Polygon unveils zkEVM, the first EVM-equivalent Layer 2 ZK solution

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  • The Polygon zkEVM could accommodate entire Ethereum smart contracts and is fully compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  • Users will be able to move Ethereum smart contract to Polygon zkEVM without any major changes to the code.

On Wednesday, July 20, Ethereum Layer-2 scalability solution Polygon unveiled the much-awaited zkEVM, the first Ethereum equivalent scaling solution. The new zkEVM feature will preserve the Ethereum network’s security while reducing fees and significantly increasing the throughput.

Besides, Polygon added that the zkEVM solution will be able to seamlessly work with existing developer tools, smart contracts, and wallets. The best thing about Polygon zkEVM is that it is fully EVM-equivalent.

Polygon explains: “EVM-equivalence means that any smart contract or dev tool that you can use on Ethereum can be used on Polygon #zkEVM. Period. It’s just like using Ethereum, but with the groundbreaking scaling power of ZK tech”.

To achieve the EVM equivalence, Polygon said that zkEVM won’t compromise on transaction speeds or raise costs. Polygon said that the best way to scale the Ethereum blockchain is using the zero-knowledge (ZK) tech.

The basic approach to this scaling is by using ZK Rollups, a Layer-2 protocol that will roll up a large batch of transactions and provide that to Ethereum as a single ZK validity proof. Thus, one transaction replaces many savings on transaction fees while increasing throughput.

However, the thing with ZK Rollups is that they are extremely complex to implement, slow, and expensive to implement. This is where zkEVM comes into the picture.

zkEVM – Overcoming challenges of ZK Rollups

Many believed that having a zk rollup that could accommodate Ethereum smart contract was years away. However, Polygon made it possible with zkEVM. Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nainwal said: “Everybody thought [a zkEVM]was at least 12 to 18 months away. But here we are, and we are open sourcing the code and making the test net live”. Furthermore, the official announcement notes:

You can build on Polygon zkEVM the same way you would on Ethereum. You can deploy any Ethereum smart contract. Any tooling that works with Ethereum will work on Polygon zkEVM. Do anything you would do on Ethereum, for lower cost and at greater speeds, and have it verified on the Ethereum network via a ZK validity proof. It’s Ethereum, but with ZK scalability.

Thus, users will now be easily able to move Ethereum smart contract to Polygon zkEVM without any major changes to the code. As per Nainwal, Polygon zkEVM will cut transaction fees by 90 percent. He further noted that the network will be able to support 50 transactions per second, as against Ethereum 15.

The Polygon founder believes that zkEVM will prove to be marked improvements over Optimistic rollups such as Arbitrum and Optimism. Polygon said that the mainnet launch of zkEVM shall happen sometime early in 2023.

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