Starknet Explained

Starknet Explained

Explore Starknet, a Layer 2 solution enhancing Ethereum with zero-knowledge based off-chain processing, unique tokenomics, and a dynamic DeFi ecosystem.

Summary: Starknet boosts Ethereum's scalability with its Layer 2 solution, employing ZK-Rollup technology for off-chain transaction processing and enhancing efficiency. It introduces a unique token for transaction fees and governance and supports customizable Starknet Appchains. 

While enhancing speed and security, Starknet faces challenges in sequencer centralization and cryptographic complexity. With a strategic tokenomics plan, upcoming airdrop and booming DeFi ecosystem, Starknet is set to be a leading contributor to the ever-evolving layer 2 landscape.

Starknet Overview
4.5 out of 5.0 by Datawallet
StarkNet is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum, utilizing STARK-based zero-knowledge proofs and its proprietary Cairo programming language to enhance transaction efficiency and security.
Total Value Locked (TVL)
$31 Million TVL in DeFi
Programming Language
Cairo (Not EVM-compatible)
Sequencer Stage
Fully Permissioned and Centralized Single Sequencer

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What is Starknet?

Starknet is a Layer 2 scalability solution for Ethereum, known as a Validity Rollup or ZK-Rollup. It operates by executing transactions off-chain and subsequently bundling them into a single, off-chain computed STARK proof. This proof is then submitted to the Ethereum blockchain as one cohesive transaction. The process enhances Ethereum's transaction throughput, reduces processing times, and lowers costs while maintaining the rigorous security standards of the Ethereum network.

Starknet also introduces a unique token for its ecosystem. This token is utilized for transaction fees, engaging in the Starknet protocol, and participating in governance processes. Additionally, Starknet offers the ability to create Starknet Appchains, customized instances of Starknet designed to cater to specific applications or sets of applications. These appchains allow for tailored network configurations and the integration of distinct features, benefiting from Starknet’s robust throughput and security features.

What is Starknet?

How Does Starknet Work?

Starknet enhances Ethereum's scalability and efficiency through a process that shifts transaction processing off the Ethereum mainnet while ensuring the integrity and security of these transactions. Here's an overview of how Starknet operates:

  • Batching and Sequencing: Starknet groups multiple Ethereum transactions together. The Starknet Sequencer processes these batches, ensuring only successful transactions proceed. This off-chain handling reduces the load on the Ethereum mainnet and accelerates processing.
  • Proof Generation and Validation: Post-sequencing, the Starknet Prover generates a STARK proof for the batched transactions. This cryptographic proof confirms the accuracy and integrity of the transactions. It's meticulously crafted, ensuring any errors in the data are detectable and corrected.
  • Integration with Ethereum: The STARK proof and a summary of the transaction outcomes (State Diff) are submitted to Ethereum. Ethereum nodes, through smart contracts, Verifier and Starknet Core, scrutinize and authenticate the proof and State Diff. Upon successful verification, the Starknet state is updated on the Ethereum blockchain, effectively consolidating and finalizing the batch of transactions.

In essence, Starknet optimizes Ethereum's transaction handling by processing batches off-chain and validating them through cryptographic proofs. This process speeds up transactions and maintains Ethereum's robust security while reducing transaction costs.

Starknet Tokenomics

Starknet's tokenomics for its native STRK token is intricately designed to support its ecosystem's growth and sustainability. Here's an overview of the allocation and its strategic focus:

