Consider this: Ethereum scaling firm Polygon has set the tech world abuzz by rolling out a toolkit for blockchain developers interested in utilizing zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs. This Chain Development Kit (CDK) introduces an open-source codebase that facilitates the creation of customized Layer 2 chains using Polygon’s ZK technology. Interoperable chains, all connected via a ZK-powered bridge, would consequently form Polygon’s so-called ‘Value Layer.’
This initiative comes amidst a backdrop of other Layer 2 platforms, like Matter Labs‘ zkSync and Starkware‘s Starknet, concocting their own ZK-driven toolkits for budding blockchain developers. While Matter Labs’ ZK Stack is already open for business, Starknet’s offering is eagerly anticipated to hit the market in the near future.
2012 was a pivotal year for Polygon, garnering accolades from a myriad of developers and crypto-analysts courtesy of their primary proof-of-stake network which quickly emerged as a frontrunner in Ethereum scaling solutions. Yet, as the technology evolved, blockchain artisans began flitting towards ‘rollups’, a variant of Layer 2 networks with tighter integration. Barely missing a beat, Polygon adapted to this flux, not only unveiling its own rollup but also decisively integrating zero-knowledge cryptography into its tech schematic.
The company, on top of all these, provides a toolkit for the creation of ‘Supernets’, or application-specific custom chains. However, Polygon seems to be wagering on the CDK being the subsequent step in evolution. Powered by ZK proofs, the firm believes that extant Supernets can transition into Polygon’s industry-leading ZK technology.
Polygon’s endgame? “To build the Value Layer of the internet”. This ambitious endeavor aims for a core protocol capable of creating, transmitting, and receiving any form of value as effortlessly and functionally as information is exchanged across the internet.
This Priumethean leap in technology, while brimming with potential, also raises some crucial questions. One oft-repeated concern is the steep learning curve associated with these new technologies and toolkits, hindering adoption rates among less tech-savvy developers and end-users. Moreover, with the market on the precipice of being flooded with similar offerings, will the industry manage to maintain the quality and security standards demanded by these applications? Google feeds us information, yes. But can Polygon, or any other firm for that matter, really feed us “value” as seamlessly? That’s the lingering question the crypto-world is grappling with.