StarkNet Review

Starkware, StarkNet, StarkEx, we all have heard these names in 2022. If you haven’t heard of this before, in this article, we will find out what exactly is StarkNet and whether it is a 100x investment opportunity!

StarkNet is a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum that leverages the Zero Knowledge (ZK) Rollup Technology. So first, let’s define what are ZK Rollups.

What is a Rollup?

Rollups are solutions that help users and dApps to enable high-speed, and low-cost transactions. They combine many transactions and process them as a single transaction on the Ethereum mainnet. So essentially, users don’t have to compromise on the security and decentralization of Ethereum. Rollups solve the problem in the right way.

What is Stakware?

Starkware is the parent organization that builds both StarkNet and StarkEx. Both are layer-2 solutions with a small differentiating factor:

  • StarkEx: Is designed for Exchanges, like dYdX, to go for massive scaling.
  • StarkNet: This is a generalistic Layer-2 where users can interact with smart contracts.

Both use the same ZK-Stark technology.

How StarkNet Fares with Optimism?

Although Optimism and StarkNet are rollup solutions on Ethereum, both are different.

Optimism allows smart contracts to deploy on the Ethereum mainnet directly. While StarkNet offers more security than Optimistic rollups including Optimism.

The main difference comes in the usability of the protocol.  For example, a user who wants to use different apps can prefer Optimism while a user who wants to access specific services and frameworks can go to StarkNet.

Who Invested in StarkNet?

Starkware has raised more than $165 million over various investment rounds. Now, VC firms like ConsenSys, Dragonfly Capital, Paradigm, Alameda Research, and Three Arrows Capital have invested in the protocol. It means that it is valued at around $2 billion already.

Moreover, StarkNet has announced a token in July 2022. Its token can bring much transparency and that in turn provides an opportunity for investors to take part in governance.  Just like Optimism, StarkNet is likely to airdrop some tokens for the users:

optimism airdrop eligibility

Source: Optimism

Now, let’s take a look at Optimism Airdrop eligibility. Three types of entities received maximum airdrop:

  1. Users: of Optimism Network and performed bridging and other functions
  2. Repeated Users: Users who used Optimism extensively
  3. DAO Voters: Users voted on governance proposals

Therefore, if StarkNet follows the footsteps of Optimism, we can expect a similar airdrop pattern. However, their distribution patterns suggest a high valuation model.


StarkNet Token Distribution
StarkNet Token Distribution Insights
  1. StarkNet token has a total supply of 10 Billion
  2. The community gets around 9% of the total supply (900 Million). If we count rebates also, the airdrop is close to 18%.
  3. No tokens are allocated as ecosystem incentives, though 12% grants can fill that gap.
  4. Investors get 17% of the total supply with a 1-year cliff and 3 years of linear vesting. The same goes for core contributors (dApps, developers, team, etc). However, they get 32.9% of the total supply.

On the other hand, Optimism also went for a similar token distribution:

  • 17% for investors
  • 8% unallocated
  • 19% airdrops (StarkNet has almost 18%)

Source: Optimism
StarkNet Roadmap

Let’s take a look at the roadmap for better clarity.

1) January 2022:
  • StarkNet Alpha and Devnet.
  • Development of Cairo language (Full developer tools and libraries)
  • Games (DopeWars, Influence, and Game of Blocks)
  • NFTs (Briqs, Lords, and Oasis.)
  • DeFi Protocols (Zigzag, Jediswap, Serity, and Yagi Finance.)

