Polygon Announces zkEVM, a Scaling Protocol that Merges Zero-Knowledge With Layer 2

Polygon has launched the Zero-Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) to expand its Ethereum scaling protocol.
Image source: onjuno.com

Quick take:

  • Polygon has unveiled the zkEVM scaling protocol.
  • It is a blockchain mechanism that combines Zero-Knowledge with Layer-2 to support a fast execution of a huge number of transactions.
  • A closed testnet for the zkEVM will be available in two weeks with the public testnet launching a few weeks later.

Polygon has launched the Zero-Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) protocol taking its scaling solution to the same level as the EVM. The new product is built by three teams, Hermez, Zero and Miden.

Polygon is one of the leading Ethereum scaling solutions for decentralised apps. Its latest product will enable developers to deploy apps that execute huge transactions at lightning speeds and at low gas fees.

This puts Polygon high on the list of blockchains that Web3 game developers, non-fungible token (NFT) and decentralised finance (DeFi) projects will be looking to build on. The launch comes five and a half months after the company raised $450 million in a funding round Sequoia India with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Galaxy Digital, Galaxy Interactive Tiger Global and Republic Capital, in February.

At the time, Polygon said it was building the AWS (Amazon Web Services) of Web3. The company has been working on the Zero-Knowledge rollup for a while, which it believes will help onboard the next billion users onto Web3.

“It’s been a long journey — I can talk in personal terms — this has been the project of my life,” said Jordi Baylina, technical lead at Polygon Hermez, during last week’s #PolygonTuesdays weekly Twitter space. “Scaling Ethereum, scaling blockchains, has been the dream since at least 2015 if not before.” 

Zero-knowledge rollups combine multiple Layer-2 transactions into one, scaling the execution capacity of the blockchain. 

Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal said in the Twitter spaces that ZK makes Ethereum theoretically infinitely scalable. “It has network effects. It has developers. It has users, so you know we can take Web3 to the next stage of growth,” he said.

The leading L2 scaling solution was also recently named among a handful of other technology companies in Disney’s accelerator program for Web3 companies. Polygon is also planning a future configuration of off-chain data availability, in a bid to lower fees even further.

One of the biggest challenges that decentralised apps launching on Ethereum face is high transaction fees. Scaling protocol help to reduce the fees without compromising on the security benefits the Ethereum Virtual Machine provides.

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