Translated by Rhea
Xangle Visits KBW 2022: ② ZK Night & Polygon Connect
The Xangle Team visited the ZK Night and Polygon Connect, a side event for the Korea Blockchain Week (KBW), last August 5 and 8, respectively. ZK Night offered sessions where various projects with ZK (Zero-Knowledge) solutions, such as Polygon and Aleo, got together with developers to talk about different projects’ ZK solutions. For those not yet familiar with the term, Zero Knowledge is a solution that is currently gaining traction and buzzing with anticipation; Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, even went as far as to predict that ZK-Rollups would ultimately dominate Ethereum. Followed by the ZK Night, Polygon Connect was held to open a forum where many projects and speakers, in agreement with the future Polygon is painting, can have discussions and share ideas. Despite the stagnant sentiment of the recent crypto market, many projects and developers participated in these events. This article explores some of the interesting topics discussed during these events.
The Zero Knowledge Night held earlier took place on August 5, hosted by ZK-SEL, a ZK solution research community. At this event, we were able to meet up with many projects based on various ZK solutions, understand why the ZK solution is dubbed the future of blockchains, and why so many developers are so passionate about it. ZK Night had sessions for projects such as Polygon, Aleo, Anoma, Radius, and Zkrypto to talk about each of their ZK solutions. Among those, we were particularly impressed with Polygon and Aleo.
Polygon’s ZK Solution
The Polygon Team presented their various ZK solutions. Polygon acquired ZK solutions such as Hermez (now Polygon Hermez) and Mir (now Polygon Zero) in August 2021 with the launch of its ZK fund on a USD 1 billion scale. This enabled Polygon to have a wide range of ZK solutions, including Nightfall and Miden. One of the key topics among these at the ZK Night was zkEVM, announced by Polygon last July. Rahat Chowdhury, Polygon’s developer advocate, came to the ZK Night and introduced us to Polygon’s zkEVM.
Polygon’s zkEVM is the first EVM-compatible expansion solution using the zero-knowledge proof. Until now, EVMs could not generate ZK proofs, and it was very difficult to apply EVM on ZK-rollups due to technical limitations. However, through the zkEVM, which has benefits of both the ZK scalability and EVM compatibility, developers are able to publish Ethereum smart contracts on Layer 2 using all the tools that run smoothly on Ethereum without having to learn a new programming language.
Aleo is an application platform aimed at securing stronger privacy for individuals via ZK proof. Aleo developed Leo, a Rust-inspired programming language, to allow developers to easily build decentralized private applications on the Aleo blockchain. What is especially notable is that Aleo has attracted a USD 200 million investment, the largest amount in the ZK proof-related industry, from investors such as Kora Management LP, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Tiger Global, Sea Capital, Samsung Next, Slow Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), in their Series B round undertaken in February 2022, boosting its enterprise value up to USD 1.45 billion. Aleo plans to use the fund raised as such for developing products and services to be used for developers to build ecosystems on decentralized networks. Aleo has recently launched Testnet 3, its last testnet prior to the official mainnet launch (in a 3-phased process), with its mainnet using AleoBFT, a new consensus mechanism, to be disclosed at a later date.
Other sessions included many other promising projects who talked about each of their ZK solutions. Included were the Anoma, funded by investments from Polychain Capital and Electric Capital; Radius, aimed at solving the MEV (Maximal Extractable Value) bot problem via ZK solutions; and Zkrypto, led by Professor Hyunok Oh of Hanyang University in Korea.
The Xangle Team also attended Polygon Connect. Polygon Connect, held for the first time in Korea this year, is an event that connects everyone related to Polygon, including projects that have been in collaboration with Polygon, developers brought into the fold via events such as hackathons, and its users.
Through this two-day event held from August 8 to 9, the Xangle Team was able to see how excited and proactive Polygon is about the Korean market.
Announcing the Korean Language Support for Polygon Dev Docs
Polygon emphasized the importance of metaverse and gaming at Polygon Connect, encouraging the Korean developers to join in and participate. One of its efforts to back that was its announcement of the Korean language support for Polygon’s developer documents at Polygon Connect. Korean is the first non-English language in which Polygon’s dev doc is provided. With the language barrier removed, even more Korean developers will be able to develop on Polygon now.
