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Web3 ecosystem developer ConsenSys unveiled its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) network for private beta testing via a blog post on Dec. 13. Designed and operated by ConsenSys, developers can deploy and manage decentralized applications using tools such as MetaMask, Truffle and Infura as if they were using the EVM directly. In addition, users can bridge assets between the Goerli testnet and the zkEVM to test their smart contracts and decentralized applications, or DApps. 

“Testnet participants can also bridge tokens, transfer tokens, and interact with deployed dApps listed on our upcoming ecosystem portal page. We intend to learn whether the developer experience of the zkEVM has the potential to accelerate innovation in Web3 and will be evaluating feedback from the community to inform our next step.”

For years, ConsenSys has been working to wrap EVM computation in zero-knowledge proofs to create a zkEVM, as opposed to creating zk-Rollups on networks separate from the EVM. Zero-knowledge technology verifies transactions on a separate layer and sends computation back to Ethereum without sending back the entire data. By simply providing proof that everything was correctly computed on layer 2 and putting a succinct proof back to the blockchain, Ethereum developers estimate that rollup solutions such as Optimism can increase scalability by upward of 100x.

User onboarding for the new ConsenSys zkEVM will begin in January 2023. ConsenSys said there are currently no details regarding how early testers will be rewarded or if there will be a newly issued token tied to the zkEVM.