Syscoin Unveils World’s First zkDA,  Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Building on Bitcoin through Modularity

By DroomDroom Team
26 Min Read

In a landmark achievement for blockchain technology, Syscoin, in collaboration with Polyhedra Network and NodeKit, proudly unveils Zero-Knowledge Proof-of-Data Availability (zkDA). This groundbreaking innovation, emerging from a unique partnership, marks a pivotal advancement in Syscoin’s modular blockchain design toolkit. By integrating sophisticated smart contract execution and Data Availability (DA) rollup architecture, zkDA sets a new benchmark in blockchain scalability and security. This collaboration not only demonstrates the power of partnership in pushing technological boundaries but also reaffirms Syscoin’s commitment to building a more scalable, secure, and efficient blockchain ecosystem, and providing a clear path forward for alternative chains to join Syscoin in capitalizing on Bitcoin’s gold standard Proof-of-Work network security.

Industry push towards Proof-of-Work

The blockchain landscape is no stranger to innovation and transformation, yet recent events have shed light on the profound vulnerabilities that come with embracing Proof-of-Stake (PoS) systems. Ethereum, a trailblazer in the industry, has encountered significant risks that its own developers seem wary of engaging with directly, opting out of staking due to the inherent dangers PoS presents​​. This trepidation is not without merit; just yesterday, a bug in a minority client, Nethermind, almost plunged the network into disarray, threatening to slash $20 to potentially $50 billion of $ETH  and bringing the platform to its knees—a fate narrowly avoided thanks to the bug’s association with Nethermind rather than the majority client, Geth​​​​.

The community’s subsequent push for diversification in client usage underscores the reluctance to rely on minority clients, which have a history of bugs. This precarious balancing act between security and the quest for scalability exposes a fundamental flaw in PoS systems. Syscoin provides a much-needed alternative with its modular PoW design, eschewing validators and data availability sampling for a hash-based system that inherits the robust security philosophy of Bitcoin: verify, then trust.

As the Ethereum and greater PoS community grapples with the fallout and implications of these incidents, Syscoin emerges with a solution that not only solves these critical issues but also enhances the blockchain’s scalability and security. Enter Zero-Knowledge Proof-of-Data Availability (zkDA)—Syscoin’s innovative response that leverages the time-tested security of PoW to offer a modular and scalable framework for blockchain technology. By marrying the benefits of Ethereum’s modularity with the steadfast security of PoW, Syscoin’s zkDA ushers in a new paradigm where the gold standard of Bitcoin’s network security is extended to rollups on any chain.

PoS Dangers and Syscoin’s Solution

The grave dangers posed by PoS systems have become increasingly apparent in light of the risks exhibited by Ethereum’s reliance on a single client and the potential for catastrophic bugs. Ethereum’s move to PoS with “The Merge” was touted as a leap forward for scalability and efficiency, yet the inherent risks of this system are now impossible to ignore. The recent Nethermind bug highlights a fundamental issue: over-reliance on a single point of failure—a stark departure from the decentralized ethos that blockchain technology champions​​​​​​, so clearly explained by Satoshi Nakamoto and exemplified by Bitcoin.

Syscoin’s approach elegantly circumvents these pitfalls. By employing a PoW consensus mechanism harmonious with Bitcoin, Syscoin ensures maximum security and decentralization. There’s no need for validators, no necessity for the complex and often opaque system of data availability sampling. Instead, Syscoin opts for a transparent, hash-based system that offers scalability without sacrificing the principles of decentralization. This design philosophy preserves and enhances the reliability of the blockchain’s integrity, ensuring that Syscoin and any applications built upon it can weather the storm of potential threats that PoS systems face.

As we dive further into Syscoin’s zkDA, we reveal a framework that is built on the premise of steadfast security and boundless scalability. It’s a testament to the innovative spirit that drives the blockchain community, a beacon of hope for those seeking a more resilient and efficient blockchain infrastructure, one that is actually capable of hosting the global transition to decentralized systems.

zkDA: A Breakthrough in Blockchain Scalability

In the blockchain industry, achieving true scalability necessary for allowing mass adoption has been the paramount problem to solve without making untenable trade-offs to the other two angles of the classic trilemma—decentralization and security.

Unto these ends, zkDA, or Zero-Knowledge Data Availability, is a truly revolutionary concept in the blockchain world, brought forward by Syscoin’s innovative modular blockchain design toolkit. zkDA is not merely an incremental improvement but a fundamental shift in how blockchain scalability is approached. Leveraging advanced cryptographic techniques, zkDA propels blockchain throughput to unprecedented levels, effectively handling a significantly higher volume of transactions and interactions. This upgrade gives Syscoin superpowers to become a layer 0 to fundamentally shift the modular blockchain narrative with greater scalability and provide Bitcoin security directly to any rollup on any chain.