Polygon also encouraged its users to participate in its Polygon Advocate Program and Polygon Guild. The Polygon Advocate Program allows users to grow together by discussing new technologies and communicating with projects. With the recently opened Polygon Guild Seoul, Polygon is trying to get not only the developers but also other ecosystem participants more engaged and involved. Korea has seen development activities weighted toward Cosmos as it provides a wealth of its data in Korean. However, how many developers will flock to Polygon with Polygon’s latest decision to support the Korean language remains to be seen.
Polygon Announces Partnership with NEOWIZ
Polygon popped another major announcement at KBW IMPACT: its partnership with NEOWIZ, a major game company in Korea. NEOWIZ announced that it would be launching the “Intella X” through its collaboration with Polygon. This marks NEOWIZ as the first large Web 2 game company in Korea to select Polygon.
Then, what could be the reason why Polygon is putting so much effort into the Korean market? It may be because 1) many of the global Web 2 game companies leading the gaming industry are based in Korea, and 2) Korean Web 2 companies have not presented any clear sign or preference toward any single mainnet to onboard their businesses.
Korea is home to many world-leading game developers, including Krafton, Nexon, Com2uS, Netmarble, and NEOWIZ. While these Web 2 companies are eager to adopt blockchain and develop P2E games, there is no one dominant mainnet to embrace them. Although Klaytn has successfully attracted Marblex of Netmarble, the progress remains rather sluggish due to various issues such as attrition of major projects, network issues, and DeFi hacking incidents. Polygon seems to take such a reality in Korea right now as an opportunity. It looks like Polygon aims to onboard highly complete and sustainable P2E games onto Polygon by attracting prominent Web 2 game developers in Korea.
Other Noteworthy Projects
A few projects that participated in Polygon Connect did shine brighter than others: the Ozys, famous for the Orbit Chain and KLAYswap, and EveryRealm, and Recur, the up-and-comers of the NFT realm.
Ozys is the developer of Orbit Chain, a crosschain platform, and is providing bridge services that support 15 mainnets and 58 tokens via Orbit Bridge. Ozys also operates KLAYswap, a DEX, on Klaytn, and connects Ethereum and Klaytn using the Orbit Bridge. Ozys forged a partnership with Polygon in April 2022 and presented Meshswap, co-developed with Polygon. Meshswap is an autonomous financial trading protocol providing services such as swapping, lending, and staking. Meshswap is currently recorded as the third DEX in the Polygon ecosystem, and rapidly growing its users and getting more liquidity infused.
EveryRealm invests in, manages, and develops assets such as NFTs, virtual real estate, metaverse platforms, games, and infrastructures. EveryRealm seeks to become the most trusted and leading metaverse and NFT investment platform by establishing or taking over specific companies to grow. It has invested in 30 metaverse platforms and owns over 3,500 NFTs.
Recur is a metaverse platform in collaboration with the world’s top brands and IPs to build an innovative, easy-to-use, and safe environment for users of all communities to access NFTs. Recur has launched Recur Pass, its NFT with only a limited number of 70,435 items minted, each with the fixed edition number and colors, providing the pass holders with special benefits such as exclusive access, rewards, and exclusive NFT packs.
Other Korean projects like OnePlanet and Ciety also shared their presentations. OnePlanet is an NFT marketplace that used to be in the Terra ecosystem, then decided to migrate to the Polygon network after the recent LUNA debacle. It plans to launch an NFT marketplace and help Terra NFT collections with their onboarding onto Polygon. Ciety is a project that provides DAO tools, assisting Web3 games and NFT community formation.
With our visits to the ZK Night and Polygon Connect events, the Xangle Team was given a chance to take a peek at the future of ZK solutions and understand how enthusiastic Polygon is about entering the Korean market. Polygon seems to be putting on more proactive marketing since it was a late starter compared to other ZK solutions already in operation, such as StarkWare, and as it is based in the same continent of Asia. The Xangle Team has fervently attended various events held last and this week for the Korea Blockchain Week, including BUIDL Asia, ETH Seoul, and KBW Impact, and is preparing relevant content and reviews. Please look forward to our other articles to come.
Other Related Research Articles