Polygon’s CTO explains what to expect from zkEVM

The Ethereum ecosystem is set to witness one of the hottest blockchain trends this year, with many companies eager to take advantage of Polygon’s upcoming zkEVM gathering.

What is zero-knowledge proof?

Zero-Knowledge (ZK) technology is a cryptographic solution that is changing the blockchain industry. They run low-level languages ​​and bytecode at a programmable level, backed by the same rules as the Ethereum mainnet.

It is a virtual machine that uses zero-knowledge proofs to verify data without revealing information about the content or properties of the data. It is a censorship-resistant protocol replicating the transaction execution environment of the Ethereum mainnet.

Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, categorized zkEVM of four main types and one fifth. Here is his breakdown of those types.T

  1. Type-1 zkEVM: fully equivalent to Ethereum
  2. Type-2 zkEVMs: EVM (not Ethereum) equivalence
  3. Type-3 zkEVM: outgoing from EVM
  4. Type-4 zkEVM: close cousins ​​of EVM
zkEVM types comparison by Vitalik
(Source: Ethereum Blog)

“The project is a complete engineering project,” said Jordi Bailina, who leads the technical team building the Polygon zkEVM. “The idea is that with these electronics we somehow built a processor. In addition, a program can be written that handles transactions. It’s a full stack of components with different teams working at each of those layers in those stacks.”

On YouTube video released on March 2, Baylina explained the technical components behind the implementation, “the system we are building is censorship resistant. It’s not a perfect solution, but up to a certain point, because the system is not universal.”

“We created on assembly myself. It is a new processor, new installation, new way on writing hardware. So It is like You are creation a technology, but at on same time You must to I study to use on technology You are creation which is from on generic perspective is charming but It is too a lot challenging.”

Technical details

With the zkEVM bundle, the ERC-20 transfer will define unique data infrastructures such as ProgramCounter, GlobalCounter, EVMWord, GasInfo, and GasCost, which include and contain elements such as stack, memory, and opcodes. pc and gc are encapsulated for use, while EVMWord encapsulates a u8 array of length 32.

While StackAddress is represented as the usage size, Stack is a dynamic array consisting of EVMWord. MemoryAddress is also a size, with values ​​between 0 and 1023, while Memory is an array of u8. To simplify memory-related operations, developers skillfully use Rust macros to extract critical information from memory, such as index and range characteristics, and implement them in a standardized way. On the other hand, storage is represented by HashMap and all its key values ​​are EVMWord.

The race for zkEVM supremacy

The race is on to get to market with a working product.

Several projects are in the race to launch the first fully functional and EVM-equivalent zkEVM, with some of the top contenders being Polygon zkEVM, zkSync, StarkNET, and Scroll.

Polygon zkEVM is open source and aims to reduce transaction costs by up to 90%, while zkSync 2.0 is live on the Ethereum Testnet, allowing developers to write Solidity smart contracts. StarkNET uses ZK-STARK, which are more secure but have limitations, and Scroll builds a highly composable solution that prioritizes security and transparency.

Polygon’s $250M bet on zkEVM

Polygon purchased the Hermez network for $250 million in 2021 and later launched its ZK-aggregating Ethereum Layer-2 solution, Polygon Hermez, in mid-2022. In July 2022, Polygon announced the rebranding of Polygon Hermez to Polygon zkEVM, which took the Type-2 zkEVM approach to be equivalent to EVM, but not equivalent to Ethereum.

Developers will need to adapt the code and EVM tools to the aggregated ZK. Polygon aims to reach 2,000 transactions per second and reduce transaction costs by up to ninety percent, making it cheaper than the Ethereum Mainnet. Polygon launched its zkEVM Public Testnet on October 10th.

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