Decentralized Futures Proposal: ZKLiquid - A Cross-chain Liquidity Protocol and Interoperability Network

Hello Polkadot Community members, I would like to introduce you to ZKLiquid, a cross-chain Liquidity and Interoperability protocol that is proposing to build an EVM-Polkadot/Kusama interoperability network.

Below is an overview of what ZKLiquid is and proposing.

Introducing ZKLiquid

ZKLiquid is a cross-chain liquidity protocol and interoperability oracle network that provides siloed blockchains with a decentralized and secure means to communicate and sync data, thereby facilitating interoperability between these blockchains. The goal of ZKLiquid is to serve as a reliable and secure EVM-to-non-EVM interoperability network. Therefore, we propose the development of an EVM-Polkadot/Kusama decentralized relay network and liquidity bridging protocol, facilitating seamless interoperability between numerous EVM blockchains and the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem.

One of the significant problems the crypto space and multi-chain dApps have faced over the past years is with interoperability and the security concerns associated with existing solutions. In 2022 alone, over $2 billion worth of crypto assets were hacked due to exploits on multi-chain bridges that relied on centralized infrastructure services, servers, or nodes for cross-chain data validation and transfer. These centralized solutions introduces a single point of failure where exploiters target to tamper with data being sent across chains.

In addition to the above, many decentralized oracle networks that offer interoperability technologies like Chainlink are focussed on EVM-EVM interoperability and no support for the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem.

ZKLiquid proposed relay network will provide a secured and decentralized solution that bridges data and assets between EVM blokchains and Polkadot/Kusama. As a decentralized interoperability protocol, ZKLiquid relay network relies on multiple nodes (Collators) to validate data and transfer, thereby eliminating the single point of failure problem. This makes building interoperable dApps and omni-chain applications that support both EVM and Polkadot/Kusama more secure and reliable.

What is ZKLiquid Relay Network

The main aspect of ZKLiquid technology is the Relay Network. The relay network is a decentralized oracle network (DON), essentially a blockchain network that uses a proof of stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to validate and sync transaction/state data between Polakadot/Kusama and EVM chains facilitating secure interoperability between these ecosystems.

ZKLiquid Relay Network Security

ZKLiquid leveraged the shared security model of Polkadot/Kusama to ensure the secure and tamper-proof transfer of data between chains, the relay network implements several measures, leveraging its PoS consensus mechanism, these include:

Decentralization and Validator Nodes (Collators): The network is secured by multiple validator nodes, with a minimum of 20 nodes securing the network. This high number of validators ensures decentralization, significantly reducing the risk of a 51% attack.

Staking Requirements: Validator nodes are required to stake tokens. The amount required to become a validator must exceed a specified minimum stake, ensuring that validators have a vested interest in the network’s integrity.

Penalization via Stake Slashing: Nodes that misbehave or act maliciously are penalized through stake slashing. This means that a misbehaving node will lose a portion of its staked tokens as a penalty, deterring dishonest actions.

Random and Proportional Block Forging: To ensure security and fairness, the selection of the node (forger) that adds a new block to the network is both random and proportional to the amount of tokens staked. For example, if Node A has 1000 tokens staked and Node B has 3000 tokens staked, Node B has three times the chance of being selected as the forger compared to Node A. However, the selection mechanism remains fundamentally random.

Validation of Blocks by the Polkadot Relay Chain
While the Collators create blocks and perform other blockchain logic on ZKLiquid relay network, the created blocks are verified by the validators on the Polkadot relay chain and invalid blocks are rejected.

By this consensus and shared security model, the ZKLiquid Relay Network ensures robust, decentralized, and secure interoperability between the Polkadot/Kusama and EVM chains.

Functional Components of the Relay Network

After discussing the implementation of ZKLiquid Relay network consensus mechanism, let’s now give an overview of its functional components. The relay network comprises two decentralized Oracle Networks (DONs):

Data Transfer DON

The Data Transfer DON is a group of connected nodes responsible for validating and transferring data/states between the supported EVM chains and Polkadot/Kusama. This DON does not perform any state changes; it solely focuses on securely syncing important data between both chains.

Execution DON

The Execution DON consists of Collators responsible for executing transaction upkeeps based on the incoming data on Polkadot/Kusama. For example, in a bridge dApp which leverages ZKLiquid, if 50 USDC tokens are transferred from Ethereum to a Polkadot/Kusama Parachain, the Data Transfer DON handles the transfer data. This includes the equivalent token address on the Parachain (e.g., wrapped USDC), the amount sent, and the recipient’s address on the Parachain. Once the Collators reach finality on the data, the Execution DON updates the states on the ZKLiquid Relay Network, which is then available on the Parachain via XCM.

By this architecture, the relay network ensures efficient and secure data transfer and state updates across blockchain networks.

To make this possible, ZKLiquid implements the EVM and the XCM pallet among others, enabling the communication of data through ZKLiquid from any EVM chain to the Parachains. As ZKLiquid syncs important data on EVM chains by default, projects building on ZKLiquid and other parachains can leverage this to interoperate with any EVM without additional development or configuration.

ZKLiquid’s Fit with the Polkadot/Kusama Ecosystem

ZKLiquid’s cross-chain liquidity protocol and interoperability oracle network are well-suited for the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem. The Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem is built on the principle of interoperability, enabling different parachains to communicate and share data seamlessly. ZKLiquid enhances this vision by bridging the gap between EVM-based blockchains and the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem, as it further expands the domain of XCM format to EVM-compatible blockchains and consensus systems that are outside the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem.

