Near Foundation and Polygon Labs Collaborate to Create a Zero-Knowledge ‘Prover’ for WASM Chains

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Last Updated on November 12, 2023 by Bitfinsider

Polygon Labs and Near Foundation, the group advancing the NEAR ecosystem, are collaborating to “build a zero-knowledge (ZK) prover for Webassembly (WASM) blockchains, or zkWASM for short.” The zkWASM prover from the two companies is scheduled for launch in 2024 and is positioned “to lead the market among other wasm provers,” according a joint news statement.

With this prover, transactions will settle more quickly and affordably while maintaining the highest level of security for WASM chains. Co-founder Sandeep Nailwal provided commentary on Polygon Labs’ choice to collaborate with Near Foundation, saying:

We are honored to work with NEAR on this innovative research project, which aims to accelerate the advancement and uptake of ZK technology. In order to optimize developer customization, the zkWASM prover allows projects to choose from a variety of provers when constructing with CDK. This flexibility allows projects to build a WASM chain for improved Ethereum alignment and liquidity, or to launch or migrate an EVM [Ethereum Virtual Machine] chain.

According to the press announcement, NEAR validators will greatly reduce validator requirements with the advent of a zkWASM prover, which will improve scalability and increase decentralization for the NEAR Protocol.

Co-founder of NEAR Protocol Illia Polosukhin expressed her organization’s excitement about working with Polygon Labs and expressed hope that this would enable Web3 to benefit from zero-knowledge proofs.

WASM networks can now obtain liquidity thanks to the NEAR Protocol’s stronger ties to Ethereum made possible by the zkWASM prover. Through “an in-development interoperability layer,” chains will eventually have access to shared liquidity within a single ecosystem of chains deployed with the Cloud Development Kit (CDK).

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