs).

  • The ZKsync airdrop distributed 17.5% of the total supply to users and contributors, with a focus on active network participants and contributors to the ZKsync ecosystem.

  • Compared to optimistic rollups, ZKsync offers improved security and faster settlement times due to its use of ZKPs.


Scalability is one of the key problems of blockchain technology. In the context of blockchains, it refers to the ability of networks to handle a growing number of simultaneous transactions. The main problem is that as more transactions are added to the backlog of pending transactions, networks typically become slower and more costly.

Zero-knowledge solutions offer a promising way to address scalability issues. In this article, we will explore the ZKsync scaling solution, how it works, how it differs from optimistic rollups, and some of its benefits. We will also discuss the ZK token usage and distribution via airdrops.

What Is ZKsync?

ZKsync is a Layer-2 scaling solution designed to make transactions on Ethereum faster and cheaper by processing them off the main Ethereum chain. It does this by using the so-called zero-knowledge rollups (zk-rollups). Zk-rollups are solutions that bundle multiple transactions together and process them off-chain.

We can think of layer 2 solutions as an extra lane added to a congested highway. By providing more space for cars (transactions) to move, it reduces traffic jams on the main highway (Ethereum). This extra lane represents the off-chain transaction processing that ZKsync does with zk-rollups.

How Does ZKsync Work?

1. Aggregating transactions

Everything starts with using zk-rollups to collect and bundle off-chain transactions into batches. ZKsync avoids processing them individually to reduce the load on the main Ethereum chain.

For instance, imagine a post office where instead of separately mailing each letter to a specific address, they are collected and grouped first and then delivered all at once, making the process way more efficient.

2. Using zero-knowledge proofs

Then, ZKsync creates zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to verify the batches. ZKPs ensure that transactions within the batches are valid while keeping their details private.

You can think of ZKPs as a method of proving you know a secret password without actually sharing it. For instance, if Alice wants to prove that she knows the password to a secret club, she can answer specific questions that only someone with the password would know, without ever revealing the actual password itself.

3. Submitting proofs to Ethereum

These ZKPs are then submitted to the Ethereum mainnet where they are thoroughly checked. Once verified and validated, they are accepted by the Ethereum network, meaning transactions are officially recorded and confirmed on the blockchain.

ZK Token

ZK tokens allow users to participate in the ZKsync governance system by offering voting power. Their voting power can be activated through the process of delegation. LetÔÇÖs take a look at how it works:

  1. To activate the voting power of your ZK tokens, you must delegate it to a ZKsync address. It can be your own or someone else's.

  2. The person who controls that address becomes a Delegate who can vote on governance proposals.

  3. Delegating does not change token ownership but activates the voting power for the chosen address.

  4. Delegation can be changed at any time by the token holder and lasts until altered or tokens are transferred.

  5. Delegation cannot be split across multiple addresses. All voting power held in one wallet is delegated to a single address.

The ZK token was listed on Binance with the seed tag applied on June 17, 2024. Please refer to the official listing announcement for more details.

ZKsync Airdrop

The ZK token airdrop distributed 17.5% of the total supply to eligible wallets. The allocation was divided between users and contributors.

Usage-based airdrop

To be eligible for the airdrop as a user, you had to bridge your funds onto ZKsync Era and meet at least one of the following seven criteria:

  1. Interact with at least 10 non-token smart contracts on ZKsync.

  2. Use paymasters for at least 5 transactions on ZKsync Era. Paymasters are special accounts designed to cover transaction costs for other accounts, potentially making certain transactions free for end-users.

