Highlights From Bitrue x Polygon’s “Ask Me Anything” Session on Twitter Space
8th May, 2023 — In another edition of Bitrue’s Twitter Spaces AMA, we have invited a very special guest, Aishwary Gupta, Head of Fintech from Polygon. Polygon is the first well-structured, multi-chain platform compatible with Ethereum for scaling and infrastructure development. Aishwary has been working with Polygon for almost two years. Currently, he leads all things surrounding payments and fintech in the DeFi team.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the main Q&A’s of the session below.
Q1. Can you please briefly introduce Polygon and what makes it different from other layer 2 projects?
I think when you talk about Polygon, so Polygon is something that helps Ethereum to scale. Our aim is to help Ethereum. How do we do it? Basically, when you talk about Ethereum (this is something that can be seen right now) is that the cost of doing transactions with Ethereum is very high. I just executed a transaction and it cost me $129. So basically, that’s one of the biggest problems that we have with Ethereum. Apart from that, the second biggest problem is the transaction speed. So, Ethereum can process somewhere around 14 to 15 transactions per second. Now in that case, since 2017, Polygon came into the picture, and what Polygon does is it helps scale Ethereum. How do we scale it? We have multiple solutions that we are working on today. And the first one is Polygon PoS which is the longest-supported chain. It basically supports the most widely used Ethereum Scaling ecosystem that offers the whole EVM compatibility and basically hosts more than tens of thousands of applications on it. And on a daily basis, it processes more than 2 million transactions and has completely done over 2 billion transactions on itself.
The second chain we have is Polygon ZkEVM. Polygon ZkEVM is something that we launched around one month back. It is basically a roll-up that is built in a way that imbibes all the security from Ethereum itself while it helps you to go out and process more transactions at a fraction of the cost. And while doing that, it also enables you to go out and get a better speed as compared to Ethereum. So that is the second solution. Polygon ZkEVM is a Type 2 ZkEVM. That means if you have a contract deployed on Ethereum or anywhere on Polygon PoS, what you can simply do is you can literally copy your contracts from there and paste them here. It’s as simple as that. You do not have to go out and do anything apart from that. So that way, basically it’s very simple to deploy. It has all the documentation ready and infrastructure providers available for you to deploy.
Now, these two things are basically public chains. If you talk about app-specific chains, we have something called Polygon Supernets. Polygon Supernets allows you to build your own AppChain, which is powered by the Polygon stack. This applies when you have a large or very specific user base and want something like proper KYC and everything. That is something where you can actually go out, and you can have your own chain. We have over 100 Polygon Supernets chains being built right now. The biggest one in production is Nubank, where they have a 75 million user base, and they’re building a whole chain for themselves.
Q2. Can you explain how Polygon’s Layer 2 scaling solutions help to address the issue of high gas fees on Ethereum?
I’ll talk about the most recent example of Polygon zkEVM. So if you look at the earlier blockchains, these blockchains were designed in a way where you have a block space where your transactions are going, and from there your transactions are getting processed, right? So this means today, let’s say on Ethereum, you have like 400,000 transactions spending, which is basically the number of transactions that still have to go on-chain. And why this is why there are so many transactions spending because of the TPS that Ethereum has currently and the block space in which these transactions have to be recorded is limited in number.
So, what happens with zkEVM is basically we are trying to address this through batch processing as a roll-up. Now what does this mean? Very simply put, when you talk about a roll-up, what a roll-up does is so there are two types of roll-ups. One is an optimistic roll-up and the second one is a deterministic roll-up. Now, when you talk about optimistic roll-ups, it means we assume that all the transactions that are happening are basically done, are true. You do not actually go out and verify mathematically if these transactions are correct or not. Whatever transactions are coming, you’ll just start adding those transactions. So, this is done in the case of Optimism and Arbitrum. Both are optimistic roll-ups. The issue lies when you withdraw these funds, there’s a ‘cooling period’, which is also known as a ‘challenge period’. During this challenge period, anyone can attempt to prove these transactions that were being added to the list (without getting checked), are actually correct or not. If everything is correct, the amount can be withdrawn to Layer 1, and so on and so forth.
With deterministic roll-ups like Polygon zkEVM. What happens is you actually mathematically check each and every transaction that is happening. Once you check, then only they go out, and they are processed. Now, how are they processed? So think about it from this perspective, let’s say there’s a ship, okay? Now the ship has to sail from Country 1 to Country 2. Now, the cost of moving the ship from Country 1 to Country 2 is going to be, let’s say $10,000, right? If there are 10 containers on that ship, the cost for transporting per container would be like $10,000. That’s $1,000 per container when we divide it by 10. But what if the ship has more capacity? The ship can carry like 1,000 more containers. So, in total, let’s say the ship can have 1,000 containers also and the cost of moving that ship will still remain the same. Now what happens here is basically the cost of doing the same movement for the ship from Country 1 to Country 2 is still $10,000. But now the average cost of moving each container is basically very much reduced. What does that mean? If you divide $10,000 by 1000, your cost of doing the transaction to move that container is now only $10 per container instead of $1,000. This is exactly what happens with zkEVM as well. zkEVM processes in batches. The cost of processing each batch is exactly the same. When there are more transactions within a batch, you will be able to process each transaction at a cheaper price. Each batch is processed and recorded on the Ethereum chain. You will still be able to carry out this transaction and reduce transaction costs by a significant amount.
