Polygon Labs unveils zkEVM Layer 2 to help scale Ethereum

Quick Take

  • Polygon Labs released a zero-knowledge-based rollup that is natively compatible with Ethereum apps.
  • Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin will make the first symbolic transaction on the zkEVM network. 
  • Polygon’s zkEVM has attracted more than 50 projects from crypto, web3 and gaming spaces.

Scaling project Polygon has released a highly anticipated zero-knowledge-based rollup network, with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin set to perform the first symbolic transaction in a YouTube broadcast scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT. 

The network, called Polygon zkEVM, was under development for a year and provides a scalability solution for Ethereum apps, with ZK-rollups performing off-chain computations on a secondary layer to enable faster and cheaper transactions while still maintaining Ethereum's security as a priority.

The network is EVM-equivalent, meaning it will support the same code as Ethereum and allow developers to use their existing tooling and infrastructure. The mainnet is permissionless, and anyone can bridge assets and use them in zkEVM native apps, according to the development team.

 "With zkEVM, you will be able to deploy any Ethereum application without any modifications, using existing Ethereum developer tools like Remix, and interact with the network using standard wallets like Metamask," Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic said in an interview. "Close to 6,000 smart contracts were deployed on the testnet without any single modification without any problem."

A ZK-rollup is a Layer 2 scaling solution for blockchain networks, such as Ethereum, that sets out to improve transaction throughput and reduce transaction fees. It works by aggregating a large number of transactions off-chain into a single batch, which is then submitted to the main chain as a single transaction. Most ZK-rollups don't have natively supported Ethereum applications, which is starting to change with the public release of a few zkEVMs.

More than 50 projects deploy on Polygon zkEVM


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The launch of Polygon's zkEVM has attracted more than 50 projects from the crypto, web3 and gaming spaces, including dApps such as Lens and Aavegotchi, DeFi projects 0xvix and Quickswap, as well as Etherscan, Phantom, Midnight Society, Luganodes, Celer, Gameswift, and Yeeha Games. In addition to these projects, the Uniswap decentralized exchange and Aave lending protocol also have floated governance proposals in a process for joining the Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta.

Polygon Labs, the developer of the network, has subjected the zkEVM to two independent audits and one internal audit over a period of nearly four months to ensure its security. However, the team has still advised users to exercise caution in terms of security, as the network is still in beta phase.

The team has made all aspects of the zkEVM open-source under an AGPL v3 license to share their code and encourage collaboration with the developer community.

The zkEVM technology has been identified as a major area of focus for scaling the Ethereum network, and several blockchain projects, including Polygon, Starknet, ZkSync, and Scroll, have been competing over the past year to develop a functional ZK-based Layer 2 solution capable of natively supporting Ethereum apps. So far, only ZkSync's chain called Era and Polygon have finalized the release of their ZK-rollup networks on the mainnet.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Vishal Chawla is The Block’s crypto ecosystems editor and has spent over six years covering tech protocols, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Vishal likes to delve deep into blockchain intricacies to ensure readers are well-informed about the continuously evolving crypto landscape. He is also a staunch advocate for rigorous security practices in the space. Before joining The Block, Vishal held positions at IDG ComputerWorld, CIO, and Crypto Briefing. He can be reached on Twitter at @vishal4c and via email at [email protected]


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