In March of 2021, Elon Musk wiped out $300 billion worth of Bitcoin in a single tweet. In short, his message was that for environmental reasons, Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as a payment method. It went further than just a tweet, and in May, Tesla announced that it would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment. Elon is not alone, as many have expressed concerns about the amount of power required to mine bitcoin and several other leading cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, which facilitates over 4,000 DApps on its platform. However, Australian startup zkTube Labs is here to change the impact of mining on the environment and, in the process, solve some of the issues of Ethereum congestion and high gas fees without compromising security.
Melbourne-based zkTube is ready to officially launch Mainnet on September 10th, and for crypto-mining and the overall Blockchain community, their solutions can’t come fast enough.
The initial concept of the zkTube protocol prototype originated in 2018 when Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin proposed an anti-ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) mining solution. At the time, Lance Zhang, the founder of zkTube, was involved in “Ethereum scalability and exploring new ideas for point-of-sale mining” and came up with an innovative concept for a second layer cryptocurrency mining solution. However, it wasn’t until October 2020 that Zhang and the founding team officially began looking for solutions to Ethereum’s growing congestion and escalating gas fees. Aside from the obvious negative impacts of these delays and costs, there was an additional, and arguably, more significant problem: the impact that Ethereum mining has on the environment. This latest issue is not to be reckoned with as studies, such as the one published by Cambridge University in February 2021, indicated that crypto mining burns the equivalent electricity needed to power countries the size of Argentina and Norway. For the zkTube Labs team, it was clear that there had to be a better way to mine cryptocurrency. The result is their own Layer 2 Zero-Knowledge platform and companion wallet, PayTube.
In the words of Daniel Pozni, CEO of zkTube, “zkTube is a world-first layer 2 mining protocol based on zero-knowledge proof, which enhances scalability and transaction throughput, lowers gas fees, and improves privacy for Ethereum, all while significantly reducing power consumption.”
While zkTube’s technology and back-end may be complex, the bottom line is not: zkTube has built a platform that allows users to mine for cryptocurrencies, or perform any of the typical blockchain transactions, for a fraction of the price and at much faster speeds. In fact, zkTube is 200 times faster than Ethereum. Additionally, zero-knowledge technology allows one party (the validator) to confirm to another party (the validator) that something exists or is true, such as a password or an amount, without having to reveal what that thing is. The essence of zero-knowledge proofs is that it is trivial to prove that one possesses knowledge of certain information by simply revealing it.
Given this technology breakthrough, it’s no surprise that zkTube has had no shortage of interest from investors. In April 2021, the project raised $1.1 million in its initial round. Just two months later, in June, the zkTube team raised an additional $4 million, and in August, another $2 million. zkTube Mainnet is well funded and thanks to their improved technology, ready to launch on September 10NS, 2021.
“Aside from zkTube’s low-cost solutions, low environmental impact, and high-speed mining, the launch of the PayTube wallet is very exciting. It will be the first wallet of its kind, and the added recognition layer achieved with Zero-Knowledge technology, cannot be timely Due to the very common stories of NFT platforms and wallets being hacked nowadays,” said Raoul Herod, COO of zkTube. Due to the additional encryption of PayTube wallet, zkTube is well positioned to become a leader in the NFT world. In fact, the group is already in talks with some of the biggest players in the GameFi sector.
The zkTube community is strong. Although Mainnet hasn’t launched yet, the zkTube community has over 200,000 members. The Mining Test Network has been running online for about a month and already has more than 135,000 nodes in 81 countries performing 11,000 transactions on a weekly basis. It is clear that early adopters see the value in zkTube solutions and want to be a part of what is expected to be the first Tier 2 rhinoceros.
Headquartered in Melbourne, zkTube consists of more than 50 people, with more than 30 coding engineers and technology consultants. Together they make up zkTube Labs and PayTube Explore, along with a leadership team that looks after the two business units and explores new ideas. The top management comes from International Blockchain Labs, a well-known Australian fintech company, and world-renowned universities including Deakin University, The Wharton School and MIT Sloan. Their previous work experience is diverse and impressive, including big names such as JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Bain & Co. and NGS Crypto, the largest blockchain mining company in Australia.
The zkTube team does not stop at these innovative solutions, with plans for new products, partnerships, and even acquisitions on the books for the next twelve months. In the not-too-distant future, the group has an ambitious goal of listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. For now, the focus will be on growing zkTube’s operations in Dubai and Canada, where they already have strong alliances and are in the process of being involved in building the country’s first official mining pool. Looking at the results so far, there is no doubt that zkTube will achieve its expected milestones, and maybe even more.
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