Polygon Plans 'AggLayer,' in Bid to Synthesize Modular, Monolithic Blockchains

The new "AggLayer," set for launch next month, relies on zero-knowledge proofs, a type of cryptography that Polygon Labs is betting on as a core underpinning of future blockchain architecture.

AccessTimeIconJan 24, 2024 at 8:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2024 at 5:55 p.m. UTC
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Polygon Labs, a developer of blockchain projects designed to help scale Ethereum, disclosed plans for a new “aggregation layer,” under a plan to create a "web" of networks that "feels like a single chain."

The new "AggLayer," set for launch next month, relies on zero-knowledge proofs, a type of cryptography that Polygon Labs is betting on as a core underpinning of future blockchain architecture.

According to a blog post on Wednesday, "aggregation synthesizes the benefits of both integrated (monolithic) and modular architectures using ZK technology."

So-called "monolithic" blockchains, including Ethereum, are vertically integrated, with functionality for transaction execution, security and data storage all included. But developers are increasingly turning to "modular" designs, where networks can strap together different components and providers to serve the various functions.

The goal of the new Polygon Labs project is to blend it all together.

"Devs can connect any layer-1 or layer-2 chain to the AggLayer, building a Web3 network that feels like a single chain with unified liquidity and practically unlimited scalability," the post reads.

Schematic from the Polygon Labs blog post showing how the new "aggregation layer" would work. (Polygon Labs)
Schematic from the Polygon Labs blog post showing how the new "aggregation layer" would work. (Polygon Labs)

The idea stems from the shortcomings of modular and monolithic blockchains, Polygon Labs said. On the AggLayer, users can buy non-fungible tokens on a different chain without having to bridge those funds by making use of ZK proofs, or send assets to participate in activities on other chains.

“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,” Polygon Labs wrote. "UX" is short for "user experience."

Edited by Bradley Keoun.

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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.


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