In a significant development for the blockchain industry, the NEAR Foundation and Polygon Labs have announced a strategic collaboration to build a Zero-Knowledge (ZK) prover for WebAssembly (WASM) blockchains. The announcement was made at the annual NEAR ecosystem conference, NEARCON, in Lisbon.
The press release indicates that the cost of posting 100 kilobytes of call data on Ethereum using an optimistic rollup, a type of layer-2 network, is approximately $26.22. In contrast, the Near Protocol allows for the same amount of data to be posted at a significantly lower cost of $0.0033.
The partnership 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. The zkWASM prover, which is set to launch next year, is anticipated to outperform other WASM provers in the market.
The Project Will Enable WASM Chains to Tap into Ethereum Liquidity
The collaboration aims to create a more secure, interoperable Web3 ecosystem. A zkWASM prover will bring NEAR Protocol closer to Ethereum and enable WASM chains to tap into Ethereum liquidity.
Looking ahead, it is projected that chains will have the ability to tap into a common pool of liquidity within a cohesive ecosystem of chains deployed through CDK. This ecosystem will encompass alternative layer-1s, EVM layer-2s, and WASM chains.
The zkWASM prover will allow WASM chains to settle transactions efficiently and cost-effectively with maximum security guarantees. This will enable the full capabilities of zero-knowledge proofs, paving the way for a future where multiple blockchains coexist in the Web3 ecosystem.
Sandeep Nailwal, the co-founder of Polygon, stated that the zkWASM prover maximizes developer customizability. Projects will be able to select from several provers when building with CDK.
The introduction of a zkWASM prover will serve as an enhancement for NEAR validators. Rather than validating a shard, validators will have the capacity to generate a singular zero-knowledge proof, significantly streamlining the requirements for validators.
This groundbreaking research endeavor will lay the foundation for enhanced trustless interoperability throughout the Web3 landscape, including the integration between NEAR and the Ethereum ecosystem. The zkWASM prover is expected to launch next year.