In a blog post on Monday, Polygon made some bold claims about setting new speed and scalability milestones with its “Plonky2” technology in what could be a possible breakthrough for computer throughput. Ethereum.
“Plonky2 is a recursive SNARK that is 100x faster than existing alternatives and natively compatible with Ethereum,” the Polygon team wrote in the blog post. “It combines PLONK and FRI for the best of STARKs, with fast proofs and no reliable configuration, and the best of SNARKs, with support for recursion and low verification cost on Ethereum.”
SNARK refers to “a succinct non-interactive knowledge argument,” a type of cryptographic proof that proves the truth of data without revealing its contents. STARK refers to “evolving transparent arguments of knowledge,” another type of cryptographic technology known as ZK, or “zero knowledge.”
The announcement follows a series of Polygon acquisitions in recent months. In December, the project announced that it had purchased blockchain scaling development team Mir Protocol for $400 million, and the Mir team has since been rebranded as Polygon Zero.
Read more: Polygon Acquires Ethereum Scaling Startup Mir for $400 Million
In an interview with CoinDesk, Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic said an early demonstration of Plonky2 was one of the reasons the project closed the deal.
Bjelic described ZK-proof Layer 2 as a key method for adding transaction volume capability to blockchains.
“In Layer 2, you have batches of transactions, and the whole point is to increase throughput. You process transactions in Layer 2, create proof that those transactions executed correctly, and publish that proof to Ethereum “, did he declare.
Current ZK options include Loopring, Starkware, and Matter Labs’ zkSync, among others, but Bjelic says one of Polygon Zero’s key breakthroughs is that it can verify complex transactions, such as Ethereum smart contract interactions.
“We’ve had ZK evidence for a while, but what we don’t have is a way to prove Ethereum transactions, which are complex. It was not possible to build a layer 2 that supports these transactions, which could have flash lending, arbitrage, swap, all in one transaction. Proving them was not possible until now,” he said.
Read more: The Trend Toward Blockchain Privacy: No Proof of Knowledge
Brendan Farmer, co-founder of Mir Protocol, wrote that Plonky2 achieves speed and scalability milestones using a mix of advancements in different academic disciplines.
“This combination of mathematical knowledge, deep expertise in zero-knowledge cryptography, and incredible low-level optimizations allowed us to make a significant breakthrough,” Farmer wrote. “A recursive proof on Plonky2 takes just 170 milliseconds on a MacBook Pro, a 100x improvement over existing alternatives.”
Users can view Polygon Zero’s open-source documentation on the project’s open-source GitHub page, and Bjelic said the team plans to create a simple interface for users to test the speed of the system.
The team is completing work on the Polygon Zero virtual machine, which will enable the network to process transactions, as well as other key infrastructure for a possible launch. The team did not respond to a request for comment on the roadmap for a full launch of Polygon Zero.