Michaël van de Poppe - 22 July 2022
Polygon's brand new 'zkEVM'
Polygon has unveiled their brand new layer 2 scaling solution: zkEVM. zkEVM is an EVM compatible layer 2 which uses zero-knowledge proofs to scale. Polygon is the first to bring an open-source EVM compatible zk-Rollup to market. Let’s have a look at zkEVM’s construction and what it has to offer.
There are multiple types of layer 2 constructions, but the zk-Rollup seems to be the most promising one.
A zk-Rollup is a layer 2 construction on top of Ethereum that solves its scalability by bundling transactions in a batch and proving its validity through cryptography. The "zero-knowledge proof" (ZK) technology is used to present and publicly record the validity and correctness of the rolled transfers processed on the Ethereum blockchain. By storing just the proof and the compressed data of a batch of transfers, the efficiency and the throughput of the network is multiplied.
Main benefits over other L2’s
The best way to scale Ethereum is to maintain compatibility with its ecosystem, and zkEVM will give users and developers an identical experience to Ethereum L1 with increased scalability.
Most of the other ZK scaling projects promise EVM compatibility but run an architecture that requires developers to make changes to their workflow and code. Since the Ethereum developer ecosystem has already been proven to do its job correctly, it would be a waste of time and resources for developers to migrate to a different set of tooling and infrastructure. Developers and users on Polygon zkEVM can use the same code, tooling, apps, etc that they use on Ethereum, but with much higher throughput and lower fees.
Polygon has released the open-source code for zkEVM on Github already. It is available for anyone to look at or actually fork themselves to use as codebase for their own zkEVM. The Polygon zkEVM testnet is scheduled to be released in Q3 2022. If all goes well, we can expect the Polygon zkEVM mainnet to be live in early 2023. Since the development and testing involves many different variables, it is hard to put a hard deadline on the actual launches.
Polygon has been hard at work for the past few months to bring us zkEVM. While there is some way to go until the mainnet, the launch of zkEVM should be a step in the right direction for Polygon to become a successful layer 2 solution. On a final note it is positive for Ethereum that Polygon is working hard on L2’s, as L2’s will be the key to scaling Ethereum to the mainstream.