Polygon Zero April-May Roundup

Believe it or not, crypto is still moving fast. So fast that we’re posting this roundup a little later than we’d hoped. We’re working on some exciting new things in the ZK marketing and content realm, which we look forward to sharing with you when they’re ready. In the meantime, we plan to keep doing check-in posts like this so you can keep up with Polygon Zero’s public-facing contributions to the space.

For now, we’re belatedly aggregating our team’s contributions to April’s Amsterdam Devconnect, as well as Brendan’s recent podcasts sojourns and an appearance on another Twitter panel hosted by Madhavan Malolar. Without further ado…

April 20: Layer 2 Amsterdam, ft. Brendan

Let’s take a step back and consider why we need Polygon Zero and the other Polygon ZK projects in the first place. What are the overarching challenges of building scalable ZK Layer-2 solutions? Brendan has a take that’s not exactly hot: Generating ZK proofs is slow. We believe that the solution to this problem lies not in parallel proof generation or speeding up hardware, but in building faster primitives. Enter Plonky2 and Starky, the cryptographic innovations at the heart of Polygon Zero. Brendan goes into further detail about what those are and how they work. Did you know, for instance, that Plonky2 combines the best of STARKs with the best of SNARKs? Do you know the glories of using small fields and recursive FRI? 


April 21: ZKSummit 7, ft. Jakub

As he explains in this talk, Jakub is a master of making things faster. This presentation is a look beneath the hood of our work at Polygon Zero, and how Jakub and others on our team have come up with a super fast implementation of the Poseidon hashing algorithm. There’s some heavy-duty math and computer science in this talk, so it’s certainly geared towards a more technical audience, but it’s great if you want to sink your teeth into what makes Polygon Zero the fastest ZK tech in existence. As Jakub says towards the end of this talk, the key is less any single “profound” innovation (though as always, shoutout to our teammate Hamish for pioneering the Goldilocks Field), but rather a series of clever tricks that together achieve unprecedented speed. 

April 27: Zero Knowledge Podcast Episode 228, ft. Brendan

Tired of the intensive (and illuminating!) technical details that define most public appearances by our team? If that’s the case, do we ever have the podcast episode for you! Brendan joins Anna, Tarun, and Guillermo on an informal jam session recorded towards the end of Amsterdam Devconnect. A wide range of topics are covered, from crypto-investing moms to reclusive mathematicians. It’s a fun time. We can neither confirm nor deny rumors of a bottle of mezcal being involved.

May 26: Twitter Spaces Panel Hosted by Madhavan Malolar, ft. Brendan

Brendan is back for round two with Madhavan Malolar, joining him and his crew for a panel that also includes Eli Ben-Sasson of StarkWare and Alex Gluchowsky of zkSync. The theme of this talk is “All about Zk/Validity rollups.” There’s a lot of detail, with highlights including the distinctions between SNARKs and STARKs, as well as the difference between EVM compatibility and EVM equivalence. If you’re a true ZK rollup-head, you’ll want to listen to this one all the way through. 

ZK has a bright future. Join us on Github or tune in to our blog to learn more about zero-knowledge proofs. Let’s bring the world to Ethereum!

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