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Polygon's zkEVM Launches This Month – Here is All You Need to Know

March 04, 2023
News, Polygon

Polygon's zkEVM is launching soon with faster & cheaper transactions, better scalability and interoperability with Ethereum. Read all about it in this article!

Polygon, an Ethereum scaling project, has announced that it has chosen March 27 as the launch date for its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) beta main network. 

The zkEVM is a type of zero-knowledge (ZK) rollup, which is a scaling solution that processes transactions faster on layer 2, then sends the transaction data back to the mainnet blockchain – in this case, Ethereum. 

The launch is set to be a major step towards scaling Ethereum and bringing Web3 to the masses. The security of the network will be the highest priority for the team. So let's take a look at this new promissing project of crypto realm!

What is zkEVM?

zkEVM Mainnet is a layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum that enables faster and cheaper transactions on Polygon. This development is significant because it will enable the Polygon network to process more transactions at a lower cost than the Ethereum mainnet.

How does zkEVM work?

zkEVM Mainnet uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to verify transactions without revealing sensitive information. Users transfer their Ethereum assets to Polygon to interact with smart contracts and dApps, which are processed faster and at a lower cost. 

Validators verify the transactions and create/verify ZKPs to add them to the blockchain. The zkEVM Mainnet has an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) that executes Solidity smart contracts on the Polygon network without any changes.

Benefits of zkEVM

Ethereum's popularity has led to a congestion problem, as the network can only process a limited number of transactions per second. This has made it expensive and slow to use decentralized applications (dApps) built on Ethereum, especially during periods of high network activity.

To address these challenges, developers have come up with various scaling solutions, such as sidechains, sharding, and rollups. One of the most promising scaling solutions is ZK-rollups, which not only improve Ethereum's scalability but also enhance its security and cost-efficiency.

Secure Scalability

Ethereum's consensus mechanism requires that all validating nodes re-execute all computations performed in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). While this approach ensures security, it limits scalability since it can only manage around 15-20 transactions per second.

ZK-rollups offer a solution by allowing off-chain computations to be verified with validity proofs, ensuring that transactions performed by smart contracts on Layer 2 (L2) can be reliably verified on Layer 1 (L1) without nodes having to re-execute the operations. This approach can significantly increase Ethereum's processing speed without reducing security.

Cheaper Costs

Another benefit of ZK-rollups is their cost-efficiency. Unlike optimistic rollups, which need to publish all transaction-related data on-chain, ZK-rollups can afford to post minimal data to Ethereum because validity proofs already guarantee the trustworthiness of state transitions. This can significantly reduce CALLDATA requirements, making it cheaper to use dApps such as decentralized exchanges, NFT marketplaces, and prediction markets.

Faster Finality and Capital Efficiency

ZK-rollups also offer faster finality compared to optimistic rollups. Transactions executed in the zkEVM are often finalized immediately after they are posted on Ethereum, making it great for power users who need to move around assets seamlessly, especially between L1 and L2. In contrast, optimistic rollups only post VM transactions without proofs, which means that the challenge period must elapse before transactions achieve finality.

Network Effects

The most important reason for building EVM-compatible zkVMs is to leverage Ethereum's network effects. Ethereum's ecosystem provides value to developers and projects, with access to battle-tested and audited code libraries, extensive tooling, and documentation. Creating a new zkVM that is incompatible with Ethereum's infrastructure would cut off projects and development teams from harnessing Ethereum's network effects.

Other Popular Zero Knowledge Projects

Loopring and StarkWare are two promising projects that leverage zero-knowledge proofs and rollup technology to enhance scalability and reduce the cost of transactions on the Ethereum network. 

Loopring offers a comprehensive solution for building high-performance DEXs and payment applications, while using its zkRollup technology to process up to 2,025 trades per second, greatly reducing transaction costs. 

StarkWare Industries provides scalability solutions for Ethereum and other blockchains by enabling computation off-chain and using zero-knowledge proofs to verify the correctness of computations, allowing for faster and more efficient transaction processing.

You can read more about promising ZK projects in our recent article The 4 Zk-rollups with huge potential in 2023.

Polygon's zkEVM Testnet Performance

Polygon launched its zkEVM testnet in October 2022, which deploys the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for its ZK rollup. This allows Ethereum developers to move over their smart contracts from the main blockchain without having to reprogram them in a different language. 

Since the testnet went live, over 75,000 ZK proofs have been generated, and 5,000 smart contracts have been deployed, according to the blog post. In past weeks, number of transactions is reaching hundreds of thousands per week.

Polygon is also exploring ways in which it could bring ZK-technology to its main chain, the Polygon POS chain. If successful, this could be a significant development for the broader cryptocurrency market as Polygon could offer solutions that are more efficient and cost-effective.

Impact on the Cryptocurrency Market

The Ethereum community is looking forward to the launch of Polygon's zkEVM mainnet beta network, and Polygon's move is being praised by experts. Mihailo Bjelic, founder of Polygon, has said that this upgrade is seen as an advancement in their use of blockchains.

The broader cryptocurrency market is likely to be affected by the launch. If successful, the zkEVM beta main network could help increase the adoption of blockchain technology by making it more efficient and cost-effective.

Conclusion

Polygon's upcoming launch of its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) beta main network on March 27th is a major step towards scaling Ethereum and bringing Web3 to the masses. 

The use of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) will enable faster and cheaper transactions on Polygon, improving scalability and interoperability with Ethereum. The launch is highly anticipated and could have a significant impact on the broader cryptocurrency market if successful. 

Other promising ZK projects include Loopring and StarkWare Industries, which leverage ZK rollup technology to enhance scalability and reduce transaction costs.

Disclaimer: The content of this piece reflects the writer's opinion. This article is not intended to provide financial advice and is meant solely for entertainment and educational purposes. Investing in cryptocurrency involves significant risk. Capital is at risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Always conduct your own research.

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