Data availability is at the crux of every scaling solution in the blockchain industry. Wherever the data is stored for rollups is basically the level of security your rollup has. Many rollup projects decided to store on external systems, thereby decreasing the overall security while trying to scale up. Through zkDA we can effectively scale rollups as “Bitcoin rollups” by inheriting the security of Bitcoin through merged mining. Syscoin uniquely solves the modular approach of blockchain design by leveraging Bitcoin to create a holistic approach that is the most effective in the entire industry. This is a complete game-changer, as it means any rollup on any chain can now be provided with the gold standard of Bitcoin’s network security, which was impossible until now.

The magic of zkDA lies in its ability to provide strong security assurances while maintaining high throughput. This is achieved through a unique blend of data availability solutions and execution rollups, which work in harmony to ensure that the blockchain can handle large amounts of data efficiently and securely. This approach not only boosts the performance of the Syscoin blockchain but also sets a new standard for blockchain scalability in the industry.


One of the key aspects of zkDA is its compatibility with various layers of blockchain infrastructure. It allows for the integration of different data availability and execution layers, making it a versatile solution for a wide range of blockchain applications. Whether it’s for simple transactions or complex smart contract executions, zkDA provides a robust foundation for building scalable and secure decentralized applications.

The PoDA Service: High-Performance Data Availability

At the heart of Syscoin’s scalability solution is the PoDA (Proof of Data Availability) service. PoDA is a premium data availability service that operates on the Syscoin UTXO chain, delivering an impressive ~426 kb of sustained data availability per second before the demand side of the fee market pushes costs higher. This high-performance service is critical for ensuring that the blockchain can efficiently handle the vast amounts of data generated by transactions and smart contracts.

The primary role of PoDA is to provide a reliable and secure foundation for data availability. By doing so, it enables the Syscoin blockchain to maintain high throughput while ensuring the integrity and accessibility of data. This is particularly important in a decentralized environment, where data availability is crucial for the proper functioning of the network.

PoDA’s design is carefully crafted to meet the demands of modern blockchain applications. It utilizes advanced cryptographic techniques to ensure that data is not only available but also verifiable. This means that users can trust that the data they interact with is accurate and has not been tampered with. Furthermore, PoDA’s efficient design ensures that it can provide high-quality data availability services without compromising on performance or security.

PoDA is a key component of Syscoin’s scalability solution, providing the necessary infrastructure for high-performance data availability. Its integration with zkDA further enhances the capabilities of the Syscoin blockchain, making it a formidable platform for scalable and secure decentralized applications.

The real-world implications of Syscoin’s PoDA service are vast and transformative. PoDA underpins Syscoin’s ability to handle massive amounts of transaction data efficiently. This service is pivotal for businesses and developers, enabling them to build scalable applications that can handle high transaction volumes without sacrificing speed or security. From enabling faster and more reliable financial transactions to supporting complex decentralized applications, PoDA’s robust infrastructure ensures that Syscoin and those who build using on solutions like zkDA remain agile and responsive to the growing demands of modern blockchain use cases.

DA Rollups: Enhancing Security and Flexibility

Concept of DA Rollups

DA (Data Availability) rollups represent a major step forward in enhancing the security and flexibility of blockchain networks. Various types of DA rollups can coexist. We can solve these problems in unique ways. Typically it is hard to prove unavailability of data and thus attribute fault, however we have been researching ways to get around these problems to increase DA throughput each with unique tradeoffs:

  1. DAC committees – as long as 1 honest party exists and all committee members sign off in a quorum, otherwise if consensus cannot be achieved fall back to using PoDA.
  2. zkFVM – With the help of ZK light clients use a protocol such as Filecoin with high redundancy and minimum contract length to reduce costs and assure data has been made publicly available. Wrap it in a recursive ZK proof and use a validity-based rollup which guarantees that data was sent to Filecoin through ZK proving FVM.

In essence, DA rollups make blockchain networks more robust and adaptable, capable of supporting a wider range of applications and use cases. 

These rollups are a critical component of Syscoin’s approach to modular blockchain design, working in tandem with the PoDA service to offer a comprehensive scalability solution. In the Syscoin ecosystem, DA rollups serve as a supplementary layer to the PoDA service. While PoDA provides a high-quality data availability service, DA rollups offer an additional layer of scalability. They enable the network to handle overflow data that exceeds the capacity of the PoDA service. This dual-layer approach ensures that Syscoin can maintain high throughput and data availability, even under heavy network loads.

Security Benefits and Trade-offs

The integration of DA rollups with PoDA brings several security benefits to the Syscoin blockchain. One of the key advantages is the enhanced data integrity provided by DA rollups.

