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Astar Network Launches zkEVM, the First Layer-2 Chain to Integrate with Polygon’s AggLayer

Astar Network has announced the launch of its zkEVM, a Layer-2 chain that fully integrates with Polygon’s AggLayer, a framework that connects multiple zk-rollups to Ethereum. This marks a significant step towards blockchain interoperability and scalability, as Astar zkEVM enables cross-chain transactions between three major ecosystems: Polygon, Ethereum, and Astar Network.

What is zkEVM and AggLayer?

zkEVM is a Layer-2 solution that leverages zero-knowledge proofs to enable smart contract execution and data availability on a validium, an off-chain architecture that can achieve massive scalability and low gas fees. Astar zkEVM is compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which means that developers can easily deploy existing Ethereum dApps on Astar zkEVM without any code changes.

AggLayer is a framework developed by Polygon that allows multiple zk-rollups to share a unified bridge to Ethereum, eliminating the need for third-party bridges and enhancing the user experience. AggLayer also enables atomic transactions across different zk-rollups, meaning that users can swap assets or execute complex operations in a single transaction.

By integrating with AggLayer, Astar zkEVM joins Polygon zkEVM in the unified bridge, allowing users to transfer any Ethereum asset natively to Astar zkEVM and vice versa. This also creates a network effect of shared liquidity and community among the zk-rollups that adopt the AggLayer standard.

What are the benefits of Astar zkEVM?

Astar zkEVM offers several benefits for developers and users who want to build and use dApps on a scalable, interoperable, and sovereign blockchain. Some of the benefits are:

  • Scalability: Astar zkEVM can process thousands of transactions per second with near-instant finality and minimal gas fees, thanks to its validium architecture and zero-knowledge technology.
  • Interoperability: Astar zkEVM can communicate with other chains through AggLayer, enabling cross-chain transactions and composability. Users can also access the growing ecosystem of dApps on Polygon, Ethereum, and Astar Network with a single wallet.
  • Sovereignty: Astar zkEVM is a Layer-2 chain that runs on Astar Network, a Layer-1 chain that is a Polkadot parachain candidate. Astar Network has its own governance, consensus, and tokenomics, which gives it more autonomy and flexibility than other Layer-2 solutions.
  • Innovation: Astar zkEVM supports various use cases and innovations, such as NFTs, real-world assets, gaming, DeFi, and more. Astar Network also provides a developer-friendly environment with tools like dApp staking, CDK, and web3 services.

What are some of the projects building on Astar zkEVM?

Astar zkEVM has attracted many projects and partners to build on its platform, especially from the Japanese market. Some of the notable projects are:

  • Deloitte: Deloitte is a global consulting firm that has built an NFT game for a Japanese Government Sports Agency on Astar zkEVM. The game is called “Sports x NFT”, and it allows users to collect and trade digital cards of Japanese athletes and sports events.
  • Packs: Packs is a project that tokenizes trading cards as NFTs on Astar zkEVM. Packs aims to create a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, allowing users to own, trade, and play with their favorite cards online.
  • KOKYO NFT: KOKYO NFT is a collaboration between Hakuhodo Inc., a leading advertising agency in Japan, and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., the largest airline in Japan. KOKYO NFT is a platform that tokenizes local experiences and real-world assets as NFTs on Astar zkEVM, such as cultural tours, art exhibitions, and souvenirs. KOKYO NFT aims to promote Japanese tourism and culture to international travelers.

What is the future of Astar zkEVM?

Astar zkEVM is not only a Layer-2 solution, but also a part of Astar Network’s vision to build a more equitable web, empowering communities across the world. Astar Network plans to launch its mainnet soon, with infrastructure partners like Startale, LayerZero, The Graph, Pyth, and Gelato. Astar Network will also introduce new tokenomics, focused on long-term sustainability, that will allow projects from Astar zkEVM to join dApp staking as well.

To celebrate the launch of Astar zkEVM, Astar Network has also launched a gamified experience called Yoki Origins, where users can collect and upgrade original Yoki characters inspired by supernatural creatures from Japan called Yokai. Yoki Origins is a fun way to invite the community to explore and enjoy the Astar ecosystem, while engaging with talented artists, world-leading innovators, and web3 builders who have joined Astar zkEVM.

Astar zkEVM is a game-changer for the blockchain industry, as it brings internet-scale capabilities to the world of crypto. By integrating with Polygon’s AggLayer, Astar zkEVM creates a seamless multi-chain ecosystem that unifies state and liquidity, and starts cross-chain interoperability between three major ecosystems: Polygon, Ethereum, and Astar Network. Astar zkEVM is setting a new standard for web3 user experience, with unified liquidity, community, and atomic transactions.

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