  3. Trade at least 10 distinct ERC-20 tokens on the ZKsync Era decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

  4. Provide any amount of liquidity to the tracked DEXs and Lending/Borrowing protocols on ZKsync Era.

  5. Hold at least one Libertas Omnibus non-fungible token (NFT) at the time of the snapshot. 

  6. Be active for over 3 months on ZKsync Lite before the ZKsync Era mainnet.

  7. Donate to Gitcoin via rounds hosted on ZKsync Lite.

ZKsync airdrop allocations

According to ZKsync, the allocations were based on a value-scaling formula that consisted of multiple steps:

1. The first step was to determine the daily balance of crypto assets held by an address. This included both the wallet balance and the crypto sent to decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.  

2. Next, crypto assets in DeFi protocols were valued at 2x their nominal value. For example, if you had $100 worth of crypto in a DeFi protocol, the formula would count it as $200.

3. Finally, the daily balances were summed up and divided by the snapshot period (366 days) to calculate the time-weighted average balances.

For example, imagine that Alice sent $200 worth of crypto assets to ZKsync Era 30 days before the snapshot and immediately allocated 1/4 of them ($50) to a DeFi protocol. The other $150 was kept in her wallet until the snapshot. Now, letÔÇÖs calculate her time-weighted average balance (TWAB):

TWAB = ( ($150 * 30 days) + ($50 * 2 * 30 days) ) / 366 = $20.50

Each address could receive additional multipliers based on specific activities that indicated genuine user behavior or contribution to ZKsync. These multipliers were added on top of the allocations. Here are some activities that could add multipliers:

1. Hold at least one of the following ZKsync native NFT collections at the snapshot: Dudiez, Hue, Moody Mights, Webears, ZKPENGZ, zkSkulls, or zkVeggies.    

2. Hold at least 50% of the ARB/OP/ENS airdrop for more than 90 days after claiming it.

Contribution-based airdrop 

The ZK token airdrop also included specific allocations for various contributors to the ZKsync ecosystem. Here is a detailed breakdown of the contribution-based airdrop:

1. ZKsync native projects: 215,250,000 ZK tokens were allocated directly to the contributors and treasuries of native projects building on ZKsync Era, including DeFi protocols, gaming, ZK chains, NFT collections, infrastructure, and more.

2. Builders: 86,895,375 tokens were allocated to individuals, developers, researchers, communities, and companies who contributed to the ZKsync ecosystem through development, advocacy, or education.

  • GitHub developers: Developers with at least 25 commits across eligible repositories before March 24, 2024.

  • Protocol Guild: Ethereum researchers and developers.

  • ZK quest participants: Participants in the ZK quest developer activations at Istanbul Devconnect 2023 and/or ETH Denver 2024.

  • And many others.

3. On-chain communities. 102,375,000 tokens were allocated to a small group of experimental on-chain communities for exploring ways to use tokens and NFTs, such as:

  • Season 1 DEGEN token airdrop recipients.

  • Season 1 BONSAI token airdrop recipients.

  • Participants in Seasons 1 and 2 of Crypto The Game (CTG) and the CTG team.

  • Pudgy Penguin and Milady Maker holders.┬á┬á┬á

How to Claim the ZKsync Airdrop?

Be wary of fake websites and phishing attacks. Make sure you are using the official websites and channels. 

Follow these steps to check your eligibility and claim your ZK tokens:

1. Visit the official airdrop website and check whether you are eligible for the airdrop. Enter your wallet address or GitHub username and press [Check].

2. Click [Connect wallet] and follow the prompts to connect your crypto wallet.

3. Next, you will have to delegate the voting power of your ZK tokens. You can either delegate to yourself or any community member.

4. Finally, press [Claim your tokens] and follow the prompts. If you encounter an error, click [Claim your tokens] again.

How to Claim the ZKsync Airdrop on Binance?

To claim ZK tokens from Binance, eligible users need to deposit a minimum of 0.02 ETH from a whitelisted address on the ZKsync Era network to their Binance account. Only deposits made directly from addresses included in the active ZKsync user whitelists will be considered valid for this distribution.

