- Polygon Labs has announced an unprecedented partnership with the NEAR Foundation.
- The partnership promises to unlock a new level of interoperability between WASM chains and Ethereum.
- The Polygon ecosystem is poised to get a big boost from the move.
In 2023, Polygon has unlocked several zero-knowledge technology advancements as developers transform the ecosystem into a network of ZK-powered Ethereum Layer 2 application chains. In the latest effort in this quest, the Polygon Labs team has joined hands with the NEAR Foundation in a move that promises to significantly expand the Polygon ecosystem and revolutionize interoperability between the Ethereum network and Web Assembly (WASM) chains.
Polygon and NEAR Partnership Unlocks New Level of Interoperability
The Ethereum alignment narrative has gained significant traction in recent months as more chains move to tap into the network’s deep liquidity. However, for WASM chains like NEAR, Cosmos, and Polkadot, such a move using available solutions could mean transitioning to an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) engine, which offers less smart contract scripting language flexibility.
Enter the zkWASM prover, a solution that will combine Polygon Lab’s ZK expertise with NEAR Foundation’s deep WASM runtime expertise to unlock a new level of interoperability between WASM blockchains and Ethereum, according to a joint announcement on Wednesday, November 8.
The firms assert that the prover will allow NEAR and other WASM chains to access Ethereum liquidity by providing an avenue to “settle transactions efficiently and cost-effectively with maximum security guarantees.”
For NEAR, in particular, the prover promises to improve the scalability and decentralization of the network by simplifying the validation process. According to the announcement, the zk-proof validation process requires significantly less work than validating a shard.
The zkWASM is still in active development, with developers predicting it will ship in 2024 as a new feature of the Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK). The zkWASM inclusion in the CDK suggests that developers can launch customizable WASM blockchains with out-of-the-box integration with the envisioned multichain Polygon ecosystem and the Ethereum network. As such, the development is also a big deal for Polygon.
A Big Boost for Polygon
As highlighted by Polygon Labs Executive Chairman Sandeep Nailwal, with the zkWASM, Polygon will be able to attract WASM appchains and developers.
"Polygon Ecosystem gets WASM appchains, perhaps even with Near mainnet codebase, where devs can build a sharded smart contracts platform where app devs can build smart contracts using any programming language of their choice like C++, Rust, and many others," he contended in a tweet.
The community has long desired Polygon interoperability with WASM chains. In September 2023, QuickSwap, Polygon’s number one decentralized exchange (DEX) by TVL, announced a partnership with Kinetix, a sister project on the Cosmos-based Kava chain, to help bridge the gap caused by fragmented liquidity.
On the Flipside
- The zkWASM prover is still in development.
Why This Matters
The zkWASM prover promises to usher in a new age of interoperability between WASM chains and Ethereum, a significant step in solving Web3’s fragmented liquidity problem. At the same time, as part of the CDK, the solution promises to serve as a boon for the Polygon ecosystem.
Read this to learn more about the Polygon CDK:
How Polygon’s Chain Development Kit Enables the 2.0 Vision
Learn more about why the Polygon community is so excited this week:
Polygon (MATIC) Up 9% as Nailwal Teases Huge Announcements