Astar Network Unveils zkEVM-Powered Ethereum Layer 2 on Polygon

About Astar Network and Astar zkEVM

Astar Network is a Layer 1 smart contract platform that offers support for the Ethereum, Polkadot, and Cosmos ecosystems. In collaboration with Ethereum scaling developer Polygon Labs, they are set to launch Astar zkEVM, a groundbreaking Layer 2 solution.

The Japanese blockchain project will leverage the Polygon CDK (Chain Development Kit), an open-source codebase designed for launching zero-knowledge-powered Layer 2 chains for Ethereum. This strategic move is aimed at enhancing scalability and efficiency in blockchain technology.

“As it stands today, Asia is one of the most forward-thinking regions in the world when it comes to web3 adoption,” Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal said. “Together, we believe there is a strong demand for transparency for trustless applications that blockchains can bring to Japan.”

“Working closely with Polygon Labs, Astar will also help enable enterprises to kickstart their blockchain initiatives, strengthening Japan’s role as the epicenter of the web3 movement,” Astar Network founder Sota Watanabe added.

Polygon Labs’ Involvement

Astar isn’t the first third-party zkEVM powered by Polygon. Polygon Labs has recently been involved in the development of individual zkEVM chains for Immutable, IDEX, and Palm Network, highlighting their expertise and commitment to blockchain scalability.

Understanding Astar zkEVM

Layer 2 blockchains deployed using the CDK have the ability to connect to a shared ZK bridge for interoperability, a feature emphasized by Polygon Labs when they released the software tool last month.

The zkEVM offers an Ethereum-compatible scalability solution for applications, allowing them to use the same code as Ethereum. This streamlines the development process by enabling developers to utilize existing tooling and infrastructure for seamless integration.

  • ZK-rollups perform off-chain computations on the Layer 2, resulting in faster and more cost-effective transactions while maintaining Ethereum’s security standards.
  • Astar’s primary objective is to boost blockchain adoption in Japan by attracting global entertainment and gaming projects, catering to high-throughput use cases.

Japan’s Vision for Web3

Japan stands out as one of the more crypto-friendly jurisdictions, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recognizing the potential of web3 to transform the internet and drive social change. This was evident in his remarks at the WebX conference in July.

Astar, backed by prominent entities like Coinbase Ventures and Binance Labs, envisions a pivotal role in this web3 initiative. National strategic zones have been established in Japan to bolster the international competitiveness of projects focused on web3 adoption and real-world use cases.

“By driving more enterprise adoption through zkEVM, we would also work together with the Japanese Government to enhance web3 as the national strategy,” Watanabe said.

Astar has a history of collaboration with the Japanese electronics giant Sony, particularly through a web3 incubation program that concluded in June. This initiative resulted in the selection of 19 projects from over 200 applications to launch on Astar.

Polygon Labs and zkEVM

Polygon Labs introduced its own zkEVM technology in March, identifying it as a major focus for scaling the Ethereum network in recent years. Numerous blockchain projects, including Polygon, Starknet, ZkSync, and Scroll, have been actively competing to develop a functional ZK-based Layer 2 solution capable of natively supporting Ethereum applications.

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