Polygon 2.0: A Quick Overview in 5 Minutes

  • On June 13, 2023, Polygon Labs announced the launch of the Polygon 2.0 upgrade plan to facilitate the transition of the Polygon PoS network into a Layer2 network powered by zero-knowledge proof technology. Now, let's delve into the specific upgrades included in Polygon 2.0.

Polygon 2.0 Roadmap

According to the roadmap released by Polygon, the Polygon 2.0 upgrade will encompass four main components: Polygon PoS upgrade, Technical Architecture upgrade, Tokenomics update, and Governance upgrade.

Polygon 2.0 Roadmap

PoS Upgrade

Polygon's PoS network will transition to zkEVM Validium in the Polygon 2.0 upgrade, working with Polygon zkEVM to form a complete Polygon ecosystem.

zkEVM Validium

zkEVM Validium is a zero-knowledge proof-based Layer2 scaling solution. It has two primary differences from the previous Polygon PoS:

  • Transaction Verification Mechanism

Polygon PoS network employs Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus for transaction verification, where validators verify transactions by staking $MATIC tokens.

zkEVM Validium operates on zero-knowledge-proof technology. Validators verify transactions through ZK proofs.

  • Data Availability

Polygon PoS network stores transaction data on-chain. All transaction information is on-chain and accessible at any time.

zkEVM Validium stores transaction data off-chain. The transaction data is not constrained by blockchain space limitations.

Polygon PoS vs. Polygon zkEVM Validium

Data availability is also the biggest difference between zkEVM Validium and Polygon zkEVM. Compared to zkEVM Rollup, which inherits Ethereum's security and stores transaction data on-chain, zkEVM Validium may have slightly lower security, but its off-chain data storage mechanism offers advantages in terms of cost and scalability.

Based on current transaction data, the transaction cost of Polygon zkEVM is approximately $0.02 per transaction, with a TPS of around 2,000. After the upgrade, the transaction cost of zkEVM Validium will decrease to $0.00005 per transaction. If we consider the Validium mode of StarkEx as a reference, the TPS of zkEVM Validium is expected to increase to around 9,000.

Polygon zkEVM vs. Polygon zkEVM Validium

Therefore, in the future Polygon ecosystem, these two networks will have different focuses:

  • Polygon zkEVM provides a high level of security. It is suitable for applications prioritizing security, such as DeFi applications.
  • Polygon zkEVM Validium offers lower costs and higher scalability. It suits applications with high transaction volumes and low transaction fees, such as Web3 games and social platforms.

Architecture Upgrade

Polygon 2.0 has upgraded its protocol architecture, maintaining network operations using a layered structure. This architecture consists of 4 layers, each responsible for different tasks:

  • Staking Layer
  • Interop Layer
  • Execution Layer
  • Proving Layer
Polygon 2.0 协议架构

Staking Layer

The Staking Layer is based on PoS consensus and is responsible for tasks related to validators. It primarily consists of two key components: Validator Manager and Chain Manager.

  • Validator Manager 

The Validator Manager is a smart contract that oversees all public validators within the Polygon ecosystem. It handles various aspects related to validators, including validator registration, tracking staked amounts, processing staking/unstaking requests, and distributing rewards.

  • Chain Manager 

The Chain Manager is a smart contract deployed on a single chain within the Polygon ecosystem. It manages validators specific to each chain. Management matters include the maximum/minimum number of validators, penalty conditions, the type/amount of tokens required for staking, etc.

Validators can become public validators within the Polygon ecosystem by staking tokens and participating as validators across multiple Polygon chains as needed. Validators are primarily responsible for transaction sequencing and verification while earning transaction fees and additional tokens as validation rewards.

Interop Layer

The Interop Layer is responsible for cross-chain information transmission within the Polygon 2.0 ecosystem.

