Monday, September 25, 2023

Polygon test zero datasets, mainnet internal integration


The Ethereum Polygon (MATIC) Layer 2 Scaling Protocol performs a performance test of its zero-knowledge rollups (zk-rollups) technology prior to full integration with its mainnet.

The technology, called Polygon zkEVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), has been in development for over three years by the Polygon Hermez team. The team has already confirmed that zero-knowledge proofs are possible on Ethereum by creating over 12,000 zk-Proofs in a basic version of the zkEVM testnet.

David Schwartz, Head of the Polygon zkEVM and PolygonID project, broke down the development of the feature in agreement with Cointelegraph. Layer-2 platforms have continued to evolve and improve on functionality that has played a major role in driving the scalability of Ethereum.

As he explains, zero-knowledge pools have increased the speed with which Layer 2 platforms can achieve end-to-end while ensuring secure verification of transactions using zero-knowledge technology. In blockchain terms, the end is the point at which a transaction block is considered to have been permanently and irrevocably added to the blockchain:

“Finally, we have zkEVMs, such as Polygon zkEVM, that offer all of the above plus the Ethereum Virtual Machine equivalence with their advanced methods for zk-STARKs and zk-SNARKs.”

According to Schwartz, Polygon zkEVM includes the first full source code available for the zkProver equivalent of the EVM, which passes all Ethereum vector tests with more than 99%. He described completing validations for traditional user transactions as “the most challenging and rewarding effort” since his team began developing its original zkEVM.

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Two years ago, the Polygon team estimated that it would take up to ten years to develop EVM-compatible zk-rollups. Because of the strides made, the team describes zkEVM as the ultimate game, combining evolutions with rapid Layer 2 scalability and final. This provides a myriad of benefits to users when greater productivity and lower fees are added.

Cointelegraph also asked about the difference between Polygon zkEVM and StarkNet’s proprietary Ethereum layer-2 scaling network ZK-SNARK and ZK-STARK technology. As previously reported, the Transparent Scalable Zero-Knowledge Argument, or zk-SNARKS, essentially increases scalability by aggregating thousands of transactions with a single proof of validity on-chain.

Related: What Ethereum Integration Means for Layer 2 Blockchain Solutions

The main difference between the two projects, Schwartz said, is that zkEVM is focused on scaling the Ethereum ecosystem rather than other zk-Rollups just scaling transactions and improving performance in a different VM format.

Polygon’s approach aims to meet the Type 2 zkEVM classification described by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in August 2022. According to Buterin’s summary, Type 2 zkEVM aims to be fully compatible with existing implementations, but make minor modifications to Ethereum to facilitate development and generate faster proof. Schwartz added:

In contrast, StarkNet is positioned as Type 4, which introduces a new high-level language and requires compilers to translate solidified code into their own language.

At the same time, Schwartz welcomed the opportunity to obtain more reference standards and source code available from other projects in order to learn from the different approaches. Activity on Ethereum layer-2 solutions continues to grow, with blockchain data showing that transaction volumes of Arbitrum and Optimism have overshadowed transactions on the Ethereum mainnet through 2023.