On Monday, Polygon (MATIC), a second-layer Ethereum (ETH) scaling solution known for its fast transaction times and negligible gas fees, announced the launch of Plonky2, a zero-knowledge scaling it says is the world’s fastest Technology. A zero-knowledge algorithm ensures that everything is calculated correctly on the second layer and returns a succinct proof to Ethereum without sending the entire data. Without the need for every miner or staker to verify every published transaction, zero-knowledge allows for simplified aggregate proofs to be verified, significantly speeding up the entire network.
1/2 We are proud to announce Plonky2, the fastest ZK expansion technology in the world!
Plonky2 is a recursive SNARK that is about 100 times faster than existing alternatives! Also, it is compatible with Ethereum (it can certify Ethereum transactions, and proofs can be verified on Ethereum). https://t.co/al62Wl2xpm
– Mihailo Bjelic (@MihailoBjelic) January 11, 2022
As Polygon said, recursive zero-knowledge proofs were mostly theoretical in 2014. In 2019, it took about 120 seconds to generate them. In 2020, that number drops to 60 seconds. This year, Plonky2 will allow such proofs to be generated in 0.17 seconds. The network’s developers claim it is 100 times faster than existing alternatives.
Such algorithms may enable horizontal or linear scaling of blockchains in the future. Nodes do not need to store a history of blockchain transactions to be up and running, increasing the capacity of the network with each additional one.
Polygon has committed $1 billion to develop zero-knowledge technology. In August, Polygon merged with zero-knowledge blockchain Hermes Network $250 million worth of MATIC tokens. In December, it announced an allocation of up to 250 million MATIC Token for a deal with cryptography startup Mir. The company specializes in the PLONK and Halo subcategories of zero-knowledge algorithms, the latter of which do not require a trusted setup at all to verify proofs.