Polygon, an Ethereum scaling platform, has launched its zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) beta to the public, marking a significant milestone in the rapidly-evolving blockchain landscape. Polygon’s latest offering comes just days after competitor Matter Labs unveiled its own zkEVM, zkSync Era. Polygon is making all aspects of its zkEVM open-source, allowing developers to study, share and contribute to innovations in the zero-knowledge domain.

Sandeep Nailwal, the co-founder of Polygon, said in a recent interview that the company aims to align with the Web3 ethos by promoting experimentation. Polygon’s release of zkEVM is being touted as a major breakthrough in the blockchain ecosystem, with over 50 companies expressing interest in building using the technology.

As part of the announcement ceremony, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, was granted the honor of initiating the first transaction on the new zkEVM. Buterin sent 0.005 ETH to a random address, accompanied by the message, “A few million constraints for man, unconstrained scalability for mankind.”

Buterin Sends Inaugural Transaction

Nailwal has cautioned users that the new technology is still in beta, urging them to exercise caution and refrain from investing life savings immediately. Despite the caveat, he believes that zero-knowledge technology is the future of Ethereum and expects to see a shift towards zero-knowledge-proven layer 2 chains in large Web3 applications in the next 18 to 24 months.

The race to launch the first zkEVMs concluded last week when Matter Labs released its zkSync Era. Buterin has been advocating for the development of scaling solutions for Ethereum since 2020, acknowledging that different versions of zkEVMs come with tradeoffs between speed and compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine programming environment. He views the exploration of various types of zero-knowledge technology as a healthy trend for the space.