Erik Weijers, a month ago

Polygon's Zk-EVM is coming

Polygon’s zk-EVM mainnet will launch on March 27. It will be the first 'fully EVM equivalent' zero-knowledge rollup to reach Ethereum main net, according to Polygon. But Polygon is not the only game in town: a race is on to launch zk-EVMs. A good development if we want to scale Ethereum and bring Web 3 to the masses. 

In 2022, Polygon announced the launch of their so-called zero-knowledge (zk) Ethereum Virtual Machine. The subsequent testnet phase managed to attract 85.000 unique wallet addresses. Developing zk-EVMs has been a challenging task because the Ethereum Virtual Machine does not natively support Zero-Knowledge proofs. 

The peculiar term zero-knowledge refers to the fact that the technology can generate proof that a (Ethereum) transaction was valid, without sharing details about the transaction. This saves a lot of space on the Ethereum blockchain and increases privacy.

'Ethereum, we complete you'

How does Ethereum work together with Zk-EVMs? 'Ethereum, we complete you', is a catch phrase Polygon used to describe their philosophy. Compatibility is key here: because of the compatibility with Ethereum's virtual machine, 'Developers can copy-paste code that works on Ethereum and use it to build on Polygon zkEVM without having to change a thing', according to the Polygon blog post about the topic.  

But why? For reasons of scaling. Block space on the Ethereum chain is scarce, and without scaling solutions like zkEVM, we won't be able to run a large DeFi and NFT economy on Ethereum. Polygon claims that with their zk-EVM, proof generation time for a batch of hundreds of Ethereum transactions is down to almost two minutes. For a cost of about $0.06.

Polygon competitors

Several zkEVMs are actively developing toward mainnet. ZkSync, ConsenSys and Scroll are also targeting a main net launch in the first half of 2023.


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