Each DA rollup can employ its own mechanism to ensure availability, or using external crypto-economically secured networks that have been proven by the market. DA rollups ensure that data is not only available but also resistant to tampering and censorship. This distributed approach to data availability enhances the overall security and resilience of the network.

However, there are trade-offs to consider when using custom DA layers in conjunction with PoDA. While DA rollups offer increased scalability, they may introduce subtle security trade-offs. For example, in PoDA if data is withheld the blockchain will assert its validity and reject it from the blockchain, its tied right to the Syscoin blockchain itself while DA rollups make new trust or security assumptions of at least 1 honest party attests to the data. The design of DA rollups requires careful consideration to balance scalability with the decentralization principles of blockchain technology. Giving the option to zkDA consuming solutions will let them decide on the levels of throughput and security required for their users depending on the use-cases, which can be decided even in real-time at a per batch interval.

Syscoin’s Layered Approach to Blockchain Scalability

Syscoin’s layered approach to blockchain scalability is a harmonious blend of the PoDA service and DA rollups. This approach strategically layers different scalability solutions, each addressing specific aspects of blockchain performance. By combining the high throughput of PoDA with the distributed data integrity of DA rollups, Syscoin creates a multifaceted scalability solution. This not only enhances the network’s capacity to handle large volumes of transactions but also maintains Syscoin’s commitment to decentralization and security, distinguishing it from other blockchain platforms.

Combining Base Layer DA Service with DA Rollups

The foundation of Syscoin’s scalability solution is its base layer DA service, primarily provided by the PoDA (Proof of Data Availability) service. PoDA is designed to ensure high-quality data availability and integrity across the Syscoin blockchain. It offers a premium level of service, capable of handling a significant amount of data throughput (~426 kb per second), which is crucial for the efficient functioning of the blockchain.

Complementing the base layer DA service are the DA rollups. These rollups act as supplementary layers, enhancing the blockchain’s capacity to handle data beyond what the base layer can accommodate. This layered approach ensures that the Syscoin network can scale effectively, handling increased demand without compromising on performance or security.

Advantages of the Layered Approach

The layered scalability solution offered by Syscoin comes with several key advantages:

  • Light Requirements for Syscoin Nodes
    • Syscoin’s architecture is designed to keep the computational and storage requirements for nodes light and manageable. This is achieved by offloading a significant portion of data processing to PoDA and the DA rollups, which handle data verification and availability.
    • As a result, the base layer nodes are not burdened with the entire dataset, allowing them to operate efficiently even on less powerful hardware. This accessibility encourages wider participation in the network, enhancing its decentralization and resilience.
  • Cost-Effective Verification
    • The use of DA rollups for data verification is not only efficient but also cost-effective. By offloading to external networks DA rollups can create separation of concerns and leave availability to networks that have proven secure mechanisms of data storage and redundancy.
    • This approach reduces the computational overhead for individual nodes, leading to lower operational costs. It also enables the network to scale in a financially sustainable manner, as the cost of verifying additional data may not increase linearly with the size of the dataset.

Syscoin’s layered approach to blockchain scalability is a testament to its commitment to building a robust, efficient, and accessible blockchain ecosystem.

The Future of Data Availability with zkDA

The introduction of zkDA places Syscoin at the vanguard of blockchain innovation. By pioneering the first Zero-Knowledge Data Availability solution, Syscoin signals a new era in blockchain technology where scalability does not come at the expense of security or decentralization. This positions Syscoin as a leader in the industry, offering a vision for a more integrated, efficient, and user-friendly blockchain ecosystem. The versatility and advanced capabilities of zkDA make it a cornerstone technology for future blockchain developments, highlighting Syscoin’s role in shaping the future of the industry.

Impact on the Broader Blockchain Industry

Serving Rollups Across Multiple Chains

  • One of the most groundbreaking aspects of zkDA is its ability to serve rollups across multiple blockchain chains. This capability addresses a critical need in the blockchain space for scalable, secure, and efficient cross-chain interactions.
  • By enabling rollups to operate seamlessly across different blockchain ecosystems, zkDA facilitates a new level of interoperability and collaboration. This opens up possibilities for a wide range of applications, including decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other blockchain-based services that can benefit from cross-chain functionality.
  • The introduction of zkDA can lead to more integrated and cohesive blockchain networks, where barriers between different chains are reduced, fostering a more unified and efficient omni-chain ecosystem.

