Ethereum Layer 2 solutions — protocols built on top of the Ethereum blockchain that handle transactions off the Ethereum mainnet — have been on the rise as developers work on improving Ethereum’s scalability as its number of users and applications continue to grow. Polygon, a Layer 2 Ethereum scaling platform, today announced the launch of Polygon Miden, which uses advanced zero-knowledge (ZK) cryptography to enhance the scalability, privacy and security of Polygon and Ethereum.

Fast facts

  • Polygon Miden is an Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) compatible scaling solution that uses zero-knowledge scalable transparent argument of knowledge (ZK-STARK) technology to reduce the amount of information that needs to be provided between users and enables transactions to be verified at a faster rate.
  • Layer 2 solutions include rollups and zero-knowledge proof technologies. In a speech at the 2021 Shanghai International Blockchain Week in October, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said that Layer 2 is the future of Ethereum scaling and the only safe way to scale Ethereum while preserving decentralization that is so core to the blockchain.
  • Polygon has committed US$1 billion to ZK-related efforts. Its ZK-based scaling solutions include Polygon Hermez and Polygon Nightfall, a public, privacy-focused rollup. Polygon, an India-based project, has seen strong growth alongside the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and gaming. There is currently over US$4.8 billion in total value locked in protocols on Polygon, according to DeFi Llama data.
  • “ZK is the way ahead for Ethereum and Miden VM is one of the most important elements in Polygon’s roadmap for Ethereum scalability,” said Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, in a statement. “It will simplify and accelerate validation for DeFi apps and cryptocurrencies — enhancing the speed and scale of the Polygon ecosystem.”

See related article: Vitalik Buterin: Layer 2 is the future of Ethereum scaling