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Polygon 2.0: A Revolutionary Upgrade Accommodating Scalability

by ImmuneBytes
Polygon-2.0: Explained

With the advent of the Internet and its growing technologies, the world has witnessed a massive revolution. The introduction of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies was one such aspect that gained lots of traction globally.

Despite various use cases and applications related to blockchain technology, there have been various hiccups that have curbed its growth. 

With a rapid increase in the volume of transactions, the issue of scalability was the most common issue that led to significant setbacks in the blockchain space.

Seeing the limited growth and adoption of blockchain technology due to scalability issues, Polygon was launched under the name of MATIC Network in 2017, which was later rebranded as Polygon in Feb 2021

In the article, we’ll take you through the various limitations surrounding existing blockchain technology, the launch of Polygon 2.0, the conceptualization of the ‘Value Layer’, and much more. So stick around to see how the journey from Polygon 1.0 to Polygon 2.0 unfolds!

Polygon 1.0: A Multi-Chain Powerhouse

Polygon 1.0 is a business-ready blockchain platform that has evolved as a go-to solution for many businesses and blockchain development teams working in the realm of Web3.

Offering advantages of scalable architecture, speedy and minimal-cost transactions, and an expanding ecosystem, Polygon has become indispensable for entrepreneurs, developers, and businesses curating and establishing their blockchain solutions.

Initially, Polygon acted like a plasma chain, but over time, it has evolved into a multichain powerhouse. This utility has provided developers and creators with an effective tool for building unique, steady, scalable blockchain solutions.

Amidst such amazing developments, Polygon 1.0 is not without its share of limitations and these limitations actually led to the idea of Polygon 2.0.
One of the major drawbacks of Polygon 1.0 is that it works on the Ethereum network and hence lacks autonomy.

If there were any disruption on the Ethereum blockchain or if it ceased to operate, then Polygon 1.0 would be directly impacted and end up losing its overall value.
This possibility gave birth to the concept of the Value Layer.

Introducing the Value Layer

Ethereum, the pioneer of blockchain technology with smart contracts functionality, was one of the first networks to bring the concept of ‘Value Layer’ to the limelight.

With the help of the Value Layer, users could build projects and exchange value seamlessly and securely without worrying about intermediaries.

But what about scalability? Unlike the Internet, which scales elastically and provides information accessible from anywhere, individual blockchains are not infinitely scalable.

With their limited throughput and inability—to add capacity without compromising liquidity, security and capital efficiency—it was highly unlikely that they would ever replace the conventional Internet.

But, with the launch of Polygon 2.0, this difficult task now seems possible

Polygon 2.0: Enhancing Ethereum Capabilities

Polygon 2.0 was introduced with the vision to improve the security, scalability and interoperability of the Polygon network. With the help of Zero-Knowledge (ZK) technology (discussed below), users can enjoy the perks of efficient and secure transactions.

The upgrade has also been made to deliver unified liquidity across various chains, enabling users to have easy access to asset movements all around the chains. By scaling millions of transactions per second, Polygon 2.0 will be more scalable than the previous network.

All this is possible only because of the Value Layer and increased security due to ZK technology making interoperability between different networks easier.

Talking of Value Layers, in particular, forms the core of Polygon 2.0. It plays the role of storing the state of the network and executing transactions. Based on ZK tech, the Value Layer tends to be more secure, private, and efficient.

There are certain key benefits offered by the Value Layer, aforementioned above which we’ll discuss below

  • Security: The difficulty to forge the transactions and the proofs used to verify the transactions makes the Value Layer a highly secure mechanism. All this is only possible because of the usage of ZK tech by the Value Layer.
  • Privacy: This is the utmost concern that users look for when they are involved in a decentralized space. Due to the non-revelation of the underlying data, tracking the activity of the user’s biomes is very difficult. This results using having a private and safe space to transact and interact in Polygon 2.0.
  • Efficiency: The proofs that are used to verify the transaction are quite small. In fact, smaller than the underlying data, resulting in significant storage and bandwidth savings. This results in increased efficiency of Polygon 2.0.

These benefits attract major users’ attention leading to a future where Polygon 2.0 will be the Value Layer resembling the rest of the Internet along with Ethereum’s expansion to become what it strived to be

ZK Technology: A Privacy-focused Cryptography Offering Scalability Solutions

Zero-Knowledge technology also known as ZK technology is a type of cryptography that enables secure and efficient transactions without the revelation of the underlying data.

The technology uses proofs to verify if the transactions were valid without disclosing any data that was utilized in the transaction.

ZK technology offers various benefits to its users, including governance, verification, and integration.

Earlier there was a huge hustle in terms of token counting and tracking transfers per transaction. However, with zero-knowledge proofs, the aforementioned issue has faded away.

With zk-rollups, it becomes easy to batch hundreds or thousands of token transfers into one transaction, which is recorded on the Ethereum public blockchain.

The transaction squeezing process reduces various hurdles, the most important being high fees and increased computer power generation.

For instance, in the Hermez ZK-rollup batches of token transactions, Zk-rollups rely on zk-SNARKs by creating a SNARK proof utilized to refer to the transaction from the Ethereum chain. Additionally, they also employ relayers to transfer funds deposited by a user to a smart contract.

Other proposed scalability solutions are:

  • Optimistic rollups (OP): These are quite popular due to their smart contract capabilities and the rise of DeFi. They do not dependent on SNARK and they have a trade-off between security and decisiveness. Even though they do not suffer zk-SNARKs complexities, there is clear room for compromise when it comes to privacy and speed.
  • Sidechains: This is a concept in blockchain technology that refers to the creation of separate, parallel chains that are interoperable with the main blockchain. They are designed to address some of the scalability and performance limitations of a single blockchain.

That’s how ZK technology accommodated the limitations surrounding scalability.

ZK technology was further utilized as a key component in Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVMs) to achieve rampant scalability. The merger of ZK technology and EVMs was done to ease the process of building for developers and offer a cost-efficient and safe environment for innovation.

Now, let’s understand the difference between zkEVM and EVM to explore various possibilities of ZK technology.

zkEVM and How Is It Different From EVM

zkEVM or a Zero Knowledge-enabled version of Ethereum Virtual Machine is a vital element of the Value Layer. It enables developers to run Ethereum smart contracts on the Polygon 2.0 network.

Talking of zkEVM, it is very different from the EVM with the most significant difference being the usage of ZK tech for transaction verification. The aforementioned utility of zkEVM makes it more reliable, systematic, and exclusive than EVM.

This EMV-compatible rollup secured by a ZKP provides enhanced functionality to some of the Optimistic Rollup solutions that are EVM-compatible.

Additionally, it also gives the security of earlier zk-Rollup options that didn’t offer compatibility with Ethereum’s EVM.

Furthermore, zkEVM is also designed in a way that it utilizes various tech stacks, some of which are as follows:

  • ZK proofs: To verify the validity of transactions
  • ZK circuits: To represent the logic of smart contracts
  • zkSNARKs: A type of ZK proof, used by the zkEVM

This makes zkEVM a much better choice than the usual EVM. 

Final thoughts

As Polygon 2.0 is still under development, there are various challenges that can be predicted, majorly revolving around zkEVM integration within the Polygon network.

It has also been predicted that Polygon 2.0 is destined to make an impact in the blockchain industry with its key breakthrough features such as security, efficiency, privacy, interoperability, and scalability.

Thus, adoption and regulation are some of the major challenges that are being predicted even before the launch of the Polygon 2.0 network.

However, the strength of Polygon 2.0 is ready to unfold the potential of shaping the future of blockchain technology, by offering a powerful and transformative ecosystem for users and developers alike.

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