Plans for Integrating ZK Light Clients and Global Layer 1 DA Contract

ZK Light Clients Integration

  • Syscoin’s plans for integrating ZK Light clients into its ecosystem are a key component of the zkDA framework. These light clients are designed to provide efficient and secure verification of blockchain data, enabling users to interact with the blockchain without needing to download the entire chain.
  • The use of ZK Light clients, particularly in conjunction with zkDA, enhances the scalability and efficiency of the network. It allows for the verification of data in a zero-knowledge manner, ensuring privacy and security while maintaining the integrity and accessibility of the data.
  • The integration of ZK Light clients is expected to significantly improve the user experience, making blockchain interactions faster, more secure, and more accessible to a broader audience.

Development of the Global Layer 1 DA Contract

  • Alongside the integration of ZK Light clients, Syscoin is also developing a global layer 1 DA contract. This contract serves as a centralized point for managing data availability across the Syscoin network and potentially other interconnected blockchains.
  • The global layer 1 DA contract will facilitate the seamless posting and verification of DA hashes, enabling different blockchain layers and rollups to efficiently share and access data. This approach streamlines the data availability process, ensuring that the network can handle large volumes of data in a scalable and secure manner.
  • The development of this contract is a critical step in realizing the full potential of zkDA. It lays the groundwork for a more interconnected and efficient blockchain ecosystem, where data availability is no longer a bottleneck for scalability and innovation.


As we reflect on the groundbreaking advancements introduced by Syscoin with zkDA, it’s clear that we are on the cusp of a transformative era in blockchain technology. zkDA stands out as a beacon of innovation, addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the blockchain space and offering a vision of a more scalable, secure, and interconnected future. With zkDA, Syscoin becomes the layer-0 of the modular blockchain paradigm by allowing all rollups to scale their DA while extending their security to Bitcoin through merged-mining.

Key Benefits of zkDA


zkDA’s ability to handle practically unlimited throughput while maintaining high performance is a game-changer for blockchain scalability. Its layered approach, combining PoDA with DA rollups, ensures that the Syscoin network can efficiently manage large volumes of data and transactions, making it an ideal platform for a wide range of applications.


At its core, zkDA is designed with security in mind. By leveraging advanced cryptographic techniques and a robust data availability framework, it provides strong assurances of data integrity and resistance to tampering, ensuring a trustworthy and resilient blockchain ecosystem. The Syscoin network is secured by Bitcoin itself through merged-mining.


The versatility of zkDA, with its support for rollups across multiple chains and integration of ZK Light clients, highlights its flexibility. It accommodates a variety of use cases and blockchain architectures, making it a versatile tool for developers and users alike.

Syscoin’s commitment to innovation is evident in its continuous efforts to enhance blockchain technology. The introduction of zkDA is a testament to this commitment, offering a glimpse into the future of blockchain scalability, security, and interoperability.

Engage with Syscoin and Explore zkDA

We invite you to delve deeper into the world of Syscoin and discover the vast potential of zkDA. Whether you’re a developer, investor, or simply a blockchain enthusiast, there’s a wealth of knowledge and opportunity awaiting in the Syscoin ecosystem. By engaging with the Syscoin community, you can stay informed about the latest developments, contribute to the conversation, and explore the myriad possibilities that zkDA brings to the table.

Be sure to visit the new Syscoin website, which has been revamped with a focus on Bitcoin, ZK technology, and data availability. Here, you’ll find comprehensive information about Syscoin’s projects, including zkDA, and resources to help you get involved and make the most of this exciting technology.

We encourage you to join them on this journey of discovery and be a part of the next wave of blockchain evolution. Take Part in the Revolution, by exploring the transformative potential of zkDA and the diverse possibilities it unlocks. Engage with the Syscoin ecosystem, discover more about the groundbreaking technology, and participate in community’s Discord. For developers and enthusiasts alike, Syscoin offers a fertile ground for innovation and growth. Visit their website, the website of their Rollux (EVM Layer 2) and Github repository to learn more, and become part of a community shaping the future of the industry.

About Syscoin

Celebrating a decade at the forefront of blockchain innovation, Syscoin has been a pioneer in harnessing Bitcoin’s proven security for scalable blockchain solutions. With the development of Rollux, an OPStack EVM Layer 2 solution, and the Proof-of-Data Availability (PoDA) protocol, Syscoin stands as a testament to blockchain’s evolution. Syscoin’s approach to modular blockchain design, emphasizing performance and cost efficiency, has now culminated in the integration of zkDA – a testament to what Bitcoin’s modularity can truly achieve.

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About Polyhedra Network

Polyhedra Network, renowned for its zkBridge protocol and expertise in zero-knowledge proof technology, brings invaluable technical prowess to this partnership. Their collaboration with LayerZero, a prominent omnichain interoperability provider, further amplifies the potential for interoperability in the Web3 industry.

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About NodeKit 

NodeKit is building SEQ, the decentralized shared sequencer L1 built to allow rollups to decentralize their sequencer and enable cross-rollup interoperability without sacrificing performance.

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