In a groundbreaking collaboration, Near Foundation and Polygon Labs have unveiled plans to construct a cutting-edge zero-knowledge (ZK) prover specifically designed for WebAssembly (WASM) blockchains, aptly named zkWASM. Anticipated to debut in 2024, this innovative prover is set to revolutionize transaction settlement on WASM chains, providing unparalleled efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and robust security guarantees.
The strategic partnership leverages the strengths of Near Foundation, the driving force behind NEAR ecosystem development, and Polygon Labs, aiming to position zkWASM as a frontrunner among WASM provers. By utilizing zkWASM, transactions on WASM chains will benefit from streamlined settlement processes, offering developers maximum customizability and a diverse range of provers when building with the Cloud Development Kit (CDK).
Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon Labs, expressed pride in collaborating with NEAR on this transformative research initiative. He emphasized how the zkWASM prover enhances developer customizability, allowing projects to choose from various provers, whether launching or migrating an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chain or building a WASM chain for closer Ethereum alignment and enhanced liquidity access.
The incorporation of zkWASM prover brings about notable streamlining in the prerequisites for NEAR validators, thereby enhancing scalability and increasing decentralization within the NEAR Protocol. Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol, conveyed enthusiasm regarding the partnership with Polygon Labs, underscoring the opportunity to extend the advantages of zero-knowledge proofs to the Web3 ecosystem.
With zkWASM, NEAR Protocol takes a significant step toward Ethereum alignment, facilitating WASM networks’ access to liquidity. The collaboration also sets the stage for future developments, enabling chains to share liquidity within a unified ecosystem of CDK-deployed chains through an upcoming interoperability layer.