- Polygon’s open source zkEVM code is incomplete
- “We are not at the stage where every team has a working zkEVM certifier,” said the Arbitrum developer.
Within 36 hours last week, Polygon, zkSync, and Scroll teased the imminent release of the Zero-knowledge Ethereum virtual machine (zkEVM), the “holy grail” of Layer 2 technology.
The announcement frowned. Blockworks talked to several programmers wondering how close the space really is to a working zkEVM.
ZkEVM significantly improves Ethereum’s Layer 2 transaction speed over the current state of optimistic rollup. Blockchain co-founder Vitalik Buterin welcomes this technology as the future of Ethereum scaling.
The zero-knowledge rollup moves transactions out of the chain for validation before sending a batch of data to be settled on Ethereum. This process relies on so-called “certifiers” who can label the data as true or false while protecting the privacy of the user.
A certifier is essential for these types of scaling solutions. For some, this week’s announcement of zkEVM did not contain enough evidence that no team had created a working certifier.
Steven Goldfeder, CEO of Offchain Labs, the developer of the optimistic rollup Arbitrum, said: “What I think is happening is that they are quite far from production.”
Needless to say, the Layer 2 sequencer is still centralized, and most zkEVM builders are still actually open sourcing the provers at the core of the technology.
Layer 2 giant Polygon, who recently announced a partnership to bring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to Meta, has released its zkEVM code. By clarifying the code, Polygon believes the company is set ahead of Scroll and zkSync. Neither has posted the certifier publicly.
However, the question is whether Polygon’s code is as “full-featured” as it is advertised. The certifier code Polygon uploaded to GitHub doesn’t work perfectly. Technology-savvy sources questioned Polygon’s code and questioned Polygon’s ability to perform proofs in the current state of the program.
David Schwartz, technical lead at Polygon Hermez, told Blockworks in an email that the code is an ongoing work. The commented code section on GitHub for your project is currently not working.
“I’m not hiding anything, not documentation or code,” Schwartz said. “Competitioners like Starkware and zkSync are not open sourcing. [zero-knowledge] The entire network. “
Starkware, the company behind StarkNet, a zero-knowledge rollup by open source provers, emphasized that zkEVM technology is not a simple matter.
Building a certifier is “a very difficult task from a math, engineering, and software perspective. We have a team of 100 people and have been there for four years,” said the company’s president. Eli Ben-Sasson told Blockworks on a phone call from EthCC.
Even assuming that zkEVM has a working certifier, exposing the certifier code brings Layer 2 closer to the decentralized ideal of the blockchain.
“If the certifier is open source, you can see what’s going on with the money,” Danyanev, chief product officer of the Layer 2 money market protocol Rhino.fi, told Blockworks.
“These companies are under pressure to put something in the hands of their users,” says Yanev.
Still, Yanev proves that Polygon’s open source is a “big step” in zkEVM and is optimistic that Layer 2 networks will become decentralized as technology matures.
Meanwhile, Goldfeder, which the company is performing an optimistic rollup, believes that the high cost of zero-knowledge proofs will prevent zkEVM from being financially sustainable in the long run.
“Scaling should be done from the scaling solution, not from the scaling solution. [venture capital] Financing, “Gold Fader said.
Scroll and zkSync did not immediately return a request for comment.
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