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Bring Ethereum to Everyone: Beefy on Polygon zkEVM

July 14, 2023


In a 2017 blogpost, whilst pondering the limitations of blockchain throughput, Vitalik Buterin stumbled upon a conundrum. “This sounds like there’s some kind of scalability trilemma at play,” he reflected. “The trilemma claims that blockchain systems can only have at most two of the following three properties: decentralization, scalability and security”.

Though Vitalik’s writing by no means mirrors the sage wisdom of an oracle, his observations are unquestionably prophetic. Every new generation of blockchain technology claims to provide a solution to scalability, only to find one way or another that the trilemma comes for us all eventually. But though no complete solutions to the trilemma appear to exist, Vitalik’s response to the question has proven equally influential: “Can we break through it?”

Today, we at Beefy are celebrating our longstanding relationship with Polygon by announcing the launch of our 21st chain: Polygon zkEVM! In the same year as Vitalik’s famous trilemma post, Polygon’s team commenced its mission to “Bring Ethereum To Everyone”. And as Polygon has gone from strength to strength, its mission has coalesced and unified with Ethereum’s: to break through the trilemma and achieve the scalability needed to reach everyone.

Zero-knowledge Blockchains

As a refresher, both Polygon and Ethereum aim to meet their goals by pursuing what’s known as the “rollup-centric roadmap”. Under this vision, Ethereum can and will act as the base settlement layer for the world’s financial transactions, by relying on other blockchains (called “rollups”) to host and giving effect to full transactions, whilst posting only the minimal amount of data to Ethereum needed to prove the transaction.

To date, there are several models for how this compression of transaction data can be achieved, each with their drawbacks. At the time of writing, the largest active rollups for Ethereum - Arbitrum and Optimism - both use an optimistic approach. This means transactions are assumed to be correctly and properly included, but subject to a small rebuttal period where their validity can be disputed. The clear drawback of this approach is that final settlement is delayed by the dispute period - which is typically as long as one week.

But Polygon’s answer is a different approach. Harnessing the power of zero-knowledge technology - which allows for demonstration of qualities without exposing the subject of those qualities - rollups can be made which demonstrate the validity of transactions without including the transactions themselves. By only including the zero-knowledge proof in the compressed data on Ethereum, Polygon hopes to dramatically improve accessibility for Ethereum’s leading consensus and security.

Polygon zkEVM

With those lofty ambitions in mind, Polygon launched it’s zero-knowledge Ethereum-virtual-machine (or “zkEVM”) blockchain in March of this year. Following the enormous success of its proof-of-stake Polygon chain, which has consistently captured over $1 billion of DeFi assets over the last 2 years, Polygon is betting big that Ethereum scalability is the best route to blockchain ubiquity.


And Polygon zkEVM is off to a flying start, having amassed $30 million of assets and 30 different DeFi protocols in just the last 3 months. As loyal Polygon users get their first taste of zero-knowledge rollups, the ecosystem expects to see its Ethereum gas prices becoming increasingly socialized between users, making it cheaper and easier to transact on zkEVM. And with Polygon announcing big plans to migrate their existing technology in the same direction, we can expect a long and steep growth trajectory for zkEVM.

Having first arrived on Polygon over two years ago in April 2021, Beefy is thrilled to be sharing Polygon’s journey along the rollup-centric roadmap. And to kick things off, we’re excited to be announcing a host of new vaults with some other long-standing partners - Balancer and QuickSwap - who are also along for the ride.

Get Me There

As zkEVM rapidly matures, there’s no time like the present to get acquainted with the ecosystem and prepare for the range of opportunities yet to come. To kick things off:

First, head over to the official Polygon Bridge, where you can bridge your $ETH on Ethereum over to zkEVM. A number of third party bridges are also available - including Orbiter and Rhino Fi - which will allow you to bridge from other chains and with other assets as well.

Make sure to bridge yourself over some $ETH, as that’s the gas currency for transacting on Polygon zkEVM. Once you land, you’ll find most of the blue chip tokens you know and love waiting for you. Head to QuickSwap or Balancer for a quick and easy way to swap tokens, provide liquidity and start farming rewards. You can keep track of your transactions on Polygon’s zkEVM Explorer.

After you’re on board with Polygon zkEVM, there’ll be a lot of new projects and use cases to explore. Have a look at DeFi Llama’s zkEVM page for the latest projects arriving on the chain. If you have technical questions, head over to Polygon’s zkEVM documentation for infinitely more detail about what’s going on under the hood.

And finally, if you’re looking for the very best of what zkEVM has to offer in a single click, you can just go straight to Beefy. 😉

Vision To Reality

In the lifespan of blockchains, 6 years seems like an eternity. When Vitalik so neatly surmised the fundamental problem of blockchain scalability back in 2017, his question of whether we might “break through it” must have felt like a distant pipe dream. Never could he have imagined that just 6 short years later, Ethereum rollups like Polygon zkEVM would be delivering on the promise of bringing Ethereum to Everyone.

We at Beefy can’t wait to usher in the next era of blockchain technology, and to deliver the spoils of Polygon’s work to our thousands of users. Together, we will bring this vision into reality.

Beefy App | Polygon Bridge | zkEVM Explorer | zkEVM Docs

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