Polygon Co-Founder Mihailo Bjelic: Exploring Layer 3's, zkEVM, and NFL, Starbucks, Disney, Reddit, Adidas Partnerships

The Defiant


This week's episode stars Mihailo Bjelic, co-founder of Polygon. We get into the juicy details behind what went on with the zkEVM launch a few months back, Mihailo’s thesis on Layer 3’s, how Polygon secured brand deals with the NFL, Starbucks and others, and what he's most excited about in 2023. But first, Mihailo shares what he's been focused on at Polygon.

📺 Watch the video:

🎙️Listen to the interview:

7 Key Takeaways

  1. Mihailo is a co-founder of Polygon, a blockchain infrastructure provider that was founded to improve the scalability of Ethereum. He joined Polygon after being involved in the crypto industry since 2013 and being fascinated by the idea of a global network of value and human coordination.
  2. Polygon zkEVM has around 10,000 applications or smart contracts deployed on it, with many more partners interested in deploying infrastructure.
  3. Polygon PoS chain is an EVM-compatible chain that operates alongside Ethereum or in parallel with it. It has its own validator set and is named the Polygon PoS chain. While Polygon PoS prioritizes lower fees and higher throughput, but not necessarily security, zkEVM offers ironclad security for DeFi apps that require it.
  4. Polygon zkEVM, which has been on the mainnet for about a month and a half, offers security, scalability, and EVM compatibility all together, making it a Holy Grail of Ethereum scaling or blockchain infrastructure in general.
  5. The team behind Polygon zkEVM consists of three talented teams and projects: Polygon Hermez, Polygon Zero X MIR Protocol, and Polygon Miden.
  6. Polygon is committed to further improving and strengthening the network, maturing the code, and squashing bugs.
  7. Polygon is exploring several optimizations to improve cost and throughput, including the reduction of data availability costs for roll-ups like zkEVM, which will make them more scalable.


00:00 Intro

00:49 The Journey of Mihailo: From Technical Focus to Co-founding Polygon

04:09 The Evolution of Polygon: Exploring the Polygon PoS Chain and Proof-of-Stake Implementation

07:34 Polygon: The Preferred Scaling Solution and NFT Catalyst for Mainstream Adoption

12:29 Unveiling Polygon zkEVM: The Holy Grail of Ethereum Scaling Technology

18:00 Polygon zkEVM: Scaling Breakthroughs and the Path to Further Improvements

22:01 Scaling Breakthrough: Exploring the Speed and Cost Benefits of Polygon zkEVM Compared to Ethereum

26:09 Components and Plans for Decentralization in Polygon zkEVM

28:33 Opcode Compatibility, Developer Experience, and the Future of Polygon

32:19 The Future of Layer 3 and a Comparison of zkEVM with zkSync and Scroll

36:19 The Collaborative Powerhouse Behind Polygon zkEVM: Uniting Talented Teams for ZK Development

39:52 The Merger and Culture Meshing: Uniting Teams for the Grand Vision of Polygon

43:32 Unveiling the Core Values of Web3: Openness, Self-Custody, and Fairness

48:33 Mihailo's Vision for Polygon's Future