Q3. We know that Polygon is one of the multiple blockchains achieving carbon neutrality. How is Polygon working towards achieving network carbon neutrality and what measures have been implemented to reduce its environmental impact?
When you talk about carbon neutrality, we’ve already been able to declare ourselves as carbon neutral. That means whatever transactions that are being put on Polygon, there is no environmental impact on the environment. So, that is something we’ve already achieved. We have launched our Green Manifesto. We have found out how much electricity we consume and what is the CO2 emission of that equivalent. We have also partnered and worked with a lot of third parties. Some of them are KlimaDAO, goodcarbon, Nori, and Senken. Polygon making the effort to enable these kinds of offsets to ensure that Polygon’s footprint on nature is absolutely zero.
Q4. Can you explain how Polygon’s Polygon Bridge enables the seamless movement of assets between Ethereum and Polygon networks?
If you look at it from the Bridging perspective, earlier on, we had something called a Plasma bridge, but today we have the FxPortal bridge. That essentially means anything that is being bridged onto the Polygon ecosystem works on a ‘mint-and-lock’ functionality. For example, let’s say that you have to mint something from Ethereum and you have to bridge something from Ethereum’s side to Polygon PoS’s side. What will happen basically is while you are doing it, the FxPortal will lock your tokens into FxPortal’s contract on Ethereum’s side, and the same token will be minted on Polygon’shis side in the child token contract, whatever token you wanted to use is now available on the Polygon PoS and zkEVM. Basically, that is how Bridging works in the Polygon ecosystem.
Host: Moving on to the next topic, there are some interesting updates regarding Polygon that launched a while ago, including Polygon zkEVM and also Polygon ID. We would like to know more about it. So without further ado, let’s discuss those two.
Q5. Can you explain briefly to the audience what Polygon zkEVM is, and what makes zkEVMs so unique?
Polygon zkEVM is the only solution out there that is leading zk scaling solutions. And basically, if you look at Polygon zkEVM, there are multiple things you would look at. Firstly, it lowers costs, like the example I gave you off the ship. Similarly, we have batch transactions. So when you have batch transactions, it reduces the total cost of doing the transactions. And for doing these batch transactions, we harness the power of zero-knowledge proofs to reduce the transaction cost. Secondly, it has high performance. Fast network finality is available on zkEVM. In Polygon zkEVM, we use recursive SNARK proofs, making zkEVM highly scalable.
Another benefit is its EVM-equivalence. So today, like I told you, if you want to deploy anything on Polygon zkEVM, all you have to do from any other EVM environment, you just have to copy the code and paste it here. That’s it. You do not have to make any changes, get re-audited, or anything like that. So that is something that enables a seamless integration. And the last part is towards security, which means it inherits Ethereum’s security. So anything and everything you see on the Polygon zkEVM, the security of that, is completely 100% inherited from Ethereum itself. And the zk proofs ensure that the transaction validity and the safeguards are in place to protect the use of funds and they give assurance that the information stored cannot be changed or corrupted by anyone. So that’s basically how the Polygon zkEVM ecosystem works today.
Q6. What are the main features of Polygon zkEVM, and what are some of the main use cases for Polygon zkEVM?
I mean, if you look at Polygon zkEVM, anything and everything can be basically used. So currently we are going out and harnessing the DeFi ecosystem on Polygon zkEVM. That’s something where we are starting. Once we have multiple other use cases and also institutional use cases which can be deployed and FT use cases that can be deployed and a lot more like anything that can be done on any public blockchain is something that can be done on Polygon zkEVM as well.
Q7. How does Polygon zkEVM compare to other zkEVMs in terms of technology and performance? What makes it unique compared to other zkEVMs?
So, if you look at Polygon zkEVM, I think the first thing is security. So Polygon zkEVM is the only chain we have done extensive audits on today. So that’s basically the first thing because the way we look at it is that we want to ensure that we put security first. We have done two security audits already and the details of them are available on our website, in a public forum. That is the first thing.
The second thing is that we also have a bug bounty program which is over a million dollars worth, this is how much you are sure about it. If you feel that there’s something around problems or anything around it, you can let us know, and you have a huge amount of reward that can be paid out on that. So that is something that is there when we talk about security.