We can see the ecosystem development is inclusive from the first month. Three games, three NFT projects with a focus on fractionalization, and four DeFi projects joined the ecosystem in January. The ecosystem is leaning towards DeFi and Gaming. That tells us StarkNet wants to become an ecosystem that focuses on user growth and user retention. Here is an example of an NFT marketplace:

nft marketplace in starknet

Source: Aspect
2) February 2022
  • Aave v3 launch
  • Games – Realms (building lootverse), and Eykar.
  • NFTs – Mallows
  • Launchpad – Zkpad

Following the structure of January, the ecosystem growth is visible in the Games sector. Two games joined the StarkNet ecosystem, and most importantly Aave V3 initiated support of the StarkNet chain. for example, Zkpad is the first launchpad for StarkNet.  Here is a tweet from Realms:

3) March 2022
  • Games – Bitmapbox, Ogame (space game), and Etherquest.
  • NFTs – NFTflow (Liquidity protocol for NFTs)
  • Defi – ZkLend, Alpha Road Finance, Magnety (Asset Management), Starkswap, Brine Finance, Curve Zero, xBank (Liquidity market), and Orbiter Finance (Bridge Protocol).
  • Metaverse – Phi
  • Partnership – Alchemy (infrastructure and services)

While the first 2 months of 2022 favored Defi and Games, the StarkNet ecosystem developed a clear outlook in March. The ecosystem favored DeFi projects, and a bridge protocol along with a liquidity market joined StarkNet. Also, the rate of ecosystem growth is unparalleled in the first quarter of 2022.

4) April 2022
  • NFT fractionalization initiated
  • Library of smart contract templates
  • StarkNet Multisig functional
  • DeFi – ZKX (perpetual swaps protocol), Zigzag exchange (Orderbook)
  • Partnership: Web3Auth (onboard users)
  • Mostar (Ethereum Bridge – Supports ERC721)

In 2022 April, StarkNet released a library template for smart contracts. At the same time, the ecosystem growth was largely in DeFi. Perpetual swaps protocol ZKX joined the ecosystem. It is rare to see such complex dApps targeting advanced users launch at an early stage of development.

perpetual swap

Source: ZKX
5) May 2022
  • Starkware announces $100m series D fundraise.
  • Cairo contract wizard to smart contract’s bootstrap.
  • Cairo privacy feature to hide data temporarily is developed.
  • (3D smart contract interaction)
  • NFT – ERC721R (refundable NFTs) support, PlayOasis (NFT marketplace for 3D NFT viewer), Articium (Community NFTs), MintsquareNFT (Multimedia NFTs for view/mint)
  • Metaverse – Topology
  • Games – Play Redline (a racing game), (Gaming console/wallet), Genesis (Minecraft-inspired game on MatchboxDao), Deadlydotgames (NFT collection on Ethereum to building games on Starknet), Seraphie (MMORPG)
  • DeFiStarkswap + Ironfleet (allows users to pool assets on Starknet to deposit in Ethereum mainnet. Splits gas fees amongst depositors), Canvas Connect (L1 ETH Defi dApps access through Defi Pooling), Yagi Finance (L2 Yield vaults)
  •  Starkgate Alpha (Bridge)
  • Gizatechxyz (Machine Learning platform for automation solutions)
  • Partnership with Immutable X for cross-rollup Liquidity layer
6) June 2022
  • Maker connected to Starknet
  • NFT – LordofaFew (Resource Marketplace with assets from multiple projects/NFT collections), Attunedao (building Starkpass, an NFT that tracks on-chain data on Starknet)
  • DeFi – Starkgazer (yields aggregator)
  • GamesImperium Wars
  • Partnership with Layerswap to onboard new users and encourage interoperability
  • Adeptus Digital DAO
  • Immutable X NFT bridge live
7) July 2022
  • Starkware releases a decentralization proposal, tokens plan, and foundation plan.
  • DeFi – Orbiter Finance (allows Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon to transfer $ETH to StarkNet), Tempus Finance (money market)
  • StarkNet Indexer – a service that allows DApp developers to access decoded and indexed transactions and event data through GraphQL, SQL, and HTTP requests. It helps streamline the dApp experience for users.
  • ZigZag announces InvisibL3 – a Layer 3 for private transactions
  • Starkgate Bridge supports $wBTC, $USDT, $USDC
  • Oracle – Empiric Network 
  • Music NFTs – Musicvers

Alright, credit where it is due. This article is possible because of our research writer KC, who spent hours collecting all the milestones.

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