zkSync Era Crosses $200M In TVL While Polygon zkEVM Trails

Airdrop Farmers Appear To Be Ignoring Polygon’s Offering Due To Preexisting Token

By: Owen Fernau Loading...

zkSync Era Crosses $200M In TVL While Polygon zkEVM Trails

Two highly-anticipated scaling solutions for Ethereum that launched within four days of each other are seeing markedly different results.

zkSync Era, which launched on March 24, has attracted $218M of user deposits in the 19 days since its deployment. Meanwhile, Polygon’s zkEVM, which launched just four days later, holds just $3.6M, according to L2BEAT.

While both networks use zero-knowledge rollups, a technology which executes transactions off Ethereum’s main blockchain to reduce transaction costs, analysts have a simple explanation for why, one has attracted over 60 times more assets — crypto users are looking for an airdrop of tokens.

“People do seem desperate to hunt the airdrop, which explains the huge difference between the TVL on Polygon and zkSync, especially after the recent Arbitrum and Blur airdrops,” Yohji van Weert, a research analyst at Nansen, told The Defiant via email.

Largest Web3 Airdrop

Layer 2 network Arbitrum airdropped $1.7B worth of ARB tokens to early adopters in March. With many users receiving over $10,000 in ARB just for using the platform, it’s likely they’re looking for their next big windfall with zkSync.

Blur, the NFT marketplace and aggregator, also airdropped over $270M worth of BLUR tokens in February.


Largest Crypto Airdrops. Source: intotheblock

Polygon’s zero-knowledge rollup, in comparison, can’t rely on incentivizing its community with tokens. “The issue with Polygon zkEVM is that they already have a [MATIC] token and do not have an allocation available for a potential retroactive airdrop,” van Weert said.

With approximately equivalent technology, the stark difference in value bridged underscores just how much airdrops have become a motivator in terms of driving capital flows across crypto.

One-time Bridgers

To be sure, people bridging assets to a rollup in hopes of receiving a token allocation doesn’t necessarily mean the scaling solution is destined for lasting success — a Dune Analytics dashboard shows that 89% of users who have used zkSync’s bridge have done so only once, indicating that these are not necessarily power users of the platform.


zkSync Era Bridge Activity. Source: Dune

Still, despite the influx of one-time bridgers, zkSync Era has hovered at around five transactions per second, according to L2BEAT.


zkSync Era Transactions. Source: L2BEAT

That’s well over the roughly 0.05 transactions per second that Polygon zkEVM has been averaging.


Polygon zkEVM Transactions. Source: L2BEAT

Ethereum’s mainnet still dwarfs both solutions, processing roughly 11 transactions per second on average.

Polygon zkEVM may get a much-needed boost from Uniswap, Ethereum’s leading decentralized exchange by volume. A vote to deploy the exchange on Polygon’s solution looks set to pass on Friday.