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Polygon tests zero-knowledge rollups, mainnet integration inbound

The Ethereum Layer-2 Polygon Scaling Protocol (MATIC) conducts zero-knowledge technology performance tests (zk rollups) before fully integrating into the mainnet.

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

David Schwartz, project manager for Polygon zkEVM and PolygonID, developed the feature development in correspondence with Cointelegraph. Layer 2 platforms proceed to evolve and improve functionality that has been instrumental in increasing Ethereum’s scalability.

As he explained, zero-knowledge rollups have increased the speed with which Tier 2 platforms can reach finality while ensuring secure transaction verification using zero-knowledge technology. In blockchain terminology, finality is the purpose at which a block of transactions is taken into account to have been permanently and irreversibly added to the blockchain:

“Finally, we have now zkEVMs reminiscent of Polygon zkEVM that supply the entire above features along with the equivalence of the Ethereum VM with its advanced zk-STARK and zk-SNARK methods.”

According to Schwartz, Polygon zkEVM incorporates the primary available complete source code reminiscent of the zkProver EVM, which passes all Ethereum vector tests at over 99%. He described completing validation for conventional user transactions as “probably the most difficult and rewarding endeavor” since his team began developing native zkEVM.

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Two years ago, the Polygon team estimated that it could take as much as ten years to develop zk packages with EVM compatibility. Given the progress made, the team describes zkEVM as an endgame, combining progress with Tier 2 scalability and fast finality. This provides countless advantages to users by adding more bandwidth and lower fees.

Cointelegraph also asked in regards to the difference between Polygon zkEVM and StarkNet’s other scalable Layer 2 Ethereum network, proprietary technology ZK-SNARK and ZK-STARK. As previously reported, ZK-STARKS (Zero-Knowledge Scalable Transparent Argument of Knowledge) primarily increases scalability by grouping 1000’s of transactions with a single proof to validate on-chain.

Related: What the Ethereum Merger Means for Layer 2 Blockchain Solutions

Schwartz said the principal difference between the projects is that zkEVM is targeted on scaling the Ethereum ecosystem natively, reasonably than other zk-rollups that simply scale transactions and boost performance in a special VM format.

The Polygon approach allegedly satisfies zkEVM type 2 classification described by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in August 2022. According to Buterin’s summary, type 2 zkEVMs are intended to be fully compatible with existing applications, but make minor modifications to Ethereum for easier development and faster evidence generation. Schwartz added:

“In contrast, StarkNet is positioned as Type 4, introducing a latest high-level language and requiring transpilers to translate the robustness code into their language.”

At the identical time, Schwartz welcomed the chance to share more benchmarks and source code from other projects for learning from different approaches. Ethereum layer 2 activity continues to grow, with blockchain data showing that Arbitrum and Optimism transaction volumes overshadowed Ethereum mainnet transactions in 2023.

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