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NEAR Foundation and Polygon Labs join forces to build Zero-Knowledge Solution for WASM Chains

Leading ZK researchers and WASM experts to develop a zero-knowledge prover for WASM blockchains available via Polygon CDK

  • The zkWASM collaboration leverages Polygon Labs’ groundbreaking zero-knowledge R&D with NEAR Foundation’s WASM expertise, positioning this ZK solution at the forefront of the Web3 market
  • zkWASM will eventually be one of three provers available for developers who choose to build with Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK), an open source codebase for launching ZK-powered L2 chains for Ethereum
  • NEAR Foundation becomes a core contributor to Polygon CDK
  • This pioneering research initiative will pave the way for greater trustless interoperability across Web3, including between NEAR and the Ethereum ecosystem

LISBON, Portugal, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ —NEAR Foundation, the non-profit that supports the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem, and Polygon Labs, a software development company for leading Ethereum Layer 2 scaling architecture, announce a strategic collaboration to build zkWASM, a zero-knowledge (ZK) prover for WASM blockchains. With Polygon Labs’ authority in ZK scaling technology and NEAR’s deep WASM runtime expertise, the zkWASM prover is positioned to lead the market among other wasm provers when it launches next year. Both teams shared the announcement today at the NEAR ecosystem’s annual flagship conference, NEARCON, in Lisbon.

NEAR Foundation and Polygon Labs join forces to build Zero-Knowledge Solution for WASM Chains
NEAR Foundation and Polygon Labs join forces to build Zero-Knowledge Solution for WASM Chains

This announcement brings together two leading protocol teams to build a more secure, interoperable Web3 ecosystem. A zkWASM prover positions NEAR Protocol closer to Ethereum and enables WASM chains to tap into Ethereum liquidity. In the future, through an in-development interoperability layer, chains will also be able to access shared liquidity in a unified ecosystem of CDK-deployed chains, including alternative layer-1s, EVM layer-2s, and WASM chains. Using a zkWASM prover, WASM chains will be able to settle transactions efficiently and cost-effectively with maximum security guarantees, unlocking the full potential of zero-knowledge for the multichain future of Web3.

“We are proud to collaborate with NEAR on this exciting research initiative to further drive the development and adoption of ZK technology. The zkWASM prover maximizes developer customizability, which means projects will be able to select from a number of provers when building with CDK, whether that’s launching or migrating an EVM chain, or building a WASM chain for closer Ethereum alignment and access to liquidity,” said Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon.

A zkWASM prover will be an upgrade for NEAR validators–instead of the hard work of validating a shard, validators will instead be able to generate a single zero-knowledge proof, greatly simplifying validator requirements. This means better scalability and increased decentralization for the NEAR Protocol.

“We are very excited to work with Polygon Labs to bring all the benefits of zero-knowledge proofs not just to NEAR but all of Web3,” said Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol. “NEAR is integrating more with Ethereum by innovating in new research frontiers, and the shared expertise of NEAR and Polygon will expand the ZK landscape and defragment liquidity across chains. Creating and using the zkWASM prover will also improve the scalability and decentralization of the NEAR L1.”

The zkWASM prover is now in active development and is expected to launch next year.

About NEAR Foundation:

NEAR foundation is a Switzerland-based nonprofit foundation whose mission is to enable community driven innovation to benefit people around the world. One of its core areas of focus is the NEAR ecosystem, which includes a fully operational decentralized Blockchain-based platform for building decentralized applications.

NF carries out its mission, primarily through the allocation of support and resources to other nodes in the near ecosystem, rather than via direct intervention or operations.

Unlike many organizations of its type, NF’s ultimate goal is to minimize its own scope and footprint by continuing to divide functions and resources to the ecosystem; and support the development of decentralized infrastructure necessary for those ecosystem functions to operate in a self-sufficient manner. For more information visit the website.

About Polygon Labs:

Polygon Labs develops Ethereum scaling solutions for Polygon protocols. Polygon Labs engages with other ecosystem developers to help make available scalable, affordable, secure and sustainable blockchain infrastructure for web3. Polygon Labs has initially developed a growing suite of protocols for developers to gain easy access to major scaling solutions, including layer 2s (zero-knowledge rollups and optimistic rollups), sidechains, hybrid chains, app-specific chains, enterprise chains, and data availability protocols. Scaling solutions that Polygon Labs initially developed have seen widespread adoption with tens of thousands of decentralized apps, unique addresses exceeding 220.8 million, over 1.18 million smart contracts created and 2.48 billion total transactions processed since inception. The existing Polygon network is home for some of the biggest web3 projects, such as Aave, Uniswap, and OpenSea, and well-known enterprises, including Robinhood, Stripe and Adobe. Polygon Labs is carbon neutral with the goal of leading web3 in becoming carbon negative.

If you’re an Ethereum Developer, you’re already a Polygon developer! Leverage Polygon’s fast and secure transactions for dApps you develop, get started here.

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Georgia Hanias