What Polygon’s Toposware Acquisition Brings to Its ZK Team

Polygon Labs takes another step to strengthen its ZK team.

Woman sees a lot of users on digital space of Polygon.
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  • Polygon has acquired another ZK team.
  • The newly acquired team boasts a wealth of talent and experience.
  • The teams likely already boast a good working relationship. 

The first signs of Polygon‘s interest in zero-knowledge technology came in 2021 when the firm made big splurges to acquire Hermez Network and Mir Protocol in quick succession. Fast-forward nearly three years, and it has become clear that the firm is not merely interested in the technology but sees it as the end game for Ethereum scaling, as it has made the technology central to its new multichain vision.

As the project progresses along this broadened and refocused roadmap, Polygon Labs has taken yet another step to strengthen its ZK team by acquiring ZK research firm Toposware. 

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What does this new acquisition bring?

A Talented Team

On Tuesday, June 4, Polygon Labs announced that Toposware was joining the firm’s ZK team as part of a recent acquisition.

Toposware is a ZK research firm behind Topos, a project described as “the first zkEcosystem,” allowing developers to deploy execution layers and dApps with native interoperability. 

According to the firm’s team page, it currently comprises 18 people, including David Palm, the firm’s current head of engineering. Palm boasts five years of experience at the Gavin Wood-founded Parity Technologies, the latter of which was also spent as head of engineering. 

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The firm’s CEO, Theo Gauthier, and lead cryptographers Robin Salen and Alonso Gonzalez have also authored several papers on cryptography. Salen’s most recent paper tries to make Tip-5, a cryptographic hash function used in the TON blockchain, more efficient for general use cases.

Polygon Labs intends to leverage all of this experience and talent to further strengthen its ZK arsenal and products like AggLayer, Polygon CDK, Polygon zkEVM, and the PoS chain, which also intends to transition to a ZK validium chain.

Interestingly, the teams likely already have a working relationship, as they have collaborated on a Type 1 prover for Polygon’s interoperability protocol, the AggLayer.

A Technological Breakthrough?

The Polygon and Toposware Type 1 prover has been hailed as a breakthrough in zero-knowledge technology. 

A prover is an entity in a blockchain network that proves to another entity called a verifier that a statement is true without revealing the underlying data.

Per Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin‘s August 2022 zkEVM classification, the Type 1 zkEVM offers the highest level of equivalence with Ethereum. While this high EVM equivalence provides benefits in terms of ease of dApp deployment, this ease comes at a significant cost as the EVM was not designed with ZK friendliness in mind. This lack of ZK friendliness meant that the higher the network equivalence to Ethereum, the more complex and impractical it was to prove. However, the Polygon and Toposware Type 1 prover promises to change the narrative. 

The firms submitted results that the prover could prove Ethereum blocks at an average total cost of between $0.20 and $0.50, an estimated 36 times faster than the competition. These figures are expected to improve with the rollout of the Plonky 3 proving system later in 2024.

According to Polygon Labs, any EVM chain, including Layer 1s, could leverage the open-source prover code with slight modifications to their code to become ZK-powered Layer 2 chains that prove data to Ethereum. The team further explains that chains that follow this path instead of building a Layer 2 from scratch or making significant modifications can still connect to the AggLayer to share liquidity with other Polygon-powered chains and Ethereum.

On the Flipside 

  • Polygon’s ZK acquisitions have come at a significant cost of over $1 billion.
  • Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal was an early investor in Toposware.

Why This Matters

The Ethereum Layer 2 space has become increasingly competitive over the past year. With several experts tipping ZK to offer the endgame for scaling, Polygon’s recent Toposware acquisition further strengthens the project’s prospects of coming out on top.

Read this for more on Polygon:
Why Polygon (MATIC) Prefers to Distrust Chains for AggLayer Security

See how recent Ethereum ICO Whale moves may affect the market:
Over 9,500 ETH Sent to Kraken by ICO Wallets: Looming Sell-Off?

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.

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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.