Tracking the Journey: What’s Really Happening on Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta?

Polygon Labs
April 6, 2023
Polygon Solutions
Image source: Dribbble

Now that Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta is live, narratives about what zkEVMs and other Ethereum L2s might do have become much less important than the realities of what devs and users are experiencing. 

Polygon Labs will work to gather and consistently share info about what is actually happening with Polygon zkEVM:

  • ✅ Key Metrics
  • ✅ Details of the Dev Experience
  • ✅ Any technical changes to Polygon zkEVM
  • ✅ Network downtime and any other issues

Hype won’t carry the Ethereum community to the frontiers of Web3. Only the best tech can do that, which is why it’s time to talk about the tech itself.

Polygon zkEVM Leads the Way into Ethereum’s Next Chapter

When Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin performed the symbolic first transaction on Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta, he said, “I’m happy to see Ethereum Layer 2 scaling becoming fully real, and not just something that’s theoretical.”

Vitalik is right: Ethereum is entering a new phase, with Polygon zkEVM leading the way. Scaling Ethereum is a community effort, and Polygon Labs is excited to see the progress that outside L2 projects have already made, and we look forward to seeing what’s next. Polygon zkEVM will continue to work to set the standard among zkEVMs. 

A Fond Farewell to Narrative and a Hearty Hello to Substance

The arrival of fully operational L2s such as Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta means that Ethereum scaling is now leaving the realm of narrative. 

For a long time, projects were forced to speak in terms of what might happen in the space, what approaches might be best for devs and users, and so on. These hypotheticals are rapidly becoming outmoded. In the near future, it’s unlikely that the terms of debate within the Ethereum community will look anything like the discourse that existed when L2 scaling was, in Vitalik’s words, “something theoretical.”

It should already be clear that narratives and abstractions won’t be what scales Ethereum and unlocks its true potential. That’s why Polygon Labs is committing to digging into the details and providing ever-greater transparency about the reality of what devs and users are getting from Polygon zkEVM. We’re pleased to note that some devs are already having a good time using Polygon zkEVM!

Key Metrics: The Early Days

Polygon Labs will continue to refine the data we collect about Polygon zkEVM, as well as how we present it to the community. Expect updates and more detailed resources in the near future. For now, here’s a look at some key metrics.

Gas prices have been declining since Mainnet Beta launch day:

Source: Big Query and Dune Analytics

Developer activity, meanwhile, has been on the upswing:

Source: Big Query and Dune Analytics

And here are some all-purpose stats about the status of the network over the past few days:

Source: Big Query and Dune Analytics

Detailed Transparency: Warts and All

Transparency means being direct and accurate even when the facts don’t necessarily favor your narrative. For instance, in the case of Polygon zkEVM, current total value locked (TVL) is much lower than many other L2s. According to L2Beat, currently TVL on Polygon zkEVM is $2.74 million. A good start, but not that much in the grand scheme. 

Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta bears the “beta” moniker for a reason: It’s an emerging technology that is still being developed. As Polygon zkEVM continues to improve, Polygon Labs hopes to see improvement in gas fees, in proof-generation times, and in other key metrics that aren’t yet optimal. And as is detailed in this post, Polygon zkEVM is still running with training wheels that will eventually be removed.

Polygon zkEVM is a revolutionary technology, but the revolution is far from finished. Expect updates about key metrics and ongoing improvements–and also potential setbacks. Transparency is why Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta is already completely open-source.

Devs Over Discourse: Focusing on Community Experience

It’s crucial to bear in mind that zkEVMs–and Ethereum L2s in general–are a bleeding-edge technology. The entire Ethereum community is working together to better understand this tech, bring it into production, and discern what’s most important about its longer-term arc. The concept of a “zkEVM” was itself a relatively recent invention–one that was long thought to be many years away. 

Polygon Labs understands the tricky, nonlinear process for creating the best experience for the Ethereum community. There will be disagreements and bumps in the road as the entire community works together. Now that L2s are a serious part of the Ethereum landscape, the most important thing is to be pragmatic and honest about how technologies such as Polygon zkEVM actually work. That’s why you can expect to hear more about the nitty-gritty details going forward.

For now, you can check this site to learn more about solutions providers and dApps that are live on Polygon zkEVM Mainnet Beta. 

In the end, the Ethereum community has to work together to scale Ethereum and voyage to the outer limits of what Web3 can be. Polygon zkEVM will continue to lead the way.

Learn more about Polygon zkEVM here and watch an onboarding video here.

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