Investment mergers and acquisitions are very common in the centralized field of the encryption industry. Today, such capital operations have begun to spread to the decentralized field, and there is a strong tendency to strengthen technical barriers through capital.
On November 26, Polygon acquired Mir Protocol, a startup company focused on ZK-rollups, for $400 million. Polygon, a solution provider dedicated to the Layer 2 blockchain network, why did he acquire a start-up project at such a high price? This may be related to its subsequent launch of new integration projects.
Polygon has always regarded Zero Knowledge (ZK) cryptography as the ultimate game of blockchain scalability. Its network revolves around the expansion of ZK technology and integrates all solutions that can use this technology to improve network scalability. A Layer 2 network system with a high focus on ZK has been established.
In August of this year, Polygon announced the acquisition of the Ethereum L2 expansion solution Hermez Network for USD 250 million and renamed it Polygon Hermez. Its 26 employees also joined Polygon’s 80-person team at the time. Subsequently, Polygon released the zkEVM virtual machine, and non-stop developed a Polygon Miden solution compatible with Ethereum, and open sourced the initial version. While squeezing out the scalability technology, while adding privacy technology to the network-integrating Polygon Nightfall, which focuses on privacy solutions, into its own system.
Polygon has formed its own ZK technical barriers through various means such as capital and technical cooperation. Regarding the acquisition of Mir Protocol, Hufu Research Institute judged that Polygon intends to build a new project-Polygon Zero based on its zero-knowledge proof technology. What kind of sparks Polygon and Mir Protocol can collide with in the Ethereum Layer 2 expansion solution is still unknown. “But it is clear that ZK-rollups is currently the more mainstream Ethereum blockchain two-layer network. One of the solutions.”
Tiger Symbol Research Institute has observed that Mir Protocol has a relatively large share of funds in the projects that Polygon has invested heavily in acquisitions, which is expected to bring some innovations to Polygon and even ZK-rollups and the entire Layer 2 market. Before Polygon Zero was released, the report of the Tiger Symbol Research Institute revealed the technical highlights of the acquired company Mir Protocol.
Mir “recursive zero-knowledge proof” optimizes ZK-Proof
According to a report from Tiger Symbol Research Institute, Mir is a ZK-proof Ethereum expansion startup company. ZK-proof is an encryption tool that can be used to create ZK-rollups solutions—it is not necessary to publish all transaction data to Ethereum when processing transactions, so as to reduce the use of blocks on Ethereum and improve Scalability and lower gas costs.
Mir supports existing decentralized applications. It is worth mentioning that it also provides privacy protection for verifiers. At the same time, it reduces the state size by 1000 times compared to the Ethereum main network. This is because the nodes on Mir do not need to download The historical data is compared with the data on the Etherscan chain. Mir level expansion increases the throughput of each node joining the network without sacrificing security, composability and decentralization.
Public information shows that Mir’s system generates a recursive zero-knowledge proof, allowing a small proof to verify Ethereum transactions. Polygon also believes that Mir has the fastest ZK-proof technology, which means that Mir can generate proofs faster and verify more transactions in one proof. According to the report of the Tiger Symbol Research Institute, the key points of exploring the Mir agreement include: How does Mir conduct transaction certification? How to reduce the workload while ensuring the validity of the verification? What does recursive zero-knowledge proof achieve? How to realize the scalability of Ethereum Layer 2?
- Reduce state size
In traditional blockchains such as Ethereum, verifying transactions requires access to the state of each account that interacts with the transaction, so nodes need to store the state (that is, the amount of state) of all active accounts. But with the increase of accounts, access and storage will become very expensive.
Therefore, Mir moves the account data off-chain, and the account owned by an individual can simply be stored on the individual’s device. Shared accounts are stored on IPFS or other storage layers, that is, there is no need to store any account data, and there is no need to know where the data is stored. Mir is based on the “Merkel Tree” method and only provides a statement that effectively verifies the status of the account. It can be seen that the size of the Mir state (that is, the amount of state required by the verifier) is greatly reduced, relying on the transfer of account data to the chain to complete.
