Near Foundation and Polygon Labs Partner to Build Zero-Knowledge ‘Prover’ for WASM Chains

Near Foundation and Polygon Labs recently announced that they would build “a zero-knowledge (ZK) prover for WASM blockchains.” For WASM chains using the zkWASM prover, settling transactions will be more efficient and cost-effective with maximum security guarantees.

Transaction Settling More Efficient and Cost-Effective

Near Foundation, the organization supporting the development of the NEAR ecosystem, has partnered with Polygon Labs to “build a zero-knowledge (ZK) prover for Webassembly (WASM) blockchains or zkWASM for short.” According to a joint press release, the two entities’ zkWASM prover, which is set to be launched in 2024, is positioned “to lead the market among other wasm provers.”

For WASM chains using this prover, the settling of transactions will be more efficient and cost-effective with maximum security guarantees. Commenting on Polygon Labs’ decision to partner with Near Foundation, co-founder Sandeep Nailwal said:

“We are proud to collaborate with NEAR on this exciting research initiative to further drive the development and adoption of ZK technology. The zkWASM prover maximizes developer customizability, which means projects will be able to select from a number of provers when building with CDK, whether that’s launching or migrating an EVM [Ethereum Virtual Machine] chain, or building a WASM chain for closer Ethereum alignment and access to liquidity.”

Bringing Zero-Knowledge Proofs to Web3

As explained in the press release, the availability of a zkWASM prover means NEAR validators will significantly simplify validator requirements which in turn leads to “better scalability and increased decentralization for the NEAR Protocol.”

Illia Polosukhin, a co-founder at NEAR Protocol, said her organization is thrilled to collaborate with Polygon Labs and is hopeful this will bring the advantages of zero-knowledge proofs to Web3.

Through the zkWASM prover, the NEAR Protocol is brought closer to Ethereum which in turn makes it possible for WASM networks to access liquidity. Eventually, chains will also have access to shared liquidity in a single ecosystem of Cloud Development Kit (CDK)-deployed chains through “an in-development interoperability layer.”

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