Overview of Polygon 2.0

18 Apr 2024

Polygon 2.0 - ambitious vision of providing a horizontally scalable blockchain infrastructure.

Overview of Polygon 2.0

Polygon 2.0 structure

Polygon 2.0 is an ecosystem of Zk Rollups/Validiums built on Polygon's technology connected by Shared Service secured by Polygon's native token.

The main components of Polygon 2.0 include Polygon CDK, Staking Layer, Interop Layer, Execution Layer, Proving Layer.

Polygon CDK

Similar to Optimism's OP Stack, the Polygon CDK (Chain Development Kit) is a specialized framework designed to facilitate the building and development of Zk Rollups.

Zk Rollups/Validiums built using the Polygon CDK are collectively known as the Polygon chain. Because it is built on unified standards, the Polygon CDK chain can easily interoperate with each other.

Polygon CDK is the foundation of Polygon 2.0, it provides connectivity, ensuring a seamless and unified liquidity experience across the entire Polygon 2.0 ecosystem.

Staking Layer

Staking Layer is a Restaking Protocol that uses Polygon's native token (POL) to enhance security and decentralization for shared services of Polygon chains in the Polygon 2.0 Network. Staking Layer is implemented on Ethereum through two separate types of smart contracts:

Validator Manager: This smart contract monitors validator groups across all Polygon chains. Its main responsibilities include maintaining a detailed registry of validators, processing staking and unstaking requests, and managing slashing events to maintain network security.

Chain Manager: The Chain Manager contract manages the individual validator pool and performs additional governance and security functions tailored to the needs of each Polygon chain.

Note: Slashing describes the penalty imposed on validators when they commit violations (whether accidentally or intentionally) that affect the Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain.

Interop Layer

Interop Layer simplifies the complexity of cross-chain interaction between Polygon chains and Ethereum through a common bridge architecture (Shared Bridge) that allows all Polygon chains to interact with Ethereum through a single bridge.

Expanding the above design, the Interop Layer also includes the aspect of cross-chain interaction between Polygon Chains.

Execution Layer

The Execution Layer is responsible for executing transactions and smart contracts. It handles state transitions and updates the blockchain state according to smart contract rules.

Polygon chain has a fair degree of customization, including: changing transaction fee tokens, additional validation rewards, block times and sizes, frequency of status updates, and sending ZK proofs , choose Validium / Rollup design,...

Proving Layer

Prover is responsible for creating proof (ZK Proof) for created blocks and transactions. Each state update of the Polygon chain will be accompanied by a ZK proof to ensure the integrity of the network.

Building on previous advances in Polygon zkEVM and other self-developed Rollups, Polygon 2.0 aspires to create a Shared Prover that allows for proof generation of all transactions on Polygon Chains.

The role of Polygon (POL) in the new design

The Polygon 2.0 roadmap proposes an upgrade from the MATIC token to a new token called POL. Compared to MATIC, POL has some key differences:

Inflation: POL offers an annual inflation rate of 2% for 10 years. This inflation is allocated 1% as validator rewards and the remaining 1% to support the growing ecosystem.

Community Treasury: A treasury will be established to support the community-managed ecosystem.

In addition, building a Restaking Protocol yourself allows expanding the role of Polygon validator. Validators have the option to participate in Shared Services in Polygon 2.0, accepting additional slashing conditions, in return they will earn additional revenue, including; network fees, additional rewards from Polygon, and airdrops/retros from Polygon Chains.

Polygon's development situation

With the launch of Polygon CDK and Polygon 2.0, Polygon is demonstrating a strong commitment to the Zk Rollup / Validium trend. They are currently recognized as one of the leading development teams in the Zk Rollup field.

However, in terms of ecosystem, Polygon is showing a clear decline. TVL Polygon PoS and Polygon zkEVM tend to move sideways and decrease slightly in the context that the whole market has gone up strongly since 2023, the average price of BTC and average ETH has increased more than 4 times.

The Polygon zkEVM was one of the first zkEVMs to be launched, but since then, it has often ranked behind its competitors in the same segment. Polygon zkEVM's TVL is modest, fluctuating around $150M, the lowest among the 4 zkEVMs on the market: Scroll, Linear and Zksync Era.

In terms of onchain activity, measured by the number of transactions made in the last 30 days, the number of transactions made on Polygon zkEVM in the last 30 days represents less than 1% of transactions on the Ethereum mainnet, indicating a low user engagement.

Projects developed using Polygon CDK

Developing Zk Rollup/Validium using the Polygon CDK is not required to participate in Polygon 2.0. The initial strategy for Polygon 2.0 was to integrate as many projects developed with the Polygon CDK as possible. There are currently over ten separate teams currently developing projects using Polygon CDK.

·      Polygon Chains in the Polygon 2.0 ecosystem. Source: L2beat

·      Polygon itself is leading with 3 projects: Polygon zkEVM, Polygon Miden and Polygon PoS 2.0.

·      Polygon zkEVM is one of two active zkEVMs, providing high EVM compatibility.

·      Polygon Miden is a STARK-based Zk Rollup, a project that will build a VM and a native custom development language focused on performance instead of EVM compatibility.

·      Finally, Polygon PoS will move to the Polygon zkEVM version, which uses offchain data availability (DA) to continue to keep Polygon PoS competitive.

In addition to Polygon's internal development, several prominent teams are leveraging Polygon CDK for their projects:

·      ZkFair is a ZkEVM forked from Polygon zkEVM, using Celestia DA. ZkFair stands out with its commitment to 100% direct distribution of tokens to the community without the need for investor participation, reserves or pre-mining.

·      Astar is also another project forked from Polygon zkEVM, Astar is a zkEVM using DA offchain. Astar was initially one of the prominent projects in the Polkadot ecosystem, now the project has shifted its development direction to the Ethereum ecosystem.

·      Swell L2: This is a zkEVM that is also forked from Polygon zkEVM. Swell L2 plans to use EigenDA, the project's focus use case is Restaking and the project's LST & LRT application.

·      In addition to the above projects, some other projects include Canto, Capx, X1,... These projects have diverse uses, partly reflecting the diversity and adaptation of Polygon CDK to with different usage needs.


Polygon 2.0's vision was ambitious but they faced significant technical challenges, which required building and optimizing many different components. Additionally, a major hurdle for Polygon 2.0 is convincing existing Polygon chains to join the network.

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