Developing the Most Truly Decentralized Interoperability Solution | Polymer ZK-IBC

Polymer Labs
2 min readOct 6, 2022

As Polymer Labs grows, we are evermore dedicated to our vision of an interconnected and trust-minimized future. We believe that the best way to achieve this is through Zero Knowledge proofs (ZK-IBC). Following continuous research and development, our team has found the qualities inherent to ZKPs to be the best fitting when it comes to improving scalability while maintaining privacy and trust-minimization. Polymer Labs is committed to furthering our open source ZK research with efforts to enable ZK-IBC.

Running a Tendermint light client on chain (even an optimized one) is expensive. Recursive ZK technology provides the ability to compress arbitrarily long computations offline, as well as provide a simple verification on-chain to prove computations. ZK-IBC allows different blockchain protocols to communicate with each other without trusting third parties. It does this by verifying the blockchain consensus on-chain. This will lead to higher throughputs, speed, and reduced costs for multichain transactions.

Without ZK technology, this wouldn’t be possible. For example, verifying only the Tendermint light client on Ethereum can exceed the block gas limit. While using ZK technology, the light client computation can be moved off-chain. Additionally, with recursive ZK technology, multiple light client computations can even be aggregated into one simple ZK proof. This allows for the ability to verify the consensus or IBC messages from different blockchains with constant gas costs.

Our talented group of engineers has made great progress in our infrastructure build through our Plonky2 (the fastest recursive ZK lib) solidity verifier development. This development marks the beginnings of the Polymer zkTree, the zk proof computing service. The build has been open-sourced, and can be found here

Polymer Labs has completed extensive research and tests on this development, and we will be sharing more and diving deeper as we expand on these efforts in the near future. We are very excited to work towards upcoming milestones and will continue to share updates as we approach mainnet. We believe that ZK-IBC will be the final state of Polymer’s interoperability architecture. If you’re interested in scaling IBC across all chains and implementing optimistic IBC Light Clients, please reach out to us on our Discord or our Twitter.

About Polymer:

Polymer is the first modular IBC-based networking protocol. The Polymer chain will enable ZK-IBC connectivity across all integrated chains with a trust-minimized architecture based on light client state proof verification. Polymer believes in a multichain future connected primarily by one open-sourced, community-developed, and maintained industry standard, IBC x Polymer.

Follow our Twitter, visit our Website, and join our community on Discord! Sign up to become a validator here, and to take part in Polymer’s private testnet here.



Polymer Labs

Polymer is building a universal IBC router to connect all chains.