Proving Rollups’ State

Authors: Daniel Ivanov, George Spasov


The following is a comparison table examining the data structure, hashing and compression algorithms and the available APIs for retrieving witness nodes for executing Merkle Inclusions Proofs against a Rollup’s state.

The research has been conducted as part of Wisp’s ongoing work to enable trustless cross-rollup communication.


RollupData StructureHashing AlgorithmCompression & State on L1Data Availability & Proofs APIComment
ArbitrumMPTkeccakThe state root is too obfuscated with the compression algorithm. Hard to derive.Blockchain RPC: eth_getProof
Bedrock (Op/Base)MPTkeccak1. mapping of blockNumber→outputRoot 2. Algorithm for verifying blockHash using outputRootBlockchain RPC: eth_getProof
Polygon zkEVMSparse Merkle TreePoseidon1. mapping of batchNumber→stateRoot 2. Blockchain RPC endpoint for mapping batchNumber to blockNumberNot SupportedWitness nodes data for Merkle Inclusion Proof is not freely available
ScrollMPTPoseidonContract not open-sourced and not verified. #1 and #2Blockchain RPC: eth_getProof is present in the node’s codebase, but not exposed in public RPC endpointsWitness nodes data for Merkle Inclusion Proof can be accessed if a private node is used
TaikoMPTkeccak mapping of number → blockHashBlockchain RPC: eth_getProof
zkSync EraSparse Merkle TreeBlake2 mapping of number → blockHashNot supportedWitness nodes data for Merkle Inclusion Proof is not freely available
StarkNetMPTPoseidon mapping of number → state root hashBlockchain RPC: pathfinder_getProof
Linea (ConsenSys zkEVM)Sparse Merkle TreeMiMCContract not open-sourced and not verifiedBlockchain RPC: eth_getProof

ZKP Verification (Groth16)

Groth16 verification requires ecadd, ecmul and ecpairing precompiles to be supported. The following table shows whether a rollup is “ready” to execute ZKP verifications or not.

Bedrock (OP/Base)YesYesYes
Polygon zkEVMNoNoNoWIP
ScrollPartiallyPartiallyPartiallyCalls to precompiles are trusted. Execution of those precompiles is not part of the validity proof.
TaikoPartiallyPartiallyPartiallyCalls to precompiles are trusted. Execution of those precompiles is not part of the validity proof.
zkSync EraNoNoNoWIP
LineaPartiallyPartiallyPartiallyCalls to precompiles are trusted. Execution of those precompiles is not part of the validity proof.


Although the majority of the data described above has been verified by the corresponding teams, some properties can be erroneous. If that is the case, comment on the error and the tables will be updated.


  • Optimistic rollups tend to have more complex compression algorithms that obfuscate the state root of the L2 network. One possible reason is due to their maturity. Since they have been for a while now, it is evident that they are putting a lot of effort into optimising L1 gas costs to reduce the L2 TX costs. It is important to note though that too much compression leads to obfuscation thus harder for users to prove the Rollup’s state
  • Most of the zkEVMs are not providing the necessary tools and APIs for users to prove a contract’s state on the Rollup. It is expected that as those rollups mature, the required APIs will be supported.
  • When it comes to precompiles support, Optimistic rollups support the verification of ZKPs, however, zkEVMs either decide not to support the precompiles at all or support them partially by enabling execution even though it is not part of the validity proofs.

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Wisp: ZK-based Cross-Rollup-Communication Protocol

Wisp: Cross-Rollup-Communication Protocol

Daniel, Architect at LimeChain (blockchain development company) and part of LimeLabs – R&D Divison.


The following aims to describe an enshrined Cross-Rollup-Communication protocol for data transfer between rollups, completely aligned with Ethereum’s rollup-centric future and supporting the Ethereum community.

The draft paper elaborates on the economic incentives for the actors participating in the protocol, presents a CRC message flow, and reviews the security and scalability implications of the protocol.

How it works

Wisp is (1) an on-chain SNARK-based light client and (2) a verification mechanism for the storage of a rollup. The on-chain light client makes sure that the destination rollup can trust and reason about a specific execution state root at a specific height of Ethereum L1. Based on this root, smart contracts can reason about the inclusion (or not) of a certain piece of information inside any rollup anchoring with Ethereum L1. The way that the data inclusion reasoning happens will be specific for each source rollup.

