Ethereum scaling project Polygon is exploring ways to introduce “zero-knowledge” (ZK) technology into its main chain. ZK is considered by many experts to be a major advancement in the use of cryptography on blockchains.
This work complements Polygon’s previously disclosed and ongoing plans to release “ZK rollups” — a layer 2 scaling system designed to speed up blockchain transactions and reduce costs.
Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic revealed the exploratory work in an interview, emphasizing the importance of ZK technology to the project’s development roadmap. Ultimately, some ZK-based improvements could be made to Polygon’s main PoS chain (a sidechain outside of ethereum) to improve transaction security, Bjelic said.
Mihailo Bjelic – RedohpeopleAsianskyUmp polygon
By exploring how ZK technology can be integrated into the Polygon main chain, the blockchain bets on scaling to boost its ecosystem.
“One of the things we’re experimenting with is upgrading the Polygon POS chain to be ZK-safe, bringing zkEVM into the Polygon POS chain itself,” Bjelic said in an interview.
The development is notable in part because of Polygon’s success in attracting large corporate partners in recent years with its fast and cheap deals and strong marketing. Meta Platforms announced in May 2022 that it would support NFTs from Polygon on Instagram, and investment management giant Hamilton Lane opened the first of three “tokenized” funds on Polygon earlier this month.
Polygon’s native MATIC token fell 70% last year, in line with the broader digital asset market’s downturn. But by 2023, prices have rebounded 70%.
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Polygon’s ZK Summary: zkEVM
ZK rollups are a scaling system that processes transactions more quickly on layer 2 of the blockchain (the companion system) and then transmits the transaction data back to the mainnet – in this case the capital Ethereum. This has been the subject of complaints in recent years due to congestion and rising fees. ZK rollups use “proofs” to prove that a transaction is valid by sharing only a small amount of information about the transaction.
In October, Polygon released the zkEVM testnet, which implements the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for its ZK rollup, meaning that Ethereum developers don’t have to use a new programming language and can pass their proofs from the main blockchain. Transfer contracts without any hiccups. Polygon has yet to set a release date for ZK rollups, aside from a previous announcement that it would be in early 2023.
At launch, the zkEVM will exist on a separate chain, meaning the Polygon POS chain will continue as a sidechain. Sidechains are less secure than ZK rollups because they do not inherit the same underlying security from the main Ethereum blockchain.
“Chain POS continues to exist and function as it does today. Polygon zkEVM will be an independent network. We will have two networks running in parallel with different value propositions, i.e. features and trade-offs. Each application will be able to determine their What level of security, scalability, and transaction fees do you like, and basically choose the right network.”
The difference between the two chains will focus on the level of security or transaction throughput and fees that a decentralized application (DApp) wants to use.
ZK rollups store transaction data on Ethereum and gain full security from it, but at the cost of less throughput and higher transaction fees. Analysts point out that ZK technology can be computationally intensive and may even require specialized “ZK acceleration hardware.”
If Polygon POS is compatible with ZK, it will indeed become Validium. Validium uses proofs like ZK rollups to ensure transactions have not been tampered with. The difference is that instead of storing data on Ethereum, it stores data on a separate network.
Validium on Polygon may allow for more transaction processing and lower transaction fees, although storing data off-chain is considered less secure without sending transaction data to Ethereum.
“In terms of technology, this year will be very important for Polygon as we will be announcing several major technology upgrades and milestones.”
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According to Coindesk