April 10, 2023

Comparing zkSync, Optimism and Arbitrum

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Ethereum has become increasingly popular in recent years, but its scalability and high gas fees have led to the development of various layer 2 solutions to address these issues. Three of the most popular solutions are zkSync, Optimism, and Arbitrum. 

In this article, we explore the differences between these three solutions and their unique features.


zkSync is a layer 2 scaling solution that uses zero-knowledge proofs to provide fast and affordable transactions without compromising security or decentralization. It aims to make blockchain technology accessible to mainstream users by providing a user-friendly interface and privacy guarantees. 

zkSync supports smart contracts, NFTs, and various tokens, and is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). It offers a developer-friendly environment with SDKs, APIs, and documentation to help developers build and deploy scalable applications.


Optimism is a layer 2 scaling protocol that moves transactions and computations from layer 1 to layer 2, which reduces transaction fees and increases network throughput. Optimism uses optimistic rollups, which are batches of transactions executed on layer 2 and periodically posted to layer 1. It is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which makes it easier for developers to write smart contracts. Optimism employs a fraud-proof system that allows anyone to challenge an invalid transaction and revert it if proven wrong.


Arbitrum is a layer 2 blockchain that uses optimistic rollups as scaling technology. It processes transactions on its proprietary sidechain and relays the new chain state to the Ethereum mainnet. Arbitrum aims to improve Ethereum's performance by providing a more efficient and scalable environment for decentralized applications and smart contracts. 

It is compatible with Solidity or any other language that compiles to EVM bytecode. Arbitrum has attracted many developers and projects to its ecosystem and has launched its own token, ARB, used for governance and incentives.

Performance Comparison

zkSync can achieve up to 2000 TPS and sub-cent fees per transaction. 

Optimism can achieve up to 1000 TPS and sub-dollar fees per transaction. 

Arbitrum can achieve up to 4500 TPS and sub-dollar fees per transaction. 

However, TPS is not the only performance metric, and other factors such as security and decentralization should also be considered.

Advantages and Disadvantages

zkSync's advantage lies in its privacy guarantees and developer-friendly environment, while its disadvantage is its heavy reliance on zero-knowledge proofs, which can be complex and expensive to implement. 

Optimism's advantage is its compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine and its fraud-proof system, while its disadvantage is the removal of some opcodes that limit its functionality. 

Arbitrum's advantage is its high throughput and compatibility with multiple languages, while its disadvantage is the challenge period, which can lead to slower finality and higher latency.

Use Cases

zkSync is ideal for privacy-conscious users and developers looking for a user-friendly environment. 

Optimism is ideal for developers looking for compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine and a fraud-proof system. 

Arbitrum is ideal for developers looking for high throughput and compatibility with multiple languages.


In conclusion, zkSync, Optimism, and Arbitrum are all promising layer 2 scaling solutions for Ethereum, each with their own unique features and drawbacks. Choosing between them will depend on individual user needs and priorities.