The blockchain project Polygon has announced the launch of the zkEVM public testnet, a layer two (L2) scaling solution announced in July that aims to reduce fees and inherit the security of the Ethereum blockchain. Polygon considers the testnet “the first open-source zkEVM network,” and developers are encouraging people to join the testnet, report bugs, and explore the code hosted on Github.
Polygon Releases zkEVM Test Network
On Monday, Polygon announced the project’s zkEVM testnet is live and the project’s team is inviting users to help them “battle-test” and speed up the process toward mainnet. Polygon’s zkEVM is a zk-rollup solution with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility and the project is built to bolster scalability. The project summary hosted on Github notes that zkEVM “consists on a decentralized Ethereum Layer 2 scalability solution utilising cryptographic zero-knowledge technology to provide validation and fast finality of off-chain transaction computations.”
In addition to inviting users to test the project, the decentralized finance (defi) platforms Uniswap and Aave will be joining in on the zkEVM testing network, alongside the gaming studio Midnight Society and the social media platform Lens. “Using zero-knowledge (ZK) tech to scale the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a big challenge,” Polygon said on Monday. “We want to keep what we love about Ethereum while harnessing the power of ZK proofs. Today, we take another big step towards scaling that doesn’t sacrifice EVM equivalence.”
The zkEVM testnet comes at a time when there’s a myriad of L2 projects advancing toward scaling Ethereum and a number of them leverage ZK technology. L2 projects like Loopring, Zksync, Arbitrum, Boba, Aztec, Immutable X, and Optimism aim to provide better scalability, faster transactions, and reduced fees. Alongside ZK technology, some L2 projects use optimistic rollups, while others leverage validium. The difference between the other L2s and zkEVM is the project’s EVM compatibility equivalence.
“EVM-equivalence is a spectrum, and the testnet version of Polygon zkEVM is not yet everything we want it to become,” the team’s blog post notes. “Vitalik’s framework currently puts our zkEVM in the ‘Type 3’ category of protocols, which are ‘almost EVM-equivalent, but make a few sacrifices to exact equivalence to further improve prover times and make the EVM easier to develop.’ Our goal is to become a Type 2, meaning Polygon zkEVM will eventually ‘look exactly like Ethereum ‘from within.’” The blog post adds:
The testnet will help us accelerate toward Type 2 compatibility.
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