Polygon, the popular Ethereum-focused scaling platform, today announced the launch of Polygon zkEVM, the first Ethereum-equivalent scaling solution that works seamlessly with all existing smart contracts, developer tools, and wallets, harnessing advanced cryptography called zero-knowledge proofs.
As of now, Polygon has released part of the source code and roadmap for zkEVM, with the public testnet expected later this summer and the mainnet launch planned for early 2023.
The Polygon zkEVM is fundamentally equivalent to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) itself and fully benefits from all of Ethereum’s ecosystem. EVM-equivalence is different from EVM compatibility because it creates less friction, removing the need for any kind of modification or re-implementation of code.
Polygon zkEVM, which stands for zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine, leverages zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs to reduce transaction costs and increase throughput while inheriting the security of Ethereum.
ZK proof technology works by batching transactions into groups, which are then relayed to the Ethereum Network as a single, bulk transaction. The ‘gas fee’ for the single transaction is then split between all the participants involved, dramatically lowering fees.
For developers of payment and DeFi applications, Polygon zkEVM’s high security and censorship resistance make it a more attractive option than other layer-2 scaling solutions.
Unlike Optimistic roll-ups where users have to wait for as long as seven days for deposits and withdrawals, zk-Rollups offer faster settlement and far better capital efficiency.
The system also enables easy migration of decentralized applications (dApps) that exist on chains compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine to zkEVM, where EVM equivalence and Ethereum network effects provide distinct advantages to developers.
Using programming languages, such as Solidity and toolset like Metamask, Hardhat, Truffle, and Remix, with which they are already familiar, developers can migrate dApps by simply switching nodes.
This also makes Polygon zkEVM ideally suited for the creation of NFTs, new gaming technologies, and enterprise apps. Existing Polygon dApps can migrate easily to zkEVM with minimal support.
“The holy grail of web3 infrastructure should have three major properties: scalability, security, and Ethereum compatibility. 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.”
– Mihailo Bjelic, Co-Founder of Polygon
The introduction of Polygon zkEVM opens possibilities for the world’s most vibrant blockchain developer community to further build new unique dApps. They can continue to use the same code, tooling, apps, and smart contracts that they use on Ethereum, but with higher throughput and lower fees.
Now, Polygon estimates that its ZK ‘Rollup’ approach can reduce fees by 90% compared to current costs on layer-1 Ethereum. A future configuration of off-chain data availability will be able to also reduce fees.
With proving system breakthroughs by Polygon Zero and tech contributions from both Zero and Miden in its zkProver, Polygon zkEVM can achieve full EVM equivalence and scalability at a speed never seen.