To attract more developers, Polygon has launched the CDK.

Original | Odaily Star Daily

Author | How to

Editor | Hao Fangzhou

In the public chain battle a few years ago, one of the key tasks of various L1 chains to attract developers and promote ecological prosperity was to develop new technical solutions to reduce the development threshold and enable interconnection and network effects among ecological applications.

Today, we are witnessing a new round of competition centered around Ethereum and EVM-compatible chains, with L2 as the main competitors.

Among them, Arbitrum, Optimism, Starknet, and zkSync are the most popular among the audience. Any progress in technology, cooperation, etc. (especially token airdrops) has attracted industry attention.

In the current situation where the overall technical roadmap has been determined, the “four major” chains are more about meeting the needs and habits of different developer communities, making minor improvements and adding support for “medium-sized” solutions, with few exciting “major releases”.

Last week, Polygon Labs released a software tool called Chain Development Kit (CDK), which allows developers to develop L2 supported by zero-knowledge proofs for Ethereum from scratch. L2 deployed using its CDK will be able to connect to a shared ZK bridge, achieving interoperability. This tool will be part of the Polygon 2.0 roadmap to be launched next year.

This caught the attention of Odaily Star Daily.

Polygon CDK is a Swiss Army Knife

Polygon CDK (Chain Development Kit, named after SDK) is an open-source framework designed to assist developers in quickly deploying Ethereum-based L2. It provides a modular environment that allows developers to create specific application chains based on specific needs, or smoothly transition existing L1 to L2. The following figure is a schematic diagram of the Polygon 2.0 technical architecture:

As can be seen from the figure, in the era of Polyogn 2.0, chains developed based on CDK will be on the same level as PolygonPoS and PolygonzkEVM, sharing Ethereum security through zk proofs.

The design goal of CDK is to provide flexibility and customizable functionality. Developers can choose VM, operation mode, data availability solution, sorter type, Gastoken, etc. according to their own needs. For example, they can choose Validium or zkEVM to ensure transaction security, decentralization of the sorter, and localization of DA. (Note: Currently, Polygon CDK only supports Validium construction.)

According to official statements, each chain created by CDK is interconnected, ensuring near-instant finality, unlimited scalability, and a unified liquidity pool. This will be verified next year.

The above figure shows the functions of different components in Polygon CDK.

  • Sequencer: Optional centralized or decentralized.

  • DA (Data Availability): The DA layer is managed by the Data Availability Committee (DAC). The task of DAC is to ensure the secure and reliable management of off-chain data. For enhanced scalability, DAC plays a key role in moving important computational work and data storage off-chain, thereby alleviating the burden on the L1 mainnet.

  • Validium: A solution for processing transactions that separates transactions from the Ethereum mainnet using off-chain data availability and computation. Unlike traditional Rollups, Validium does not store transaction data on the L1 network, but generates ZK proofs and publishes them as validity proofs. This approach ensures data integrity while optimizing scalability and cost.

The release of Polygon CDK means that the multi-chain layout of Polygon is about to take shape – with Ethereum as the core to guarantee security, its PoS, Superweb, zkEVM, and CDK L2 cover various application development needs, and different chains and L2s based on Polygon provide unified proof through the aggregation proof layer for verification, improving interoperability between different networks.

Polygon is often compared to a Swiss Army knife, collecting various blade solutions on one handle, and CDK is like a hidden spring inside the knife that users cannot see.

Can Polygon CDK break through in the L2 stack?

Perhaps some people will find that the solution of Polygon CDK is similar to the OP Stack of Optimism: parallelizing application chains for specific scenarios and building an Ethereum-centric L2 multi-chain interactive group. (Note: Some other L2s extend to L3 with themselves as the center.)

This approach has the advantages of high composability, low development difficulty, and easy formation of network effects, which is conducive to competing for the developer market.

After the release of OP Stack, it cooperated with well-known projects such as Coinbase, BNB Chain, and Worldcoin. It can be said that in the Stack competition, OP took the lead.

The advantage of Polygon CDK over OP Stack is that the DA layer can choose to perform offline operations for data storage and computation instead of putting them on Ethereum. At the same time, decentralization and security are ensured through DAC, reducing the burden on Ethereum. In addition, choosing ZK proofs avoids the old problem of OP, which is the 7-day waiting period caused by fraud proofs.

Overall, Polygon CDK incorporates the different characteristics of the OP and ZK camps, and its resource integration and marketing capabilities are equally impressive.

Of course, it is still too early to draw conclusions about who will be the ultimate winner in the L2 competition. The technical solution is just laying the foundation, and the outlook for a great city still depends on landmark buildings (popular projects), just like Terra did in the past, driving the development of the Cosmos ecosystem. Last month, the popularity of the Base mainnet launch brought attention to the OP Stack in this city-state game. What kind of behemoth can Polygon’s CDK support? It is worth looking forward to.

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