Developers of Near and Polygon Networks Collaborate on zkWASM Prover for Web Assembly Blockchains
The developers of the Near and Polygon networks have announced a partnership to create a zero-knowledge (ZK) prover for Web Assembly (WASM) blockchains. The new prover, called “zkWASM,” will enable WASM-based networks to join the Polygon ecosystem, offering enhanced security, scalability, developer flexibility, and interoperability.
What is Web Assembly (WASM)?
Web Assembly (WASM) is a binary instruction format initially developed for use in web browsers. However, several blockchain networks, including Near, Stellar, Polkadot, and Internet Computer, have adopted WASM as a computation engine instead of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
The zkWASM prover is currently in active development and is expected to be available next year. It will be integrated into Polygon’s chain development kit (CDK), which allows developers to create custom blockchain networks based on their preferred parameters. This integration will enable developers to build WASM networks and seamlessly connect them to the broader Polygon ecosystem, including the Ethereum mainnet.
According to Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of Near, the zkWASM prover will facilitate closer integration between Near and Ethereum, enhancing liquidity for users:
“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.”
In addition to enabling Ethereum integration, zkWASM will also enhance validator efficiency on the Near network itself. By utilizing zero-knowledge proofs, the computational overhead of validating a shard will be significantly reduced, leading to improved scalability and increased decentralization for the Near network.
Polygon’s Multichain Ecosystem
Polygon is actively building a multichain ecosystem, known as “Polygon 2.0.” This upgraded system will feature bridges that utilize zero-knowledge proofs to facilitate asset transfers between different chains. As part of this initiative, Polygon plans to replace its current native coin, MATIC (MATIC), with a new coin called POL.