On Monday, Polygon (MATIC), an Ethereum (ETH) layer two scaling solution known for its fast transaction times and negligible gas fees, announced the launch of Plonky2, a scaling technology unconscious ladder, claimed to be the fastest in the world. Zero-knowledge algorithms ensure everything is computed correctly on layer two and send the succinct proof back to Ethereum without sending the entire data. Instead of each miner (or staker) verifying each published transaction, zero-knowledge allows verification of simplified rolled-up proofs, greatly accelerating the overall network.

As Polygon said, zero-knowledge recursive proofs were largely theoretical in 2014. In 2019, they took about 120 seconds to generate. In 2020, that number dropped to 60 seconds. This year, Plonky2 is expected to generate such proofs in just 0.17 seconds. The network developers claim that it is 100 times faster than existing alternatives.

Such a class of algorithms could potentially enable horizontal or linear scaling of blockchains in the future. Nodes do not need to store blockchain transaction history to be operational, increasing network capacity with each addition.

Polygon has committed $1 billion to the development of zero-knowledge technologies. In August, Polygon merged with the zero-knowledge blockchain Hermez Network for $250 million worth of MATIC tokens. In December, he announced the allocation of up to 250 million MATIC tokens to a deal with crypto startup Mir. This company specializes in the PLONK and Halo subcategories of zero-knowledge algorithms, the latter of which do not require a trusted setup at all for proof checking.