Polygon Unveils zkEVM, 'Ethereum-Equivalent' ZK Scaling Solution

Source: AdobeStock / photo_gonzo

 

Popular Ethereum (ETH) Layer-2 scaling solution Polygon (MATIC) has announced zkEVM, the "world’s first zero-knowledge (ZK) scaling solution" that is "fully compatible" with Ethereum.

Polygon zkEVM - short for zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine - is "equivalent" to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the software platform that developers can use to create decentralized applications (dapps) on Ethereum. It works with all existing smart contracts, developer tools, and wallets, said the team.

They went on to explain that, 

"EVM-equivalence is different from EVM-compatibility because it creates less user friction, removing the need for any kind of modification or re-implementation of code."

Polygon said in a press release shared with Cryptonews.com that, not long ago, many Web 3 veterans believed this technology would take up to 10 years to come to fruition, arguing that this announcement represents a "breakthrough in cryptographic research."

To go into more detail, Polygon zkEVM uses advanced cryptography called zero-knowledge proofs to reduce transaction costs and increase throughput, while maintaining the security of Ethereum.

The ZK proof technology significantly reduces gas fees by batching transactions into groups and then broadcasting them to the Ethereum network as a single transaction. It then splits the gas fee among all the participants.

As a reminder, Layer 2 refers to blockchains built on top of a base blockchain layer which is known as Layer 1. Per the press release,

"Polygon estimates that its ZK ‘Rollup’ approach is able to reduce fees by 90% compared to current costs on the Layer 1 Ethereum chain. A future configuration of off-chain data availability will be able to reduce the fees further."

“The holy grail of Web3 infrastructure should have three major properties: scalability, security and Ethereum-compatibility” Mihailo Bjelic, co-founder of Polygon, said and claimed that: 

“Until now, it has not been practically possible to offer all these properties at once. Polygon zkEVM is a breakthrough technology that finally achieves that, thus opening a new chapter of mass adoption.”

Polygon argued that, compared to other Layer-2 scaling solutions, Polygon zkEVM’s security and censorship resistance make it a more attractive option for decentralized finance (DeFi) developers. It is "ideally suited" for the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), new gaming technologies, and enterprise applications, they said.

Dapps that exist on chains compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine can also migrate to zkEVM. Developers can migrate dapps using programming languages, such as Solidity, and toolsets like MetaMask by switching nodes. Existing Polygon dapps can migrate with "minimal support." 

Polygon said that it released a portion of the source code and roadmap for zkEVM, with its public testnet expected later this summer and mainnet launch planned for early 2023.

At 9:20 UTC on Wednesday morning, the 13th coin by market capitalization, MATIC, is trading at USD 0.9094. It is up 1.2% in a day, nearly 68% in a week, 138% in a month, and 24% in a year. It is down 69% from its December 2021 all-time high. 

MATIC 30-day price chart. Source: coingecko.com

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Learn more: 
- Polygon Implements Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559; MATIC Dives Today
- Layer 2 in 2022: Get Ready for Rollups, Bridges, New Apps, Life With Ethereum 2.0, and Layer 3

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- This Level of Transaction Fees Would be 'Truly Acceptable' According to Ethereum's Buterin

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