Polygon Launches Alpha Testnet For STARK-Based L2 Miden

Miden seeks to introduce high throughput parallelized execution to Polygon’s line-up of Ethereum scaling solutions.

By: Mehab Qureshi Loading...

Polygon Launches Alpha Testnet For STARK-Based L2 Miden

Polygon, one of the top teams working on Ethereum scaling solutions, launched the alpha testnet deployment for Miden, its upcoming STARK-based rollup.

Announced on May 6, Polygon said developers can experiment with executing simple smart contracts including asset transfers, token minting, and faucet development on the testnet.

Polygon emphasized that Miden is designed to facilitate high-throughput parallel transaction execution. Unlike most blockchains, networks that support parallelized execution do not have to rely on linearly sequential transaction verification, unlocking greater throughput.

“Polygon Miden is a zero-knowledge rollup for private, high-throughput applications,” Polygon said in its documentation for Miden. “Developers can build applications that are infeasible on other systems [including] high-throughput privacy-preserving dApps for DeFi... and on-chain games with languages such as Rust and TypeScript.”

Miden’s alpha testnet users can also launch public and private accounts and notes — which facilitate private parallelized execution on Miden.

Polygon's scaling suite

Miden expands Polygon’s suite of Ethereum scaling solutions, which include its PoS Chain sidechain, ZkEVM zero-knowledge rollup, and modular Chain Development Kit.

While Polygon ZkEVM currently offers the greatest throughput and privacy of Polygon's mainnet solutions, its adoption has been sluggish compared to rival zkEVM networks since its deployment on March 27, 2023.

According to L2beat, Polygon ZkEVM currently hosts a total value locked (TVL) of $159.1 million. However, Polygon plans to unify its ZkEVM and PoS Chain — which boasts a TVL of more than $1 billion — in a bid to combine ZkEVM’s features with PoS Chain’s sizable user base and TVL.

This positions Miden as Polygon’s solution for specialized high-throughput applications, including on-chain order book-based exchanges, complex web3 games, and advanced wallets leveraging account abstraction. By contrast, the ZkEVM-PoS Chain will provide a sizable ecosystem of users and protocols that dApp developers can plug into.

Miden’s architecture

Rollups bolster the scalability of Ethereum by processing transactions on Layer 2 before bundling them for batched finalization on Ethereum’s mainnet. Rollups secured by zero-knowledge proofs, also known as ZK-rollups, allow transaction verification while revealing minimal data to the broader network.

Polygon first announced Miden in November 2021, touting the chain’s use of zk-STARKs — which were pioneered by StarkWare — to further improve transaction privacy compared to other ZK-rollups. At the time, Polygon said zk-STARKs allow the creation of proofs that “verify that a program was executed correctly, without the need for re-executing the program or even knowing what the program was.”

Elley Habiba, a web3 developer, told The Defiant that zk-STARKs also offer security benefits over competing architectures for Layer 2 networks.

“[Zk-STARKS] are special because they don't rely on a 'trusted setup' — a process that… could be a security weakness,” Habiba said.

However, Habiba noted that L2s using zk-STARKs typically require increased storage costs compared to other zk-rollups.

In its May 6 tweet, Polygon emphasized that Miden clients can generate proofs locally, reducing the network load associated with zk-STARKs.

“Miden can locally generate proofs for their own state transitions without having to disclose the state to the network. and client-side proofs lower the burden on the network,” Polygon said.

The price of Polygon’s MATIC token is up 6.9% over the past seven days, but tumbled 4.2% in 24 hours alongside the broader crypto markets, according to CoinGecko.