Among several use cases, here are some main use cases within the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem that would directly benefit from ZKLiquid’s interoperability solution:

Usecases and Benefits

ZKLiquid’s solution will serve as a secure universal liquidity and asset portal for the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem. With data lanes implemented on numerous EVM-compatible blockchains, users and developers will be able to seamlessly transfer crypto liquidity and assets from all those EVM chains to the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem.

This will open the door for omni and crosschain-dApps that interoperate with EVM blockchains to be developed within the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem. Some of the types of dApps that will be possible with this include:

Universal Liquidity/Asset Portal

ZKLiquid will serve as a one-stop universal liquidity and asset portal for the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem where users and developers can securely move their assets from 10s of EVM compatible blockchains to Polkadot/Kusama.

Omni-chain Algorithmic Money Markets

Omni-chain algorithmic money markets on the Polkadot ecosystem where users can borrow stablecoins with collateral on Ethereum, without having to transfer them over, and vice versa.
With this, dApps will not be restricted by chain, users will be able to interact seamlessly from any blockchains.

This developments will lead to an exponential growth in active users on Polkadot/Kusama, consequently increasing the TVL (Total Value Locked) on dApps and protocols, and significantly boosting the volume inflow of assets.

Key Deliverables

ZKLiquid Relay Network as a Parathread: Establish a robust parathread on the Polkadot network, enabling the development and deployment of omni-chain decentralized applications (dApps). This parathread will leverage Polkadot’s shared security model, ensuring high security and scalability for all dApps built on the ZKLiquid Relay Network.

EVM-Polkadot Data Lanes: Implement seamless data lanes between Polkadot/Kusama and major EVM blockchains, targeting five initial EVM chains. These data lanes will enable secure and efficient data and state synchronization, enhancing interoperability and expanding the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem’s reach.

Polkadot/Kusama - EVM Liquidity and Asset Portal: Develop a comprehensive liquidity and asset portal that facilitates secure and seamless movement of assets between supported EVM chains and Polkadot/Kusama. This portal will provide a user-friendly interface and robust security features, allowing users to bridge their assets efficiently.

Omni-chain Algorithmic Money Market: Launch a decentralized omni-chain algorithmic money market platform where users can leverage assets from EVM chains as collateral to access liquidity on Polkadot/Kusama.

Team Members

The ZKLiquid team brings together a diverse group of nine tech enthusiasts and experts in blockchain, boasting a cumulative experience of over 40 years in software application development and more than 15 years in blockchain technology.
Adedotun Akintayo (Ph.D.) - Co-Founder & Business Lead
The team is lead by Adedotun Akintayo, who holds a Ph.D. specializing in Applied AI/ML and brings extensive experience as an AI/ML Software Engineer & Tech Lead at Boeing. With a rich background in developing distributed computing, numerical analysis, and AI-driven tools, Adedotun provides profound technical expertise and strategic insight to ZKLiquid. His proven track record in product development and project management equips him to effectively steer the team towards achieving ZKLiquid’s mission.

Our dedicated team members are committed to driving ZKLiquid forward and realizing our vision of revolutionizing cross-chain interoperability and decentralized finance.

Longterm Goals

ZKLiquid’s long-term goals encompass several key objectives aimed at enhancing the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem and expanding its impact. These goals include:

Securing a Parachain Slot

ZKLiquid aims to win a Parachain slot on the Polkadot network. By becoming a full-fledged Parachain, ZKLiquid will leverage Polkadot’s robust shared security model, ensuring enhanced security, scalability, and performance for its cross-chain liquidity protocol and interoperability oracle network. This will solidify ZKLiquid’s position as a critical infrastructure component within the Polkadot ecosystem.

Establishing a Universal DeFi Portal on Polkadot/Kusama

ZKLiquid intends to create a comprehensive DeFi portal that brings a wide array of cross-chain DeFi use cases to the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem. This portal will support:

  • Cross-Chain Bridging of Assets: Enabling seamless and secure transfer of assets between EVM-based blockchains and Polkadot/Kusama, facilitating greater liquidity and asset mobility.
  • Cross-Chain Swaps: Providing efficient and secure mechanisms for swapping assets across different blockchain networks, enhancing user convenience and market liquidity.
  • Omni-Chain Money Markets: Launching decentralized money markets where users can leverage assets from EVM chains as collateral to access liquidity on Polkadot/Kusama, driving financial inclusion and capital efficiency.
Expanding Interoperability Solutions

ZKLiquid will continuously expand its interoperability solutions to support more blockchain networks. This includes integrating additional Polkadot/Kusama-EVMinteroperability lanes and exploring interoperability with other non-EVM chains, thereby broadening the reach and utility of the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem.

Driving Ecosystem Adoption and Collaboration

ZKLiquid will actively foster partnerships and collaborations within the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem and beyond. This includes:

  • Working with other Parachains and projects to create synergies and drive ecosystem growth.
  • Participating in community initiatives, hackathons, and developer programs to encourage innovation and adoption of ZKLiquid’s solutions.
  • Engaging with regulatory bodies and industry groups to promote the adoption of decentralized cross-chain solutions in a compliant manner.


In conclusion, ZKLiquid’s vision and initiatives hold tremendous potential to drive significant benefits, growth, and adoption within the Polkadot/Kusama ecosystem and the broader blockchain industry. By focusing on enhancing cross-chain interoperability, fostering decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions, and promoting collaboration, ZKLiquid is poised to make a meaningful impact.

We are committed to collaborating with developers, projects, and community members to further advance interoperability solutions and expand the reach of decentralized finance. Your feedback and viewpoints are invaluable to us as we continue to innovate and build towards a more interconnected, secure, and inclusive DeFi future.