Ethereum scaling solution Polygon has announced it will dedicate a maximum of 250 million MATIC tokens ($627.5 million) to a deal with zero-knowledge cryptography startup Mir.
Zero-knowledge algorithms enable external validators to verify encrypted transactions or documents without revealing the sensitive information hidden underneath. It is useful for complex decentralized finance applications, such as decentralized ride-share apps or decentralized health insurance, where nodes need to verify the personal data of blockchain participants without risking privacy leaks.
Mir specializes in developing two subcategories of zero-knowledge proofs: PLONK and Halo. Both represent advancements over previous SNARK and STARK cryptography techniques, allowing proofs to be generated in seconds.
While PLONK still requires a trusted setup for validation, Halo algorithms can accomplish the task in a decentralized manner. Speed is a core design consideration in zero-knowledge proofs. Complex information to be passed over blockchains, such as redacted photo IDs, can take up substantial size, thereby affecting the applicability of transactions.
“Polygon plans to focus on ZK cryptography as the end game for blockchain scaling,” said Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon.
“We have made a strategic decision to explore and encourage all meaningful scaling approaches and technologies at this stage. We believe this is the way to establish Polygon as the leading force and contributor in the ZK field and onboard the first billion users to Ethereum.”
The acquisition of Mir is a part of a greater $1 billion commitment to developing zero-knowledge technology by Polygon.