Ethereum Layer 2 StarkNet Alpha Launches on Mainnet

After Optimism and Arbitrum, another Ethereum layer 2 is ready for use.

StarkWare, Ethereum L2 developer using ZK-rollups, has announced the launch of StarkNet Alpha on Ethereum mainnet five months after going live on a public testnet.

A permissionless Rollup, StarkNet offers scalability to Dapps building on the second-largest network without compromising Ethereum’s composability and security.

StarkNet is built on the Cairo programming language and powers all their production-grade applications, which have settled over 50 million transactions and $250 billion since Summer 2020.

Meanwhile, its tailor-made Ethereum scaling solution, StarEx, is used by several known projects such as dYdX, Immutable, and Sorare.

StarkNet Alpha also enables general computation smart contracts that support composability, both with other StarkNet contracts and via L1<>L2 messaging with L1 contracts. It also operates in a Rollup mode, meaning all the state diff data is sent on-chain.

Users are advised to use it cautiously as StarkNet Alpha is yet to be audited, and the project may also “delay” the audit until the network matures.

While starting with no transaction fees, StarkNet Alpha will introduce a fee mechanism in its next upgrade, which is a few weeks away.

About two weeks back, Israel-based StarkWare, the developer behind StarkNet, raised $60 million in a Series C funding round that puts its valuation at $2 billion. This new funding came after it raised $75 million in Series B round this year in March.

The latest funding round was led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors, including Alameda Research, Paradigm, Three Arrows Capital, and Founders Fund. StarkWare will use the fresh funding to grow its team and ecosystem.

Last week, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Ether developer Ansgar Dietrichs authored a new improvement proposal, EIP- 4488, to cut the gas fees on layer 2 solutions.

This is to be achieved by decreasing transaction calldata cost, a primary mechanism for Optimistic Rollups and ZK-Rollups, and by adding a ceiling for total transaction calldata in a block.

While sharding is a long-term solution to scale Ethereum, this proposal is a short-term solution that can reduce gas fees, possibly before the end of this year.

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