Aztec Network, the privacy-based blockchain platform, recently announced that it plans to shut down its privacy infrastructure which serves as Ethereum’s encryption layer. The network’s official statement shows that plans are underway to disable the Aztec Connect from frontends payment platforms like zk.money and zkpay.finance.
Upcoming Shutdown Of Aztec Connect
Per the network’s official blog post, users can withdraw their funds from Aztec Connect at zero costs for one year. However, the statement shows that while withdrawal will continue, it will become more difficult to do so after March 21, 2024.
Accordingly, the privacy-oriented blockchain protocol recommends that users withdraw their funds as soon as possible to beat the March 2024 deadline. After its launch in July 2022, Aztec Connect has seen over 100,000 users, according to the announcement.
Moreover, from March 2024, the Aztec Network will stop publishing roll-up blocks that process transactions on Aztec Connect. As a result, the statement added that the platform would reject all contract permissions, and all rollup features would cease functioning.
While the Aztec Connect protocol is entirely open-source, the firm has reportedly encouraged its community to fork, adopt and deploy the system’s latest version. The network noted that it would like to see the Aztec Connect become independent and fully operational and that it is ready to fund the process.
Meanwhile, the announcement revealed that the upcoming shutdown of the Aztec Connect signifies a milestone in developing a general decentralized, encrypted blockchain protocol. Before the launch of Aztec Connect last July, the network explored using zk-Rollups with Aztec 1.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be slow, inefficient, and expensive. Thus, Aztec noted that further research on the Aztec Connect would be critical in building a next-generation blockchain infrastructure.
In addition, this would serve as the foundation for developing a fully programmable encrypted rollup. With the closure of Aztec Connect, the network plans to focus on building a universal zero knowledge language and the next-generation blockchain encryption system.
ConsenSys zkEVM Rollups
In another development, ConsenSys announced that it would soon upgrade its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) rollup to a testnet. According to the platform, this would allow for seamless testing of the Layer-2 scaling technology.
In a Twitter post, ConsenSys revealed that its research and development team has been working on the zkEVM rollup for over four years. zkEVM is noted for its quick finality, settlement security, and high throughput on the Ethereum blockchain.
In 2022, ConsenSys launched a private beta version of the zkEVM for a limited number of early users. The beta version has processed over 350,000 transactions while onboarding numerous decentralized applications.
Moreover, the testnet will enable Solidity developers to create, test, and launch decentralized applications while testing the zkEVM. The new zkEVM comes from the collaboration between the development team at Truffle, MetaMask, Infura, Gnark, and Besu.