Polygon Labs acquires ZK builder Toposware for unified web3

Ethereum ecosystem contributor Polygon Labs increased its zero-knowledge investment to $1 billion with its acquisition of the startup Toposware.

Polygon Labs, the entity behind MATIC’s ecosystem, has added the $30 million-valued blockchain builder Toposware to its zero-knowledge (ZK) development arsenal. 

Zero-knowledge is a cryptographic technology that allows blockchains to confirm transactions without exposing details about the senders or receivers. The firm has become a frequent employer of the proof system for scaling its Ethereum-based layer-2 networks. 

The acquisition onboards Toposware’s 11 engineers and development stack for what the MATIC developer describes as a “unified web3” vision. It’s the third punt on ZK tech after buying Hermez and Mir back in 2021. 

Broader implications for Polygon’s ecosystem

The firms also boast a long-standing partnership due to joint work on a Type 1 zkEVM prover. Type 1 zkEVM provers enable any Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible network to transition into ZK-proof-based chains, improving connectivity and operability with Ethereum’s (ETH) mainnet. 

Acquiring Toposware also means the Polygon proof-of-stake (PoS) network will join the AggLayer, a decentralized protocol combining a cryptocurrency bridge and a ZK mechanism to boost cross-chain interoperability.

Polygon Labs CEO Marc Boiron said Toposware’s “deep cryptography and zero-knowledge expertise” represent a perfect fit for advancing the ecosystem and driving more open-source contributions throughout Ethereum’s community. 

The focus on ZK tech also builds on a growing preference within the industry as a scaling mechanism for EVM chains. Other than ZK proof, developers also have the option to tap optimistic rollups for building L2 networks. 

Technological stacks seek to achieve the game goal – making all EVM chains easier to use for both developers and users without degrading security and decentralization. However, experts like Vitalik Buterin have leaned toward ZK tech ahead of optimistic rollups, touting the former as a cheaper and faster offering. 

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