Polygon Releases 'Chain Development Kit' for ZK-Powered Networks on Ethereum

The new software toolkit will allow developers to build their own customizable chains, and connect to each other through a ZK-powered bridge to form a “Value Layer.”

AccessTimeIconAug 29, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 9, 2024 at 11:04 p.m. UTC

Ethereum scaling firm Polygon released a toolkit for developers to help them build blockchains fueled by zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs.

The Chain Development Kit (CDK) is an open-source codebase that developers can use to create their own customizable layer 2 chains using Polygon’s ZK technology. These chains will be connected to each other through a ZK-powered bridge, so every chain would be interoperable, Polygon said in a press release. Together, they will form what Polygon is calling the “Value Layer.”

The announcement comes as other layer 2s, like Matter Labs’ zkSync and Starkware’s Starknet, are coming out with their own ZK-powered toolkits for developers to build their own chains. Matter Labs’ ZK Stack is already live, while Starknet’s package will be released to the market soon.

Polygon turned heads in 2021 with its main proof-of-stake network, seen by many developers and crypto-market analysts as one of the most promising ways of scaling Ethereum. But blockchain developers have since moved to promote a more closely connected type of layer-2 network known as "rollups." Polygon has adapted to the trend, launching its own rollup while also explicitly embracing zero-knowledge cryptography as a core element of its technology roadmap.

Polygon Chain Development Kit graphic (Polygon)
Polygon Chain Development Kit graphic (Polygon)

Polygon also has a toolkit for developers to create customizable chains that are application-specific, called “Supernets.”

But the scaling team is betting that CDK will be the next evolution, given that it uses ZK proofs, and that “all existing Supernets can upgrade current architecture to leverage the industry-leading ZK technology of Polygon,” the company said.

“The goal is simple: build the Value Layer of the Internet, a core protocol that makes creating, sending and receiving value of any kind as seamless and functional as sending or receiving information over the Internet,” Polygon said in a press release.


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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.