How to ensure the validity of the account status? Mir used zero-knowledge proofs.
- Recursive zero-knowledge proof
Every transaction on Mir is verified by a zero-knowledge proof. However, the verification cost of verifying zero-knowledge proofs is still expensive. If the verifier needs to verify a proof for each transaction, the throughput of Mir will be significantly lower than the throughput of the existing chain. Therefore, Mir has developed a recursive combination of zero-knowledge proof (Recursive ZK-proof), so that a single proof can provide cryptographic guarantees and prove the validity of a set of transaction verification. That is, the verifier’s “one proof” can verify “a set of transactions” and then prove to the rest of the network that this “set of transactions” is valid, allowing Mir to use available calculations to expand to generate recursive proofs.
Using recursive proofs to verify transactions provides two benefits:
First, it eliminates the need for verifiers to verify historical transactions when they join the network. Existing chains tend to limit throughput in order to allow new validators to catch up with the latest state of the chain. The new verifier of Mir only needs to simply download three parts of the content for verification. The download content includes an appendable log (Commitment Log) that stores each record created in the protocol, the top node, and the judgment in the log. Active or inactive data formation (Liveness Mask). In this way, there is no need to limit the throughput of the chain to wait for new verifiers to track.
Second, the use of recursive proofs improves throughput because it eliminates the requirement that each node must verify each transaction and allows each node to verify a subset of transactions.
But the way the second benefit is realized is problematic-the node now needs to prove to the network that its verified transaction set is valid.
To this end, Mir’s solution to “providing a verified transaction set is effective” is sharding. However, the existing game theory sharding design requires stronger encryption economic assumptions, mechanism complexity, fraud proof and challenge period. Mir provides a solution. The verifier can verify a subset of transactions and generate a recursive proof, showing that each transaction in the set is valid, avoiding the complexity of verification.
Mir Protocol verification method
In summary, recursive proof eliminates the need to verify historical transactions when new verifiers join the network, and improves network throughput. The sharding technology avoids the complexity of traditional game-theoretic sharding technology, so recursive zero-knowledge proof achieves even better Sharded blockchain with scalability.
So far, Mir has greatly reduced the amount of state required for verification and reduced costs, while ensuring the effectiveness of verification.
- Implementation of scalability
Mir uses zero-knowledge proofs to achieve scalability in two ways:
One way is to simplify the execution of transactions such as transactions, and remove the application layer from the verifier. The throughput is not limited by bandwidth, storage or computer costs. The current state of the verifier is 1000 times smaller than that of Ethereum, which is significantly reduced. Transaction size and greatly reduce transaction execution costs.
The other way is to recursive proof that allows the complex parts of the transaction on Mir (verification of transaction proof and access status) to be verified by only a single verifier. Throughput can be expanded with each new node that joins the network. Increased transaction volume incentivizes more nodes to join the network. Increased throughput allows applications to expand further.
Mir’s improved scalability is good for developers
Hufu Research Institute believes that Mir uses an optimized “recursive zero-knowledge proof” method to improve the scalability of the network, which will directly benefit application developers.
First, Mir separates the application layer from the validator, simplifies transaction execution, and optimizes the developer’s experience.
In the existing chain, developers run applications with bytecode on virtual machines (such as EVM), and verifiers perform transactions and other transactions through bytecodes associated with the applications in the virtual machine. Under this model, after accessing and updating the application, the verifier must re-execute complex calculations, which limits the complexity of the application and also increases the cost.
Perform a set of transactions on Ethereum
On Mir, all application logic is executed off-chain. For verifiers, there is no concept of tokens, application logic or state storage, or even a standardized signature scheme (tokens are required for verification consensus, which only refers to transaction verification here). The transaction is simply the creation and use of general record records (the basic state unit on Mir, which is a commitment to the state and logic of the application. It can be considered a snapshot of the state of the Ethereum account), and is verified by proof.