Whitelisted Address Batches:

ZK tokens will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to users who meet the criteria. Each user can only claim ZK tokens once (i.e., one claim per Binance User ID), with a limit of 200 ZK tokens per user. Even if a user deposits 0.02 ETH from multiple addresses to a single Binance UID, they can only claim the airdrop once for a total of 200 ZK tokens.

The first ZK Token airdrop on Binance is scheduled to start on June 25, 2024. Please refer to the official announcement for more details on the Binance ZK Token Distribution Program.

Sybil Attacks and Community Criticism

The ZKsync airdrop has sparked controversy among the cryptocurrency community, raising concerns about its execution and fairness.

The ZKsync airdrop was criticized for the lack of effective measures against Sybil attacks. Many users argued that it was easy to exploit the eligibility criteria, allowing the creation of multiple wallets to trick the system and get more tokens.

In response, ZKsync developers explained that they deliberately chose not to use overly strict Sybil detection to avoid accidentally excluding many organic users. Instead, they implemented value scaling and multipliers to detect potential Sybil attacks while prioritizing organic users.

Some argued that ZK tokens were not fairly distributed. Critics stated that the maximum cap of 100,000 ZK tokens per address was too small as it unfairly cut the rewards for users who were heavily involved in the ZKsync ecosystem. Some users claimed they didnÔÇÖt get anything despite following the eligibility criteria and using ZKsyncÔÇÖs products for multiple years.

To address these concerns, ZKsync clarified its distribution strategy, emphasizing its focus on rewarding active participants. The team pointed out that 89% of the airdropped tokens were given to users who actively engaged with ZKsync Era.

ZKsync vs. Optimistic Rollups

Security mechanism

Optimistic rollups start by assuming that all transactions are valid. They use a method where nodes are paid to check the transactions after they are processed. If any problems are found, they are reported, and transactions are corrected. The issue with this approach is its reliance on human actors who can easily make mistakes.

In contrast, ZKsync uses ZKPs to ensure transaction security. This approach can offer a relatively higher level of accuracy compared to optimistic rollups.

Settlement time

Optimistic rollups have a so-called 7-day challenge period. It is necessary because optimistic rollups initially assume that all transactions are valid, and only corrects them if someone disputes their validity. Transactions are not finalized until this period ends, leading to slower settlement times.

In contrast, ZKsync uses ZKPs to verify transactions. Transactions are finalized as soon as they are verified by the nodes. This approach skips the need for a challenge period, making settlement times faster.

Benefits of ZKsync


ZKsync enhances the scalability of the Ethereum network by processing transactions off the main Ethereum chain using zk-rollups. This lowers transaction fees and speeds up transaction times. As a result, ZKsync allows Ethereum to support more users and decentralized applications (DApps).

EVM compatibility

EVM compatibility means that developers who have already created DApps for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) can migrate them to ZKsync with minimal changes. This reduces the learning curve and makes it easier for them to adopt ZKsync scaling solutions. 

Closing Thoughts

By using zero-knowledge rollups (zk-rollups) and zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), ZKsync is a Layer-2 scaling solution that can enhance transaction speed and reduce costs on the Ethereum network. Compared to optimistic rollups, ZKsync can offer better security and faster settlement times. In addition, its EVM compatibility makes it easy for developers to learn and adopt its scaling solutions.

Further Reading

Disclaimer: This content is presented to you on an ÔÇťas isÔÇŁ basis for general information and educational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind. It should not be construed as financial, legal or other professional advice, nor is it intended to recommend the purchase of any specific product or service. You should seek your own advice from appropriate professional advisors. Where the article is contributed by a third party contributor, please note that those views expressed belong to the third party contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Binance Academy. Please read our full disclaimer here for further details. Digital asset prices can be volatile. The value of your investment may go down or up and you may not get back the amount invested. You are solely responsible for your investment decisions and Binance Academy is not liable for any losses you may incur. This material should not be construed as financial, legal or other professional advice. For more information, see our Terms of Use and Risk Warning.