Polygon and Near are bringing zkWASM to life

zkWASM prover research is underway and expected to launch next year

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Polygon Labs has partnered with the NEAR Foundation to bring zero-knowledge (zk) proving to WebAssembly (WASM) blockchains, the teams announced at NEARCON in Lisbon today. 

This means that developers who build with Polygon’s Chain Development Kit (CDK), an open-source codebase, will soon be able to use zkWASM as a prover.

In ZK technology, a prover refers to the party trying to show a claim is accurate to a verifier without revealing the information itself. A verifier is responsible for acknowledging that the information is accurate.

Having a zkWASM prover will enable NEAR layer-1 validators to simplify their proving process, as they will no longer need to work on verifying individual shards — independent unique states of transactions and smart contracts on blockchains.

The addition opens the way for developers to work in programming languages other than Solidity, according to a Polygon spokesperson. That should help with onboarding new developers into Web3.

Read more: New Ethereum rollup takes a zero-knowledge approach to sharding

NEAR is a decentralized cloud computing platform for sharded architecture. This move will bring the NEAR protocol closer in alignment with Ethereum, enabling its WASM chains to tap into liquidity on Ethereum, Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon said in a statement.

It will also add another layer of customizability to developers using Polygon’s CDK, Nailwal notes. 

“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,” he said. 

An interoperability layer is also in the works and will connect WASM chains on NEAR to chains deployed using Polygon’s CDK. Alongside a shared bridge between CDK chains, these networks can access to Ethereum liquidity without breaking composability.

“The shared expertise of NEAR and Polygon will expand the zk landscape and defragment liquidity across chains,” Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol said. “Creating and using the zkWASM prover will also improve the scalability and decentralization of the NEAR layer-1.”

The zkWASM prover is expected to launch next year, alongside other provers in the CDK, each with its own advantages.


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