Paul O’Leary on how Polygon’s zkEVM will enhance Ethereum scalability



Speaking to crypto.news, Paul O’Leary, CTO of Polygon Labs, discussed how Polygon’s zkEVM technology aims to enhance Ethereum’s scalability by reducing transaction costs and increasing throughput.

Polygon’s zkEVM technology is set to significantly enhance Ethereum’s scalability by reducing transaction costs and increasing throughput. Launched as an open-source mainnet beta in March 2023, Polygon’s zkEVM batches transactions off-chain and posts cryptographic proofs to the Ethereum mainnet, alleviating network congestion and reducing costs​.

The recent transition to Stage 2 of the Mainnet Beta in January 2024 emphasizes responsible dApp growth and on-chain activity. The Elderberry upgrade, which has been live since March 14, 2024, includes optimizations that reduce network errors and improve overall performance​.

Paul O’Leary, CTO of Polygon Labs, shared his insights on ongoing enhancements to zkEVM’s network client architecture

“The team is currently working on upgrading the zkEVM’s network client architecture. Next up will be an implementation of the Erigon client for CDK chains. This will work to improve network performance and stability and be easier to maintain. We expect it to be live in the coming months.”

Efforts are underway to reduce proving times without compromising security or efficiency. O’Leary mentioned, “We do have something in the works on this, but we aren’t releasing a timeframe on it yet.”

Integration with other scaling solutions, including sharding, is planned for Polygon. O’Leary noted that as a “full-featured rollup,” zkEVM will adapt to Ethereum’s new features like sharding, ensuring continuous evolution and enhanced scalability.

Further efforts to make zkEVM more accessible include simplifying the technology for developers. O’Leary emphasized that with zkEVM, Solidity developers can deploy their Ethereum dApps “without having to get a degree in cryptography,” making it easier to expand the zkEVM ecosystem by reducing complexity and lowering entry barriers for new developers.

Balancing zkEVM’s scalability with blockchain’s decentralization ethos is another key focus. 

O’Leary explained that “Ethereum at the settlement layer provides a base of true decentralization. That’s the beauty of zkEVM; it solves blockchain’s scalability challenge while remaining fully compatible with decentralization.”

Looking ahead, O’Leary envisions significant advancements for zkEVM over the next five years, particularly as Ethereum introduces sharding and other scaling technologies. He also anticipates a notable slump in fees. 

“It won’t be long before fees become so trivial that the amount users do pay will be negligible — or they’ll no longer need to pay anything at all,” he concluded.

The synergy of these developments and robust community collaboration places zkEVMs at the forefront of cultivating a scalable, secure, and decentralized Ethereum ecosystem.



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