Ethereum layer 2 scaling solutions aggregator Polygon has announced yet another way to get faster and cheaper transactions on the world’s most-used smart contract network.
Polygon Miden is an advanced zero-knowledge rollup. In their regular state, zk-rollups work by bundling several transactions into a single one using zero-knowledge proof. The technology reduces computing and storage resources for validating blocks by decreasing the amount of data held in a transaction so “zero-knowledge” of the entire data is needed.
Polygon building on Rollups
Polygon explained that it is currently difficult for zk-rollups to support arbitrary logic and transactions, such as those happening on Ethereum.
Miden has Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility which solves this problem. The Miden VM is the first open-source STARK-based virtual machine, it explained.
STARK stands for Scalable Transparent ARguments of Knowledge which means cryptographic data can be shared between users without them having the knowledge of the content of that data. The zero-knowledge proof can verify something is true without having to reveal what exactly it is proving as the blog post explained:
This proof can then be used by anyone to verify that a program was executed correctly, without the need for re-executing the program or even knowing what the program was.
The first version of Miden launched today is the first step on the path to a fully EVM compatible rollup scaling solution. It will have the ability to compile Solidity-based smart contracts directly into Miden Assembly, its native programming language.
The Polygon team intends to develop Miden VM into a “production-grade VM with unique characteristics such as multi-language support and built-in privacy.”
Miden VM is an evolution of the Distaff VM, which is the first practical STARK-based VM having been in development since early 2020.
Polygon has committed $1 billion from its treasury to support the development and evolution of zero-knowledge cryptography to scale Ethereum. Miden will be integrated into the wider ecosystem, alongside existing solutions: Polygon PoS, Polygon SDK, Polygon Avail, Polygon Nightfall, and Polygon Hermez.
MATIC price outlook
After a brief rally earlier this month, Polygon’s native MATIC token continues to slide in the crypto market selloff. At the time of writing it had lost a further 4% on the day in a fall to $1.53 according to CoinGecko.
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