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zkSync Drops 'ZK' Trademark Effort After Backlash

The L2, rumored to be launching its token soon, had been a subject of controversy last week.
David C David C Jun 3, 20242 min read
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zkSync Drops 'ZK' Trademark Effort After Backlash

Matter Labs, the company building zkSync, has dropped its attempt to trademark the term “ZK” following backlash.

What's the scoop?

  • Abandoning Trademark: Matter Labs, the company behind ZkSync, had been trying to trademark "ZK" (a commonly used crypto acronym that stands for zero-knowledge), but has abandoned the effort after community backlash though they notably cited their challenge of finding a neutral group to oversee the trademark as a key reason.
  • Community Response: Many ZK project leaders, including the co-inventor of ZK proofs, the co-founders of Polygon, and the founder of StarkWare, all condemned the move and advocated for the term to remain a public good.
  • Upcoming Airdrop: The controversy comes as zkSync plans for their long-awaited airdrop soon, expected soon, with its intended ticker "ZK" initially clashing with Polyhedra’s, before theirs was changed to "ZKJ."
ZK Trademark Controversy Unfolds on Bankless
zkSync’s efforts to trademark

Bankless Take:

While Matter Labs made the right decision in the end, trademarking the phrase to begin with will likely leave a bad taste in people’s mouths for some time. Though they claimed it was to protect the use of “ZK” in naming projects, given that they co-opted the “ZK” ticker from Polyhedra who has now changed theirs to “ZKJ,” the trademark application looks much more like an offensive corporate strategy rather than the portrayed defensive move. Hopefully, they can take a moment to reflect on the negative feedback that they received and proceed with it in mind.

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David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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