Cronos Labs Launches Public zkEVM Testnet Using zkSync’s ZK Stack Technology

Cronos Labs Launches Public zkEVM Testnet Using zkSync’s ZK Stack Technology

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Cronos Labs, the web3 start-up accelerator focusing on DeFi, GameFi, and the development of the Cronos ecosystem, announced today the launch of Cronos zkEVM Chain testnet, a zero-knowledge (ZK) rollup blockchain network that represents a significant milestone on Cronos' journey towards scalability and mainstream adoption. The testnet is a hyperchain using ZK Stack, launched in a partnership between Cronos Labs, Matter Labs, the team behind zkSync, and engineering teams from, VVS Finance, Fulcrom Finance and Veno Finance.

With an addressable user base of more than 80 million crypto holders around the world, Cronos is on a mission to make it easy and safe for the next billion crypto users to adopt self-custodial Web3, DeFi, NFTs and GameFi.

Ken Timsit, Managing Director of Cronos Labs, said: "The Cronos ecosystem already includes a top 10 blockchain by Total Value Locked, a top 5 Cosmos network by staked amount, a top 30 cryptocurrency, and a major EVM-compatible app ecosystem with more than 500 projects. More remains to be done in order to prepare for the next wave of Web3 adoption. The Cronos zkEVM testnet represents an opportunity for Cronos Labs and our partners, including VVS, Fulcrom and Veno, to experiment with ZK layer 2 technology in order to prepare the next phase of growth starting in 2024. Other Cronos apps are warmly invited to join the testnet."

When we introduced the ZK Stack, we opened up the door for anyone wanting to build on top of Ethereum to do so by deploying hyperchains. Whether youre building a specialized Rollup or a general purpose one, hyperchains allow you to tap into Ethereums extensive userbase base and liquidity while preserving its robust security and decentralization, said Marco Cora, senior vice president of business and operations at Matter Labs. Were extremely excited to see Cronos deploying a hyperchain. With their extensive and diverse ecosystem of millions of users as well as the impressive financial value stored on-chain, they will be a great use case for the mass adoption of hyperchains.

First live public hyperchain testnet building on ZK Stack

The Cronos zkEVM testnet is a zero-knowledge layer 2 roll-up network on top of Ethereum Sepolia testnet, meaning that it is secured by the Ethereum testnet both from a final settlement and a data availability standpoint.

It uses the latest Boojum STARK-based zero-knowledge proof system, which in addition to its ability to run on GPUs with as little as 16 GB of RAM, boasts amongst the lowest fees of any layer 2 rollup, with further cost optimizations planned in the near future.

The network uses TCRO, a testnet version of the $CRO cryptocurrency of the Cronos ecosystem, as its native token to pay for transaction fees, but it can also support fee payment in any cryptocurrency thanks to zkSync's native account abstraction implemented at the protocol level.

This is the first live public testnet utilizing ZK Stack, a modular, open-source framework leveraging zkSyncs code, that is designed to build custom ZK-powered L2s and L3s (referred to as hyperchains). Hyperchains are fractal-like instances of zkEVM networks running in parallel and with a common settlement on the Ethereum mainnet.In 2024, hyperchains will adopt a shared native bridge to Ethereum mainnet as well as unified interchain messaging, which will make it possible for users to send tokens, messages or transactions across hyperchains while benefiting from the security of the Ethereum network.

As part of internal performance benchmarks, hyperchain technology can already deliver in excess of 100 transactions per second, with significant performance improvements planned for the coming months. The community is invited to run additional tests on this newly launched testnet and share them with the Cronos community.

What's next?

The launch of Cronos zkEVM testnet is a significant milestone on Cronos' multi-year scalability journey.

Earlier in 2023, Cronos announced significant performance improvements of the flagship Cronos network, the leading EVM-compatible blockchain built on the Cosmos SDK. Cronos also announced the commercial availability of application-specific optimistic rollup networks on top of Cronos, thanks to a partnership with Caldera. Finally, in October 2023, Chain implemented a rebranding into Cronos POS chain.

Therefore, the Cronos ecosystem is now multi-chain across several networks in order to support a broad range of user needs and use cases:

  • Cronos (the EVM blockchain) is the leading Ethereum-compatible network built on the Cosmos SDK, permissionless, programmable layer-1, home to more than 500 project teams who have created decentralized applications powered by smart contracts. The Cronos EVM chain has securely delivered more than 80 M transactions for more than 1 M users to date, and secures around 300 M US$ of DeFi Total Value Locked. Cronos is extendable, thanks to application-specific optimistic layer 2 blockchains that can be deployed on top of Cronos by app creators.

  • Cronos POS chain is the layer-zero network that guarantees the security of the Cronos ecosystem. It is the native issuer of the $CRO utility token, secured by a vast network of more than 100 nodes representing ~600 M US$ in staked value, in the top 5 of all Cosmos chains. The Cronos POS chain has securely validated around 35 M transactions, with an average transaction fee of 0.00001 US$.

  • Cronos zkEVM (now in testnet) is the latest sister chain that aims to extend the rich portfolio of Cronos apps into the promising zkSync hyperchain ecosystem, in order to further broaden its user base and make it easier to move liquidity back and forth between Ethereum and the Cronos chain(s).

For Cronos, the next step will be to better understand the performance of the newly launched zkEVM network and determine the best potential path for mainnet deployment of ZK layer 2 technology and access to the shared liquidity of the Ethereum network.

The protocol team will continue to experiment with layer 2 technologies and data availability protocols to determine how they can further strengthen the Cronos ecosystem. It will also continue to work closely with the Cosmos ecosystem when it comes to the development and integration of new or updated Cosmos SDK modules into Cronos chains, and integration of additional IBC functionalities.

About Cronos

Cronos ( is the leading Ethereum-compatible layer 1 blockchain network built on the Cosmos SDK, supported by and more than 500 app developers and partners. Today, the #CROfam ecosystem represents an addressable user base of more than 80 million people worldwide. Our mission is to make it easy and safe for the next billion crypto users to adopt Web3, with a focus on decentralized applications in the DeFi, NFTs and GameFi verticals.

Shortly after launch in 2021, Cronos achieved a top 10 position amongst all chains by TVL. It is home to more than 1 million users and 500+ dapps.

Transaction fees are paid in Cronos ($CRO), a blue chip cryptocurrency.

The Cronos ecosystem is supported by Cronos Labs, the start-up accelerator of the Cronos chain.

About zkSync

zkSync is a cutting-edge zero-knowledge (ZK) technology to scale Ethereum and bring crypto to the mainstream reaching millions of developers and billions of people in need a technological solution for achieving progress and prosperity. Deeply rooted in its mission to advance personal freedom for all, the zkSync blockchain network makes digital self-ownership universally available. It is trustless, secure, reliable, censorship-resistant, privacy-preserving, hyper scalable, accessible, and sovereign. To learn more about zkSync, visit

ZK Stack is a developer-friendly modular, open-source software framework that makes it easy for you to customize & deploy your own interoperable ZK-powered blockchains, known as hyperchains. Quickstart by visiting

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Avishay Litani

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