Polygon Introduces ‘AggLayer,’ Aims to Simplify Blockchain Integration Across Platforms

Hongji Feng
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: DALL·E

Polygon Labs plans to release “AggLayer,” a new blockchain aggregation layer, in February. This development aims to enhance interoperability across blockchain platforms.

According to Polygon’s recent blog, AggLayer is designed as a centralized protocol that aggregates zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs from connected chains. Its introduction is expected to address the fragmentation and scalability limitations currently faced by blockchain networks.

Polygon Addresses to Blockchain’s Lack of Interoperability

“Blockchains today don’t look or feel like the Internet,” said Polygon. “Instead of a unified, highly scalable network, users face scaling limitations and bad UX due to fragmented liquidity and state.”

“Unfortunately, the ever-increasing list of new chains being launched has compounded the problem. This environment is reminiscent of the pre-Internet era, siloed and lacking interoperability,” said Polygon.

Hence, AggLayer is set to unify the security and composability of various blockchain networks, including those within the Polygon ecosystem, providing a more integrated user experience.

The new network is a decentralized protocol that aims to perform two critical functions: to aggregate ZK proofs from all connected chains and to ensure the safety of near-instant cross-chain transactions.

This aggregation is a pivotal step in evolving blockchain technology, moving from monolithic (including Ethereum, as suggested by Polygon), integrated chains towards a more flexible and interconnected framework.

“Monolithic → Modular → Aggregated”

Polygon stated that blockchain networks were initially monolithic, meaning they integrated various functionalities like consensus, data availability, and execution within a single layer. These systems were unified and interoperable but faced limitations in scalability, security, and decentralization.

As the scale of operations increased, the hardware demands for node validators grew, often leading to increased centralization and decreased security.

In response to the limitations of monolithic blockchains, developers shifted towards a modular architectural approach. This new framework enabled a multitude of chains to operate independently and concurrently, each maintaining its own sovereignty.

However, the shift to modularity also introduced its own set of challenges, particularly in terms of liquidity and user experience. This fragmentation led to the creation of multi-chain ecosystems that often required complex and inefficient bridging solutions, or in some cases, necessitated compromises in chain sovereignty.

“The solution to the monolithic-versus-modular dilemma is a new category of blockchain design: Aggregation,” said Polygon.

According to the blog, AggLayer as a central component of Polygon 2.0 will offer “the sovereignty and scale of modular architectures, as well as the unified liquidity and UX of a monolithic system, synthesizing these two approaches into something novel.”