Canto and Astar, Cosmos and Polkadot Layer-1 chains, respectively, have announced their move to Ethereum, becoming Layer 2 chains powered by zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs.
Astar aims to empower businesses in Japan, where it is based, by harnessing and facilitating the swift, scalable, and secure implementation of Polygon Labs-powered Web3 solutions.
Meanwhile, Canto, a permissionless blockchain with general-purpose functionality, aims to introduce the traditional financial sector to decentralized finance applications that align with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) standards.
As said by Polygon Labs, Canto will provide trustless guarantees during asset bridging by utilizing Ethereum’s security features. After a consensus within the Canto Commons framework, where contributors collaborate on protocol ideas and solutions, the developers will construct a zero-knowledge rollup on Ethereum’s secondary layer.
“By leveraging a shared ZK bridge, Canto will eventually tap the liquidity of a unified Polygon ecosystem with easy access to Ethereum,” said Polygon. “… the move reflects a significant step toward a “neofinance” future, or the protocolization of existing finance.”
Canto plans to employ the Plonky2 ZK proving mechanism and leverage its proof-of-stake validator set for decentralized sequencing. This guarantees a seamless transition for Canto’s validators and stakers.
Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal expressed his excitement about the migration. He said that despite this transition, Canto would retain its Layer 1 sovereignty.
Canto and Astar join the growing list of projects that have announced plans to develop ZK layer 2 solutions using Polygon’s Chain Development Kit (CDK) in recent months. These include Gnosis Pay, Palm and IDEX.
The Astar team announced its move on September 13, saying it would develop an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution called Astar ZK-Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Ryan Sean Adams, a co-host of the Ethereum show Bankless, suggested that these recent transitions to Ethereum might initiate a surge of rollup migrations.
At the same time, certain protocols seem to be heading in a different direction. In early September, decentralized exchange dYdX revealed plans to construct a fully decentralized order book exchange on Cosmos, indicating a move away from Ethereum.
Maker, a protocol native to Ethereum, also announced plans to sever its connection with Ethereum and develop a new, more streamlined chain based on Solana’s codebase in September.
Maker Rune Christensen explained that Solana was the “most promising” ecosystem due to its demonstrated resilience during FTX’s collapse, not to mention the skilled developer community working on Solana.
Similarly, OnChainMonkey, a nonfungible token (NFT) collection, recently transferred all its 10,000 NFTs from Ethereum to Bitcoin. The team cited the enhanced security of the base layer and the flourishing Bitcoin Ordinals ecosystem as the reason.
The shift of numerous Layer-1 networks to Ethereum’s secondary layer is happening alongside the advancement of the Layer-2 ecosystem. In response to these advancements, specialized networks are beginning to surface.
According to a survey by blockchain intelligence firm IntoTheBlock, Layer-2 networks are witnessing growth.
For instance, Optimism (OP) is establishing its presence as a superchain and has gained popularity as a Layer-2 solution across various networks. Polygon and Arbitrum (ARB) are also actively promoting scaling solutions using their respective technologies.
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