Perform a set of transactions on Mir
Developers can use any programming language or virtual machine to perform off-chain calculations without worrying about gas. Based on this, the Skin Care Research Institute believes that this may be one of the core values of the Polygon-zero project in the future.
Second, recursive proof optimization verification reduces costs while increasing throughput.
Mir uses recursive proofs to parallelize transaction proof verification. The expensive part of the verification transaction (verification proof and access state) is only performed by a single node that generates the recursive proof (as described in the previous section). The update Commitment Log and Liveness Mask that each validator must perform is very cheap, so the throughput is not limited by the computational cost.
Process a block on Mir
Mir official data shows that the node processing transactions only need to download about 10 bytes of data. Therefore, the throughput on Mir is not limited by bandwidth, storage or computer costs. In addition, the aggregation calculation cost of generating recursive proofs on Mir is low, and Mir also makes the generation of recursive proofs more efficient. Therefore, the increased amount of fees will attract more computing power, allowing application expansion and increasing the ecological transaction on the entire chain. quantity.
After Mir’s seed round of financing ushered in the Polygon acquisition
Hufu Research Institute found that according to Crunchbase data, including the acquisition of Polygon, Mir had only two capital operation events in its history. As early as 2019, Mir received $2 million in seed round financing, and the specific investors and number of investors were not disclosed. Mir was created in 2019 by 8 people including Brendan Farmer and Daniel Lubarov.
Two years later, Mir ushered in the Polygon acquisition. The latter’s co-founder Mihailo Bjelic said that eight people including Brendan Farmer and Daniel Lubarov have all joined the Polygon team. Using capital, Polygon leveraged the dual resources of technology and talent.
Mir Protocol’s team
As one of ZK-rollups’ Layer 2 solutions, Polygon is currently the market’s organization that uses zero-knowledge cryptography as the final answer to blockchain expansion. Polygon promised to invest US$1 billion in work related to ZK-rollups in August this year. Currently Polygon has taken several major steps:
- Hermez Network-Renamed Polygon Hermez, an open source ZK-Rollup, optimized for the secure, low-cost, and available token transmission of Ethereum.
- ZkEVM-a ZK-friendly Ethereum compatible facility.
- Polygon Miden-a STARK-based rollup technology compatible with Ethereum
- Polygon Nightfall-a privacy-focused rollup technology established in cooperation with EY.
- Mir Protocol-changed its name to Polygon Zero to implement a low-cost and scalable sharded blockchain with recursive zero-knowledge proof.
As one of the solutions for blockchain expansion, is ZK-rollups really the final answer to expansion? In addition to ZK-rollups, Optimistic-rollups, Plasma, Validium and State channels also occupy a certain market share.
TVL distribution of ZK-rollups solutions
According to The Block data, ZK-rollups’ overall market share proves that it is one of the main two-tier expansion solutions on the market. One example is the recent TVL (on-chain) of ZK-rollups, Optimistic-rollups and Plasma. The total value of encrypted assets locked up is between 1.5 billion and 2.5 billion US dollars, of which the market share of Optimistic-rollups may be slightly more than the other two.
Among the many projects of ZK-rollups, currently, DYDX and Loopring are among the leading projects from the market feedback.
According to data from The Block, DYDX has a TVL of close to US$1 billion recently, and Loopring’s TVL is between US$500 million and US$1 billion, both of which have almost contributed to most of the market value of the ZK-rollups market. Polygon Hermez, which was acquired by Polygon in August, has a TVL between US$800,000 and US$900,000. It has a short establishment time and a small market share.
In summary, ZK-rollups is already one of the main two-tier expansion solutions on the market, and it is not yet certain whether it is the final answer. Polygon currently occupies a relatively small share of ZK-rollups’ numerous projects, and it is still at a relatively early stage. Polygon’s acquisition of Polygon Zero, a new project reorganized by Mir Protocol, hopes to bring some innovations to Polygon and even ZK-rollups and the entire second-tier market.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-does-polygon-intend-to-acquire-mir-protocol/
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