The proposed system includes relayers as actors who transfer data from a source rollup into a destination rollup. A successful data transfer requires:

  1. Ethereum executionStateRoot posted on the Destination Rollup
  2. Merkle Inclusion Proof (from Ethereum L1) of the root of the Source Rollup
  3. Merkle Inclusion Proof (from Source Rollup) of the storage slots that must be proven and for the Destination rollup to verify the integrity of the data transfer.

Proving the L1 Execution State Root
The CRC protocol incorporates an on-chain light client that follows the Ethereum Sync Protocol and updates its head through the usage of ZK-SNARKs. The ZKP proves that the majority of the SyncCommittee has signed a given block header.

Proving the Rollup State Root
The root of the Source rollup is posted on the Rollup’s L1 Contract address. Merkle Inclusion Proof of the storage key holding the Source Rollup state is provided to the CRC contract on the destination network. Using the executionStateRoot already proven from the last step, the contract verifies the state root of the source rollup.

Proving the Data to be transferred
Merkle Inclusion Proof of the storage key holding the data inside the Source Rollup is provided to the CRC contract on the destination network. Using the already proven source rollup state, the contract verifies the raw data that must be transferred.

Alpha Version

There is a live alpha version of the protocol that uses a SNARK similar to Proof-of-Consensus to prove the L1 Execution State Root (step 1).

How is this different from other initiatives?

  • Ethereum rollup centric – Wisp is specifically focused on the Ethereum ecosystems and its rollups. It recognizes the nuances of the rollup-centric vision of Ethereum and is not designed nor intended to become a “cross-chain” initiative.
  • Open-source public good. A cross-rollup communication protocol should be 1) open-source (non-negotiable), 2) public good and ideally 3) built in the open with contributions (or at least input) from different teams. A public good does not exclude having a sustainable revenue stream, but it does exclude rent-seeking behaviour, centralization and optimizing for profit (rather than impact).
  • Security. Absolutely crucial. The ideal CRC solution must provide security beyond crypto-economics and incentives. A preferable approach here would step on the security of L1 Ethereum and complement that with additional cryptography (zk proofs). Wisp does this through SNARKs rather than economical incentives.
  • Decentralization. There is no multi-sig controlling a bridge. Anyone can participate as a relayer in the Wisp protocol. No actor is special or permissioned – anyone can assume any of the protocol roles. The protocol’s decision-making should also decentralize over time if it becomes a key part of the ecosystem.
  • Neutrality. The protocol should facilitate interoperability in the Ethereum ecosystem and avoid servicing certain rollups or applications at expense of others.

An always-open invitation to join and contribute

Wisp is intended to be completely permissionless and built-in public. We’ve modelled our approach by the work of the Flashbots initiative – being a public good and completely in line with Ethereum. For Wisp to be permissionless and neutral, it would require multiple diverse parties to join the initiative. Below are some top-of-mind ways to join and contribute.

Feedback and support

We are still early in the development and hope to get feedback from the Ethereum community and the Ethereum thought leaders. Any critical feedback and improvement suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. Feel free to comment here or reach out in discord.

A shortlist of topics to further explore and collaborate

Here are some unexplored or underoptimized aspects of Wisp. We would love to see collaborators and suggestions in these or any other aspects of the protocol.

  • Fast-tracking Ethereum finality – how not to need to wait 12 minutes for block finality
  • Dealing with rollups finality – how to deal with the (not)finalized state of a rollup.
  • Optimizing and combining the state relay proofs – this could mean completely moving away from Circom and Groth16 if needs be.
  • Optimizing the multiple Merkle inclusion proofs – for the Ethereum execution root or the storage inclusion in a rollup
  • Moving away from the sync protocol committee and basing on the wider validator set – is this needed and beneficial?

Supporting rollups

We would love to support all rollups. At the moment we support Optimism Bedrock-style rollups. We’ve explored several other rollups but would need closer collaboration with the roll-up teams in order to support them. This is mainly due to differences in the state management of most ZK rollups. We would like to invite any interested rollups to get in touch – we would love to align with you and add as many rollups as possible.

Building on top of Wisp

Protocol, without applications on top of it, is worth nothing. We’ve started exploring building sample applications on top of it (much like the demo one). If you are interested in being a cross-rollup app developer please get in touch. We would love to make it so that is super convenient and easy for your dapp to live multi-rollup.

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