Polygon zkEVM is a scaling solution developed by the Polygon network that combines the security of the Ethereum mainnet with the scalability of a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) sidechain. It allows developers to build and run EVM-compatible smart contracts on a high-speed, low-cost network with a throughput of up to 7,000 transactions per second. The “zk” in “zkEVM” stands for zero-knowledge, which refers to the use of ZKP technology to validate transactions without revealing any sensitive information about them. By using ZKP, Polygon zkEVM is able to offer faster transaction speeds and lower gas fees than the Ethereum mainnet while still maintaining a high level of security.
What Does the Polygon zkEVM Solve?
The Polygon zkEVM aims to solve the Blockchain Trilemma, which encompasses decentralization, scalability, and security. According to Polygon, solving these challenges will encourage the widespread adoption of Web3 technology. Polygon zkEVM empowers developers to build the future of Web3 while benefiting the Ethereum ecosystem. With the zkEVM’s ability to provide high security and scalability, it can enable blockchain architecture to scale without compromising security, opening new doors to mass adoption.
The new technology also facilitates easy migration of decentralized applications (dApps) from chains that are compatible with the EVM to the Polygon zkEVM. This includes existing Polygon dApps, and developers using programming languages such as Solidity and toolsets like MetaMask and Hardhat can migrate their applications by simply switching nodes. Moreover, the zkEVM can assist developers in creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs), gaming technologies, and enterprise applications.
The Functioning of zkEVM
The zkEVM operates by generating zero-knowledge proofs that verify various elements during each computation. These include verifying bytecode access, ensuring correct read-write operations, and validating proper execution of opcodes.
Architecture of the zkEVM
The zkEVM is composed of three primary components: the execution environment, proving circuit, and verifier contract. Each of these components plays a vital role in the program execution, proof generation, and verification process.
The execution environment is where smart contracts are executed in the zkEVM. It functions similarly to the EVM by taking in the initial state and transaction input and generating a new final state.
The proving circuit is responsible for producing zero-knowledge proofs that verify the validity of transactions computed in the execution environment. This process is accomplished using pre-state, transaction input, and post-state information as inputs, generating a succinct proof of the particular state transition’s validity.
The Verifier Contract
In ZK-rollups, a smart contract is deployed on the L1 chain (Ethereum) for verifying the validity proofs. The verifier contract takes in the pre-states and transaction information as input, and the final states as output. The submitted outputs are then subjected to computation by the verifier using the provided proof to ensure that they were correctly computed from the inputs.
zkEVM’s Major Use Cases
With the introduction of zkEVM out of the way, the uses for this technology may be of interest. Some of the Polygon zkEVM use cases are listed below.
Because of Polygon’s zkEVM’s excellent security and censorship resistance, it is a suitable fit for Defi applications. Unlike optimistic roll-ups, which need users to wait up to 7 days for deposits and withdrawals, zk-Rollups do not require users to wait extended periods for deposits and withdrawals, implying that Polygon zkEVM provides higher capital efficiency for dApps/users.
Blue Chip NFTs, Gamefi, and Other Applications
zkEVM is an ideal solution due to its low gas cost, high transaction volume, and higher level of security, as well as the fact they are Ethereum composable.
Users that want to deal in real-time with one another in a near-instantaneous and low-fee environment are sure to enjoy the value Polygon zkEVM brings.
How Does Polygon Use zkEVM to Scale Up Ethereum?
Scalability solutions used by Polygon include Miden, Edge, Zero, Nightfall, Avail, Hermes, and zkEVM. Because of its numerous advantages, the latter is gaining popularity. Polygon zkEVM is built on zero-knowledge cryptography (zk) and is fully compatible with Ethereum. This is where the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) comes in. Every piece of software is built on a framework. Unreal Engine 5, for example, is used to power modern video games. This engine, or machine, powers all of the logic and visual/audio elements that developers and gamers use.
Similarly, EVM is the fundamental software framework that drives the logic of all Ethereum smart contracts, whether they’re used in lending dApps, exchanges, or blockchain games.
- The network is efficient since developers may continue to use their current Ethereum smart contracts
- The network’s permissionless access and use make it easier to operate on
- Similarity to EVM means compatibility with tools
- Rapid network completion with regular validation checks
- Costs can be reduced by up to 90% using on-chain data
- All EVM opcodes are supported
- Decentralized in nature by protocol design
How Does Polygon zkEVM Save Costs?
The ZK-proof technology significantly reduces costs by grouping transactions and relaying them to the Ethereum Network as a single, bulk transaction. The gas charge for this single transaction is then divided equally among all participants. The ZK ‘Rollup’ technique can lower fees on the Layer 1 Ethereum chain by 90% when compared to current costs.
What are the Benefits for Developers and DeFi Applications?
Polygon zkEVM’s high security and censorship resistance may make it a more appealing layer 2 scaling solution for developers of payment and DeFi apps. The zkEVM technology facilitates the simple transfer of decentralised apps from EVM-compatible networks. The blockchain developer community can keep using the same code, tools, applications, and smart contracts that they did on Ethereum, but with far faster throughput and cheaper costs.
Developers may migrate dApps by simply switching nodes using programming languages like Solidity and toolsets like Metamask, Hardhat, Truffle, and Remix with which they are already familiar. Polygon zkEVM is also well-suited for the smooth development of NFTs, innovative gaming technologies, and enterprise applications. Current Polygon dApps can be readily migrated to zkEVM with minimum support.
Where are We in the zkEVM Development Process?
Except for zkSync, the majority of zero-knowledge EVMs are still in use. Yet, as zero-knowledge technology advances, the promise of fully working zkEVMs is brighter than ever. In the interim, developers may use the StarkNet zero-knowledge VM to reap the benefits of zero-knowledge applications. StarkNet does not support EVMs, but it can translate Solidity source code to ZK-friendly bytecode. Contracts may also be written in Cairo (StarkNet’s language).