Top 10 Starknet Projects in 2023

ZKX
7 min readFeb 24, 2023

Welcome back to Part 5 of our Back to Basics Series. Today, we will explore the Top 10 Projects of 2023 over the most promising Ethereum Layer 2 ecosystem — Starknet. But before that, let’s learn a bit about the chain & the factors that make it so special!

What is Starknet ?

Starknet is a decentralized L2 protocol based on ZK-Rollup tech, an ultra-secure mechanism by which the inputs used by the off-chain prover are not exposed on the blockchain.

It’s based on a highly scalable cryptographic proof system called STARK that enables dapps to achieve limitless scale without compromising Ethereum’s composability and security.

Starknet contracts and the Starknet OS are written in Cairo which supports the deployment of almost any business logic. According to DeFiLlama, the TVL of the chain has grown by 4000% to $1.1Mn+.

$STRK Tokens

On 16th Nov 2022, Starknet announced the deployment of $STRK, Starknet’s native tokens on Ethereum Mainnet.

$STRK will be used for voting, staking, and paying fees. Tokens held by the Starnet (StarkWare) core team & other contributors will be locked for 4 years & will be distributed gradually after a year. The distribution of the tokens is still to be decided.

Cairo

Like Ethereum has Solidity & Solana has Rust — Starknet has its own language called Cairo. It is the native language to write smart contracts on Starknet.

We’ve written a primer on Cairo where you can learn everything about the language. Recently, StarkWare announced Cairo 1.0 — an upgradation of the old Cairo language. Compared to its previous version, it is more simplified & efficient and has improved syntaxes, more intuitive libraries, and better compiler integration.

Account Abstraction

Currently, if you want to open a self-custodial & decentralized wallet like Metamask, Trust, or Phantom — you’ll have to remember your seed phrase & private keys. In, any case, if you lose them then you’ll lose access to your funds forever. This is a huge issue to onboard new users to the world of web3 & DeFi.

Enter Account Abstraction which solves this problem by creating smart-contract-based wallets. This cutting-edge innovation is made popular by the Starknet ecosystem & is already functional in projects like Argetnt X & Braavos.

Alright, as we have learned about our chain Starknet, now we’ll see the Top 10 projects of 2023 on it. LFG 🚀

1/ Argent X

Category: Wallet

Status: Mainnet

Brief: Argent is a decentralized wallet with multi-signature security and social recovery. All transactions are automatically blocked unless there are trustable addresses or you approve them with multifactor authentication. This protects every Ethereum asset, including multimillion-dollar NFTs. In Argent, you never need a seed phrase. This eliminates the single point of failure that undermines traditional self-custody wallets, including hardware wallets. In the recent StarkWare Sessions, they’ve announced the launch of four new products: Seed-less wallet, 2FA for Argent X, Starknet in mobile, and multisig for DAOs.

2/ Braavos

Category: Wallet

Status: Mainnet

Brief: Braavos is a smart contract-based self-custodial wallet built on Starknet that utilizes account abstraction. It is available on iOS and Android as well as on browsers. Braavos is providing a seamless web2-like UX and is building features that will help users get rid of seed phrases while allowing easy recovery of accounts. Besides wallets, they plan to offer services like staking, borrowing, and lending. Braavos will also support account segmentation to separate between long-term (high amount) savings and everyday (low amount) spending via supporting withdrawal limits and withdrawal time delay. Recently, they announced that the contracts of their wallet accounts are now open-source.

3/ Orbiter Finance

Category: Bridge

Status: Mainnet

Brief: Orbiter Finance is a decentralized cross-rollup Layer 2 bridge with a contract only on the destination side. It supports low-cost, instant transfer between ETH mainnet, zkSync, and Arbitrum; the cost is low, and the process is instant.

In Orbiter Finance, there are two roles: Sender and Maker.

  1. When the Sender initiates a transfer, the Maker provides liquidity for it.
  2. The smart contract ensures the security of this process.
  3. If the Maker behaves badly and the transfer fails, the Sender can initiate an arbitration request to the contract with the Maker’s margin and then get the excess compensation.