Another thing is if you look at it from the perspective of usability, the way the Polygon zkEVM ecosystem has been designed is from the developer side, you can actually go out and deploy in a very easy way as compared to other zk solutions which are live today. For other zk solutions, you need to go out and learn another language. Once you have learned that language, you have to redeploy your contracts into a new language and then you have to get them audited and then you can deploy with zkEVM you don’t have to do anything like that, you can just copy-paste and you have everything there.
The third thing is if you look at it from the perspective of the solution provider, within a month we have more than 30 solution providers which are giving you all the solutions out there. This means that today if you want to deploy all the requirements like graphs, having a safe, deploying contracts, and everything else, so multiple of them are already live. There are so many bridges that are available for you along with our native one.
Apart from that, the testnet is also ready where you can deploy and check everything out there. And then last but not least, we’re also working on creating many more use cases on zkEVM. So we have already onboarded a lot of top protocols, which are on zkEVM, like Cheetah and QuickSwap. Very soon, I think we’ll be having Aave, the proposal has passed. Apart from Aave, I think the second one is basically, if you look at UniSwap, the proposal passed as well. So in that way, we already have a lot of Tier-1 DeFi protocols already live or are going live there. The ecosystem at present is being developed in a very fast manner.
Q8. What is the current status of Polygon zkEVM’s development, and what can we expect in the future?
Polygon zkEVM is live. It’s been almost a month and a half now. There are no issues or anything like that so far. So from that perspective, we haven’t found any vulnerabilities or issues that have been created. So from that sense, I think the zkEVM is live and for anyone and everyone as a user or as a developer to use.
Q9. What is Polygon ID, and how does it differ from other forms of identification on the blockchain?
Let me explain what Polygon ID is in a simple way. Polygon ID sits on top of a KYC solution, and from there, it enables or issues a Web3 KYC identification for the address you provided into the Polygon ID. Now let me give you an example of it. Let’s say you go to a hotel and where you want to check in for a couple of days for a holiday. Usually, these people take a photocopy or a printout of your passport, and they keep it with them. Now, as much as this is something that they call a regulatory requirement, you are actually exposing all your private data in a public manner to these people just because they need to ensure that you are exactly who you say you are.
What we can do with Polygon ID is, let’s say these people want to know my nationality. Now, if they are connected to Polygon ID and this address, and the person who is checking in has a Polygon ID created, all they have to do is to have a yes or a no kind of questionnaire. The reason why they want to know my nationality is because, let’s say, they do not want to allow a certain jurisdiction or a country’s nationality to stay in the hotel. So if they’re using Polygon ID, they can simply ask if this person is from these five restricted countries. And the answer could be yes or no.
What you have done is you have done a very powerful thing. You have not told them which country you are from, but you have completed the criteria to stay in that hotel, confirming that I am not from those five countries. Similarly, if you go to a bar and they want to check your age to ensure you have attained the minimum age to go to a bar. Today, we have to expose your private credentials again publicly in order for them to make sure. Well, if there’s a Polygon ID in between here, basically what you can do is you can plug this up there and all the question that would come back is, what is the age? Is the age greater than 21, 22, 25, or whatever? And here, based on that, what will happen is that you will be able to get that kind of confirmation on whether that person is beyond legal age or not. If yes, he passes. Again, here, you have not actually given out your actual age.
Q10. What are the benefits of using Polygon ID for Web3 applications? And how can developers integrate Polygon ID into their Web3 applications?
When you talk about Polygon ID, there’s a very simple way in which the documentations are there where you can actually go out and start running your identification identity nodes. That’s the best way you can run your own identity node, which means that whatever solutions you’re building, you are only issuing these identification nodes for the users that you’re enabling on your app.
Now, what will happen if you do that is that you’ll be able to actually create those credentials for these people and ensure that anything and everything that is happening on your dApp is very well protected and it’s following all the rules and regulations, but at the same time, it’s not actually going out and revealing your identity while you’re actually going out and doing that. And today, we have a vibrant ecosystem of these people issuing it. It’s recently launched, and we have more than nine issuers of Polygon ID today where you can directly connect with them and get everything like an identification there.
Q11. The community is always eager to know about a project’s plans and milestones. Could you share what Polygon has been working on and the roadmap for 2023? Any major goals, developments, and innovations that the community can look forward to in the coming months?
I think when you look at it from that perspective, Polygon really has something which is going out already. We are focusing on almost all the areas. If you look from the perspective of DeFi, payments, tokenization, fintech, NFTs, gaming, and everything. We are working with a lot of Fortune 500 today actually to bring in a lot of real use cases. We are working with a lot of solution engineering teams to actually create and build new use cases that can be deployed on Polygon. So it would be really very difficult for me to actually summarize this, but as we do this, we are also not just about use cases, we are also working on creating the necessary infrastructure on which everything has to be created.
So that’s why we have created all these solutions, and today a lot of such developments are happening across. You can follow the Polygon DeFi handle and our main handleand keep yourself updated on all the announcements and everything that is coming in.