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Polygon unveils AggLayer protocol to unify monolithic and modular architectures

The aggregated blockchain’s v1 mainnet launch is set for February.

Polygon unveils AggLayer protocol

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Polygon Labs announced today its plan to launch AggLayer, an aggregated blockchain that aims to synthesize the benefits of monolithic and modular blockchain architectures. Powered by zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs, AggLayer is part of Polygon’s efforts to build a seamless, decentralized Web3 network with unified liquidity and unprecedented scalability.

In a recent blog post, Polygon highlighted the current fragmentation within the blockchain ecosystem, comparing it unfavorably to the early, pre-Internet era. Notably, the proliferation of new chains has exacerbated scalability, user experience, and liquidity fragmentation issues.

“Instead of a unified, highly scalable network, users face scaling limitations and bad UX due to fragmented liquidity and state. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing list of new chains being launched has compounded the problem. This environment is reminiscent of the pre-Internet era, siloed and lacking interoperability,” wrote Polygon Labs.

To address these challenges, Polygon Labs has developed AggLayer to unify the entire Web3 space. Drawing parallels to the transformative impact of TCP/IP on the Internet, AggLayer seeks to integrate disparate blockchain networks into a cohesive, ZK-secured web of layer 1 and layer 2 networks.

AggLayer functions by aggregating ZK proofs from all connected chains and ensuring the safety of near-instant cross-chain transactions. On the one hand, this approach allows the protocol to overcome the limitations of both monolithic and modular architectures. Monolithic blockchains, despite their inherent interoperability and unified ecosystem, face scalability, security, and decentralization trade-offs, while modular blockchains encounter liquidity and user base fragmentation.

On the other hand, Polygon’s AggLayer merges the best of both worlds, which is expected to result in enhanced transaction efficiency, capital utilization, and improved user experience.

“Aggregation offers the sovereignty and scale of modular architectures, as well as the unified liquidity and UX of a monolithic system, synthesizing these two approaches into something novel,” stated Polygon’s team.

AggLayer empowers layer 1 and layer 2 blockchains to access a unified liquidity pool while retaining their independence, streamlining liquidity bootstrapping. It also enables dApp developers to widen their reach without burdening users with the complexities of cross-chain bridging, promoting smooth interactions across different chains. For users, AggLayer promises a seamless experience where transactions between chains are quick and effortless, eliminating the need for cumbersome bridging.

Polygon plans to roll out the initial version of AggLayer’s mainnet in February, focusing on creating a unified bridging mechanism and aggregating proofs across participating chains. The subsequent version, AggLayer v2, will introduce asynchronous cross-chain transactions, with more detailed insights into the various components of AggLayer to be disclosed in the coming weeks.

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