4/ Starkgate

Category: Bridge

Status: Pre-Testnet

Brief: Starkgate is the Ethereum ↔ Starknet token bridge developed by StarkWare. Each supported token is associated with L1 and L2 bridge contracts communicating via Starknet’s messaging mechanism. The bridges facilitate users’ ability to conduct their transactions with their ETH and ERC-20 tokens that reside on L1. This is done via the Starknet Alpha network and its STARK-based computational compression capabilities.

5/ JediSwap

Category: DeFi

Status: Mainnet

Brief: JediSwap is a permissionless composable AMM on Starknet. In JediSwap, users can make swaps with 0 gas fees without losing custody of their funds. The only fee associated is a swap fee of 0.3%. At the time being, this fee is shared proportionally between liquidity providers.

To test JediSwap on the Starknet testnet, you will need tokens. For most mainstream tokens like USDC, ETH, and DAI, you will first have to get test tokens on Goerli and then move them to Starknet using the Starkgate bridge.

6/ Nostra

Category: DeFi

Status: Testnet

Brief: Nostra is building the Liquidity Layer of Starknet, which comprises three products: Nostra Money Market, UNO (the first Starknet-native stablecoin), and Nostra Swap.

  • Nostra Money Market is the core product of the Liquidity Layer, enabling liquidity within the ecosystem to be constantly productive. It also provides yield across Nostra Swap and for UNO minters.
  • Nostra Swap is the next-generation stablecoin swap, supporting UNO’s growth and stability. Liquidity providers on Nostra Swap earn a yield from lending their stablecoins on the Nostra Money Market while also earning swap fees.
  • UNO is the first Starknet-native stablecoin. It is overcollateralized by interest-bearing ETH, allowing all minters to accrue yield on their ETH while making the most of UNO within the Starknet ecosystem. UNO will serve all purposes, including within DeFi, gaming, NFTs, real-world payments, and more.

7/ Starknet [.] id

Category: NFT

Status: Mainnet

Brief: Starknet.id is Starknet’s ENS. One can mint their starknet identity for free, acting as one’s Starknet passport and on-chain representation. One will also be able to attach any data to the starknet identity, from web2 with social media accounts to web3 with ENS domains. The team plans to build ENS bridges, Starknet ID dashboards, and more features.

8/ ZKX

Category: DeFi

Status: Testnet on 14th March

Brief: ZKX is the first perpetual futures exchange on Starknet with self-custody and true community governance. The protocol is designed to provide further scalability with a decentralized node network and an elevated trading experience and offer perpetual swaps and derivatives to any user on Starknet and Ethereum. ZKX’s mission is to democratize access to global yields through its offerings to anyone, anywhere.

We recently launched our Community Incentives Program, a combination of contributor and ambassador programs in a gamified universe. Head into our socials to participate!

9/ zkLend

Category: DeFi

Status: Testnet

Brief: zkLend is an L2 money-market protocol built on Starknet, combining zk-rollup scalability, superior transaction speed, and cost savings with Ethereum’s security. The protocol offers a dual solution: a permission and compliance-focused solution for institutional clients and a permissionless service for DeFi users — all without sacrificing decentralization.

10/ Brine

Category: DeFi

Status: Testnet

Brief: Brine is a cross-chain DEX. To overcome the slippage problem, they use the order book model over AMM for trading. The platform charges flat 0.1% transaction fees but lacks any gas fees.

Alright, that’s a wrap to the 5th edition of our Back to Basics series. We’ll return soon to educate you about the Starknet ecosystem, DeFi, Trading & the ZKX product!About ZKX

ZKX is the first perpetual futures exchange on Starknet with self-custody and true community governance. The protocol is designed to provide further scalability with a decentralized node network, and an elevated trading experience, and offer perpetual swaps and derivatives to any user on Starknet and Ethereum. ZKX’s mission is to democratize access to global yields through its offerings to anyone, anywhere.

In July, ZKX raised $4.5m in seed funding from backers including StarkWare, Amber Group, Huobi, Crypto.com, and others.

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ZKX

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