Polygon has announced the launch of Polygon zkEVM, its first completely Ethereum-compatible Layer 2 network, which will utilize Zero-Knowledge Rollups to offer lower transaction fees than the Ethereum mainnet.
Polygon Unveils a New Scaling Solution
Polygon, a Web3 infrastructure provider, announced on Wednesday the launch of Polygon zkEVM, or zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine, the first fully Ethereum-compatible scaling solution that employs the cryptographic method known as zero-knowledge proofs.
In contrast to the MATIC blockchain, which operates more like an Ethereum sidechain than a Layer 2 network, the new solution from Polygon will use Zero-Knowledge Rollups to batch transactions and confirm them on the Ethereum mainnet. In doing so, it will inherit the security and decentralization features of the base chain. As a result, gas fees on Polygon zkEVM will be considerably lower than on the Ethereum mainnet and, eventually, the MATIC blockchain.
“The holy grail of Web3 infrastructure should have three major properties: scalability, security, and Ethereum-compatibility” said Mihailo Bjelic, co-founder of Polygon. “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 zkEVM will work with all existing Ethereum apps and emulate the Ethereum Virtual Machine down to the op-code level. Using Ethereum’s programming language, Solidity, developers will be able to launch their projects, removing a significant entry barrier. Furthermore, existing Ethereum tools such as the MetaMask wallet and development environments such as Hardhat will be interoperable with Polygon zkEVM.
“Many believed that a zkEVM was years away, or not practical or competitive,’” said Polygon Hermez co-founder Jordi Baylina.
Zero-Knowledge-based scaling solutions have been considered for some time; it was widely anticipated that their implementation would require several years. Nevertheless, Polygon and other firms developing on Layer 2, such as StarkWare and Matter Labs, have made significant progress in the ZK-Rollup space during the past year as the race to scale Ethereum has heated up.
Polygon Eyes Mainnet Launch in 2023
Polygon’s new Layer 2 builds on Hermez Network, a ZK-Rollup-based scalability solution secured for $250 million in August 2021. Following the acquisition, Hermez Network rebranded as Polygon Hermez and continued to develop its Layer 2 network under its new management. After rebranding to Polygon zkEVM, the network is preparing to deploy a public testnet later this summer, ahead of a complete mainnet launch slated for early 2023.
Furthermore, the company stated that the solution could be used to create nonfungible tokens (NFT) and other blockchain-based applications with ease. By utilizing the zk-rollup approach, Polygon anticipates a cost reduction of approximately 90% in comparison to layer-1 solutions.
This week, Polygon tweeted multiple hints that a significant zkEVM-related announcement was forthcoming. The MATIC token, which is the native gas token for Polygon’s PoS chain and its upcoming zkEVM chain, has increased by over 70% over the previous week.
Earlier, on July 14, Disney announced that Polygon, along with Lockerverse and Flickplay, had been chosen to participate in its Accelerator program, which aims to develop technologies to create new storytelling experiences.