  1. StarkWare Investors (17%, 1.7 billion STRK): Allocated to the early backers of StarkWare, acknowledging their role in funding Starknet’s development and growth.
  2. Core Contributors (32.9%, 3.29 billion STRK): Aimed at StarkWare's employees, consultants, and partners, this significant portion rewards those directly involved in building and enhancing Starknet.
  3. Community Provisions (9%, 900 million STRK): Reserved for individuals and groups whose efforts have significantly contributed to the development and operation of Starknet.
  4. Community Rebates (9%, 900 million STRK): Designed to offset the onboarding costs for users transitioning from Ethereum to Starknet, encouraging adoption and easing the transition process.
  5. Research and Development (12%, 1.2 billion STRK): Dedicated to the continuous innovation and improvement of Starknet, ensuring the protocol remains technologically advanced and secure.
  6. Strategic Reserve (10%, 1 billion STRK): Set aside to fund critical ecosystem activities, aligning with the Starknet Foundation’s mission to promote network growth and stability.
  7. Donations (2%, 200 million STRK): Earmarked for contributing to reputable institutions and organizations, reflecting Starknet’s commitment to supporting meaningful causes beyond its immediate ecosystem.
  8. Unallocated (8.1%, 810 million STRK): Maintained as a flexible reserve to address the evolving needs and opportunities within the Starknet community.

The STRK token plays a crucial role, serving as the primary tool for network operation through transaction fees, securing the network via staking, and steering its strategic direction through governance. This approach ensures a sustainable and user-friendly experience, with mechanisms for fee payment in ETH and a decentralized framework for critical network services

Starknet Airdrop

Starknet is reinforcing its commitment to community engagement and network decentralization with a notable airdrop plan. Orchestrated by the Starknet Foundation, this initiative involves distributing over 1.8 billion STRK tokens to stimulate network adoption and appreciate the ecosystem's active participants. 

A pivotal element of this strategy is the "provisions committee," tasked with the transparent and equitable allocation of 900 million STRK tokens. The approach aims to distribute ownership and recognize contributions, further bolstered by initiatives to incentivize network transactions and support DeFi activities.

Starknet Risks

Starknet, a general-purpose ZK Rollup, exhibits potential risks inherent to its current structure and operational model. The centralization of the sequencer poses a risk, as there's no mechanism to include transactions if the sequencer fails or engages in censorship, leading to possible transaction delays or exclusion. 

The whitelisted proposers' system for publishing state roots on L1 could lead to frozen withdrawals in the event of proposer failure. Additionally, the reliance on zkSTARKs, while offering robust state validation, brings complexity and dependency on the correct implementation of cryptographic proofs, where any misstep could potentially result in loss of funds. 

The governance structure of Starknet, characterized by multiple permissioned addresses with distinct control and upgrade privileges, presents centralization points and potential vulnerabilities. Risks escalate if governance actions diverge from the community's interests or the system encounters unforeseen operational challenges.

Starknet DeFi Ecosystem

Starknet's DeFi ecosystem presents a vibrant mix of protocols, each contributing to the network's growth and liquidity. Currently, the Total Value Locked (TVL) stands at $41 million, with stablecoins holding a market capitalization of $2.02 million. The ecosystem has registered a trading volume of $9.79 million in the last 24 hours.

Key Protocols and their TVLs:

  • Ekubo: As Starknet's premier DEX, Ekubo commands the field with a TVL of $9.9 million, reflecting its strong market presence and performance.
  • Nostra: Renowned as the leading lending protocol on Starknet, Nostra secures its place with an impressive TVL of $8.94 million, underscoring its pivotal role in the ecosystem.
  • JediSwap: As a significant DEX on Starknet, JediSwap bolsters the network's liquidity, maintaining a substantial TVL of $6.54 million.
  • zkLend: Pioneering as Starknet's first lending protocol and fork of AAVE, zkLend enriches the ecosystem with a TVL of $5.81 million, marking its innovative footprint.

While Starknet's DeFi arena is on a growth trajectory, it's still catching up with its contemporaries, such as zkSync and Scroll, in terms of network engagement, TVL, and application breadth.

Bottom Line

Starknet stands out as a potent Layer 2 solution, augmenting Ethereum with superior scalability, a distinct token ecosystem, and a vibrant DeFi landscape. While fostering DeFi growth through diverse protocols and strategic initiatives like airdrops, Starknet confronts challenges related to centralization and the nuanced application of zkSTARKs. 

Balancing innovation with transparent governance and community involvement, Starknet is poised to navigate the complex terrain of blockchain technology. Its commitment to fostering a secure, scalable, and community-focused platform will be pivotal as it continues to evolve within the competitive Layer 2 ecosystem.

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