Within the Polygon ecosystem, each individual Polygon chain possesses a message queue. This queue comprises information destined for other Polygon chains, including details such as content, target chain, target address, and metadata. Every piece of information is accompanied by a corresponding ZK proof. Once the ZK proof for a specific piece of information is verified, the target chain proceeds to execute the transaction.

To reduce the cost of verifying ZK proofs on Ethereum, Polygon 2.0 plans to introduce an aggregator within the Interop layer. This aggregator gathers multiple ZK proofs generated by the message queues and aggregates them into a single ZK proof, subsequently sent to Ethereum for verification. The aggregator is managed by Polygon's public validator pool, aiming to reduce the overall validation cost.

Execution Layer

The Execution Layer is responsible for the actual execution of transactions. It enables each single Polygon chain to generate ordered transactions and assists in execution. The Execution Layer comprises multiple general blockchain network components, including familiar ones like P2P, Consensus, Mem Pool, and Databases.

Proving Layer

The Proving Layer is responsible for generating ZK proofs for every transaction (including cross-chain transactions) on Polygon chains and assisting in building different types of VMs. It primarily consists of three components:

  • Prover 

The Prover is a high-performance ZK prover that supports arbitrary transaction types. It possesses efficient proof verification capabilities and can assist in verifying transaction proofs.

  • Custom zkVM 

The Custom zkVM is a modular framework for virtual machines. Developers can easily construct the desired virtual machine through its interface.

  • VM 

VMs aid validators in simulating proof execution environments and transaction formats. Simulations are generally achieved through the VM Constructor. Currently, Polygon 2.0 includes two types of VMs: zkEVM and Miden VM.

Tokenomics Update

Polygon 2.0 plans to convert its native token $MATIC into $POL, which will serve as the unified utility token for the Polygon ecosystem.

$POL will have an initial supply of 10 billion tokens, migrating 1:1 from $MATIC. $MATIC holders will have a period of four years or more to upgrade their tokens. Unlike the fixed supply of $MATIC, $POL will experience inflation over the next ten years, with an annual inflation rate of 2%. This inflation rate can be adjusted through the governance process.

The most significant feature of $POL is its cross-chain interoperability. It can be used across all chains within the Polygon ecosystem. $POL has the capability to verify transactions on different chains, connect various protocols, and thereby facilitate the development of the Polygon ecosystem. Additionally, $POL holders can become validators on multiple chains, contributing to network security and earning rewards for their participation.

Token Utility

$POL has four primary utilities:

  • Staking

Validators in Polygon 2.0 need to stake $POL in order to participate in the validation process.

  • Validator Rewards

Polygon 2.0 will provide a predetermined amount of $POL as reward to validators. The reward allocation can be adjusted based on future community governance decisions.

  • Governance

$POL can be used for governance purposes. Polygon 2.0 will introduce a new community treasury managed by $POL holders, aimed at supporting the development of the Polygon ecosystem.

  • Transaction Fees

Validators can validate multiple chains within the Polygon ecosystem and receive transaction fees in the form of $POL.

Governance Upgrade

The governance mechanism of Polygon 2.0 will undergo upgrades in three aspects: Core Protocol, System Smart Contracts, and Community Funds.

Core Protocol

For the core protocol, Polygon 2.0 introduces the PIP (Polygon Improvement Proposal) framework. Similar to Ethereum's EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal) framework, PIP facilitates developers in proposing upgrade suggestions for the core components of the protocol's development.

System Smart Contracts

Polygon 2.0 introduces an Ecosystem Committee responsible for upgrading system smart contracts. This committee will make decisions through a token-based governance model. Voting power will be distributed based on the holdings of the native Polygon token.

Additionally, the Ecosystem Committee will launch a Dashboard to monitor contract upgrades.

Community Funds

Polygon 2.0 plans to establish an ecosystem fund to support promising projects within the Polygon ecosystem. Furthermore, Polygon will set up a Community Treasury Committee responsible for fund allocation and related community governance tasks.


Layer 2

Zero Knowledge Proofs

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