In March 2021, Elon Musk wiped out $300 billion in Bitcoin’s (BTC) value with a single tweet. In short, his message was that for environmental reasons, Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment. Musk is not alone, as many have expressed concerns over the amount of energy required to mine cryptocurrencies. However, Australian start-up zkTube Labs is here to change the impact mining has on the environment and, in the process, solve some of Ethereum’s congestion and high gas fee problems without compromising security.
ZkTube is ready for its official mainnet launch on Sept. 10 and for the crypto mining and overall blockchain community, its solutions cannot come fast enough.
Lance Zhang, founder of zkTube, came up with the innovative concept of a layer-two solution for crypto mining in 2018 when he participated in a conference where Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, proposed a mining solution. However, it wasn’t until October 2020 that Zhang and the founding team officially started searching for solutions to Ethereum’s growing congestion and escalating gas fees. Aside from the obvious negative effects of these delays and costs, there was an additional, and arguably, more important problem: the impact that mining Ethereum was having on the environment. For the zkTube Labs team, it was clear that there had to be a better way to mine cryptocurrencies. The result is its layer-two zero-knowledge platform and accompanying wallet, PayTube.
Daniel Puzny, CEO of zkTube, said, “ZkTube is a world-first layer-two mining protocol that adopts zero-knowledge proof, which enhances scalability and transaction throughput, lowers gas fees and improves privacy for Ethereum, all while significantly reducing energy consumption.” While the technology and back end of zkTube might be complicated, the end result is not: ZkTube has created a platform that allows users to mine cryptocurrencies or perform any of the typical blockchain transactions for a fraction of the price and at much higher speeds. In fact, zkTube is over 200 times faster than Ethereum.
Given this technological breakthrough, it is no surprise that zkTube has had no shortage of interest from investors. In April 2021, the project raised $1.1 million in its seed round. Just two months later, in June, the zkTube team raised an additional $4 million and another $2 million in August. Well funded and with its technology optimized, the zkTube mainnet is ready for launch on Sept. 10, 2021.
“Aside from zkTube’s low-cost, low environmental impact and high-speed mining solution, the launch of the PayTube wallet is incredibly exciting. The wallet will be the first of its kind and the added layer of discretion achieved using zero-knowledge technology could not be more timely given the all-too-common stories of nonfungible token platforms and wallets getting hacked nowadays,” said Raul Heraud, chief operating officer of zkTube. Given the additional encryption of the PayTube wallet, zkTube is well-positioned to become a leader in the NFT as well as gaming and decentralized finance (GameFi) world. In fact, the group is already in talks with some of the largest players in the GameFi sector.
The zkTube community is over 200,000 people strong. The testnet has over 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’s solutions and want to be part of what is expected to be the first layer-two unicorn.
ZkTube is based in Melbourne and has over 50 team members, with more than 30 technical engineers and consultants in the field of cryptography. Together, they make up zkTube Labs and PayTube Explore, along with a leadership team that looks after both business units and explores new ideas. Its senior management comes from International Blockchain Labs, a well-known Australian fintech company, and world-renowned universities including Deakin University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT Sloan. Their previous work experiences are varied and just as impressive, including big names such as J.P. Morgan, Merrill, Bain & Company, and NGS Crypto, Australia’s largest blockchain mining company.
The zkTube team is not stopping with these innovative solutions as plans for new products, partnerships and even acquisitions are in the books for the following 12 months. For now, the focus will be on growing zkTube’s operations in Dubai and Canada, where it already has strong alliances and is in the process of co-building the country’s first official mining pool. Given the results to date, there is little doubt that zkTube will achieve its projected milestones and likely even more.