The NEAR Foundation, recognized for its significant role in expanding the NEAR protocol’s network, has joined forces with Polygon Labs to embark on the development of zkWASM, an innovative zero-knowledge proof mechanism optimized for WASM-based blockchain systems. This initiative was revealed at NEARCON, the NEAR community’s premier annual gathering, which was held in Lisbon.
This alliance aims to combine NEAR’s expertise in WASM runtimes with Polygon’s experience in zero-knowledge scaling solutions. The project intends to facilitate a connection between the NEAR Protocol and Ethereum, thereby allowing WASM blockchains to tap into Ethereum’s substantial liquidity pool. Furthermore, it establishes the foundation for an interoperability layer that is currently being developed to permit a unified liquidity pool spanning diverse blockchain environments, including other primary layer-1s and EVM-compatible layer-2 networks.
Sandeep Nailwal, a co-founder of Polygon, accentuated the adaptability that the zkWASM prover is expected to provide developers, thus improving the range of options for setting up or migrating EVM or WASM chains.
In terms of enhancing scalability and security, the zkWASM prover is poised to simplify the validation process considerably for NEAR validators. By creating a single zero-knowledge proof, validators can avoid the demanding process of validating multiple shards, which in turn strengthens scalability and supports a more decentralized framework for the NEAR Protocol.
Illia Polosukhin, the co-founder of NEAR Protocol, shared his excitement about the partnership, stressing the extensive potential benefits of zero-knowledge proofs for web3 technology. He anticipates that the collaborative project with Polygon Labs will not only augment NEAR’s functionality but also make a significant contribution to the broader field of zero-knowledge proofs.