Healthy competition welcome — Polygon zkEVM lead

An environment of healthy competition is being fostered between the Ethereum ecosystem’s top development firms building zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines (zkEVMs) to scale the network, according to one of Polygon’s co-founders.

Jordi Baylina, technical lead of Polygon Hermez zkEVM, spoke to Cointelegraph ahead of the start of EthCC in France. With builders from across the Ethereum ecosystem converging on Paris, zero-knowledge proof (ZK-proofs) scaling tools are set to be a major focal point.

Polygon zkEVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) uses ZK-proofs to reduce transaction costs and increase throughput of the Ethereum network, while taking advantage of the security and finality of the layer-1 blockchain.

ZK-proofs have proved to be an important scaling tool for the Ethereum ecosystem in particular. The technology allows protocols like Polygon’s zkEVM to handle transaction computations off-chain, before providing a resource-lite proof to the Ethereum mainnet without revealing any of the data associated.

Related: Ethereum scaling protocols drive zero-knowledge proof use in 2023

Baylina, who is at the helm of Polygon’s zkEVM, says the breadth of development being done with ZK technology has been hugely beneficial to the wider Ethereum ecosystem:

“Having different projects adds a lot of experience and it’s also a way to test different approaches, ways of handling things or solving things.”

Baylina added that various projects emulate good advances and try to make them better while failings act as a learning for all ZK-based projects in the space.

Polygon zkEVM unique addresses. Source: Polygon zkEVM

Polygon zkEVM is live on mainnet and the network is closing in on 250,000 unique active addresses. It’s daily active Polygon zkEVM addresses is also trending upwards, with both metrics suggesting that user adoption is growing.

Related: ConsenSys launches Linea zkEVM to further scale Ethereum

Meanwhile Baylina highlighted the number of applications that are building on Polygon zkEVM as the most important metric for his team. This in turn leads to a wealth of information and feedback from developers which is shaping changes to the protocol:

“Hearing from developers the issues that they have, if they notice something that can be improved, or the quality of the tooling that they have on top of that for me, these are the real metrics we are working hard on.”

Baylina provided a working example where developers had identified issues with timestamps that were critical for the operation of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) oracles. Bayina’s team found a workaround solution, while a long term fix is being developed. Nevertheless the input from builders is helping improve the protocol as more join the ecosystem.

“Important projects are coming to the network and we are getting a lot of experience and knowledge on the needs of different applications.”

Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal previously told Cointelegraph that the Polygon’s zkEVM is the “holy grail of Ethereum scaling,” allowing the protocol to submit proofs to the Ethereum mainnet without the layer 1 blockchain having to rerun computations. 

The technology is envisioned to drastically scale Ethereum, allowing developers to build DApps while being unencumbered by the base blockchain’s network performance. 

Magazine: Here’s how Ethereum’s ZK-rollups can become interoperable

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