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HomeAltcoinsEthereumA Battle for the ZK Acronym

A Battle for the ZK Acronym

Matter Labs’ decision to trademark the term “ZK” in nine countries stirred significant controversy within the crypto community. This move, aimed at securing exclusive rights to the term “ZK” for their products, was met with criticism from players like Starkware, Polygon, and Polyhedra. The conflict intensified when Matter Labs attempted to claim the “ZK” ticker for its upcoming token, despite Polyhedra’s existing use of the ticker.

In response to the backlash, including a public letter from the opposing companies demanding the withdrawal of the trademark applications, Matter Labs defended its position by arguing that trademarks were the only legal means to ensure their use of “ZK” without restrictions. They also reached out to the Ethereum Foundation to explore the possibility of establishing a legal framework to place “ZK” in the public domain.

The Co-Founders of Zero Knowledge Technology made their stance known on X.

The controversy led Polyhedra Network to rebrand its token ticker from “ZK” to “ZKJ,” symbolising unity and openness within the ZK community. This rebranding was supported by HashKey Global.

Ultimately, Matter Labs succumbed to community pressure and withdrew its trademark applications. This decision was influenced by criticism from ZK researchers and project leaders who advocated for keeping the term “ZK” as a public good. This episode underscores the tensions and challenges within the rapidly evolving crypto space, particularly concerning the ownership and use of common industry terms.

Matter Labs continues to focus on its zkSync platform, which aims to scale Ethereum using zero-knowledge proofs. Despite the trademark controversy, they are moving forward with plans to open source zkSync Era and further decentralise the protocol’s ecosystem, emphasising principles such as trustlessness, security, and sovereignty.

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