Polygon Slams zkSync for Copying Code: Matter Labs Hits Back

Polygon has accused zkSync’s Matter Labs of plagiarism.

Two twin robots fighting in a explosion of code.
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  • Polygon has accused zkSync’s Matter Labs of plagiarism.
  • Matter Labs CEO Alex Gluchowski has refuted these claims.
  • Both sides have received flak for their approach.

The competition to deliver the optimal Ethereum scaling solution is heating up. Amid this rising competition, tensions have started flaring up. 

Over the past 24 hours, two competing zkRollup developers—Polygon Zero and Matter Labs—have locked themselves in a plagiarism dispute. The dispute has raised questions about the open-source ethos, even as both parties receive flak for their approach.

Polygon Zero Accuses Matter Labs of Plagiarism

In a blog post on Thursday, August 3, Polygon‘s zero knowledge arm Polygon Zero accused zkSync developers Matter Labs of copying their code. 


Specifically, Polygon Zero alleged that zkSync Era’s latest zero knowledge prover dubbed Boojum contained “a substantial amount” of code lifted from Polygon’s Plonky 2 Library, alleging both solutions to be “nearly identical.”

Using the code should typically not be a problem as Polygon’s Plonky 2 code is open-sourced, meaning external developers are free to use and adapt the code. However, the Polygon Zero team has faulted Matter Labs for failing to give proper attribution. 

The Polygon Zero team further accuses Matter Labs of false claims about Boojum’s performance. Sharing benchmark results in July, Matter Labs Chief Executive Officer Alex Gluchowski alleged that Boojum was far superior to Plonky 2 in speed. The Polygon team has contested these results. 


Aside from suggesting that it should not be possible because of the alleged nearly identical codebase, Polygon further claims the test was rigged to favor Boojum. “The claim is based on the Celer benchmarks, but there’s a huge catch: the statement that Plonky 2 is proving is 16x larger than what Boojum is proving,” the team contended.

The Polygon team argued that Matter Labs’ alleged actions hurt the open source culture by discouraging small teams from making contributions out of fear that their ideas would be stolen without credit. 

Facing mounting backlash from the crypto community, Matter Labs, through its CEO, has pushed back against the claims from Polygon Zero.

Matter Lab Claps Back

In a long-form tweet on Friday, August 4, Matter Labs’ Alex Gluchowski slammed the accusations from the Polygon team as “unfounded, misleading, and extremely disappointing.” 

The Matter Labs chief particularly kicked against the idea that Boojum’s codebase was essentially a copy of Plonky 2 with little iteration. He instead contended that Boojum only used approximately 5% of Plonky 2’s code.

Gluchowski further explained that Plonky 2 and Boojum were implementations of Redshift, a framework released by Matter Labs three years ago, which he claimed Polygon developers never gave Matter Labs credit for.

Though admitting that Matter Labs could have done things better, the founder argued that contrary to the picture painted by Polygon Zero, significant reference is made to Plonky 2 in Boojum’s code and documentation. But aside from mentions, proper attribution typically includes the license, the name of the original author, and a link to the original work.

While most agree that Matter Labs failed to give proper attribution, some, including Gluchowski, have faulted Polygon’s approach.

Unnecessary Drama?

Gluchowski argued that Polygon could have submitted a pull request on the Matter Labs GitHub to indicate its desire for more credit before launching public accusations. 

The Matter Labs founder was not alone in his sentiment, as many other users suggested that submitting a pull request was the standard approach to resolving issues like this.

Still, others noted that Matter Labs’ alleged missteps justified Polygon Zero’s response.

Polygon did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether they had considered attempting to resolve the dispute on GitHub.

On the Flipside

  • Polygon Zero asserted that it is getting ready to launch Plonky 3, which it claims will blow Plonky 2 and, by extension, Boojum out of the water.
  • Polygon and Matter Labs have taken a similar approach to scaling the Ethereum network, employing zkRollups and pursuing a multi-chain future.

Why This Matters

Matter Labs’ zkSync Era and Polygon’s zkEVM are among the most popular Ethereum zero knowledge scaling solutions. While healthy competition and collaboration encourage development, strife between two leaders in the space can hurt everyone involved and slow progress toward finding the optimal scaling solution.

Read this to learn more about zkSync’szkSync’s Boojum upgrade:

How zkSync Era’sEra’s Boojum Upgrade Boosts Decentralization and Cuts Fees

Find out why Amazon is giving away free NFTs:

Amazon to Give Away Free Polygon NFTs: What You Need to Know

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.