Layer 2 Sets March 27 Launch Date for Ethereum Scaling Offering
Polygon, the Layer 2 blockchain, plans to deliver an Ethereum-compatible rollup powered by zero-knowledge proofs on March 27, the development team said on Tuesday.
The offering, which is called a zkEVM, is expected to offer enhanced privacy features and validate transactions faster than other Ethereum scaling solutions. Unlike other L2s powered by zero-knowledge proofs, developers will easily be able to deploy code written for Ethereum on Polygon’s offering.
‘Intense and Inspiring’
“After more than a year of intense and inspiring research, development, and testing, we are incredibly proud to launch the first-ever zkEVM mainnet,” Mihailo Bjelic, Polygon’s co-founder, said onTwitter.
The DeFi community is counting on rollups to scale Ethereum, which, despite its ubiquity, has proven ill equipped to handle the workload for decentralized finance. Rollups work by bundling together transactions on a Layer 2 network before submitting the bundle to Ethereum’s mainnet for processing. In other words, this innovation may be crucial in enabling Ethereum to fulfill its promise.
Arbitrum and Optimism, the top Layer 2 networks by total value locked, both use optimistic rollups. Optimistic rollups offer easy compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), Ethereum’s core smart contract engine — meaning developers can easily port their from Ethereum’s mainnet to Layer 2.
Rollups powered by zero-knowledge proofs have long been touted as the holy grail for Ethereum scaling due to their improved performance and faster settlement compared to optimistic rollups.
Next Bull Cycle
“[ZkEVMs] will definitely help scale Ethereum to support more transactions in the future and will be a sorely needed addition to support the next bull cycle,” Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko, told The Defiant.
Ong added that the teams that are earliest to secure zkEVM market share will enjoy a significant first-mover advantage over their competitors.
However, existing solutions are not compatible with the EVM, meaning developers historically have needed to build code from scratch to deploy it on ZK-rollups.
But on July 20, 2022, Scroll, Polygon, and Matter Labs all announced they were developing rollups secured by zero-knowledge proofs, or zkEVMs. Consensys, the blockchain software company chaired by Ethereum co-founder, Joseph Lubin, also revealed it was working on a zkEVM in November.
While Polygon is the first team to publicly reveal a date for the launch of its zkEVM, Scroll has outpaced its rivals in terms of testnet adoption.
Driven by Speculation
More than 900,000 unique wallets have interacted with the testnet for Scroll’s zkEVM, compared to 544,309 for Matter Labs’ zkSync 2.0 testnet, 85,166 for Polygon, and nearly 20,000 for Consensys, according to Messari.
However, the high levels of testnet activity for Scroll and zkSync 2.0 may be driven by speculation that the projects may airdrop native tokens to early adopters in the future.
Zero-knowledge proofs are a privacy-preserving encryption method that was pioneered in the 1980s but struggled to find product-market-fit until Zcoin and Zcash leveraged the technology for privacy coins in 2016.