Polygon vs zkSync, Which Has the Higher Throughput and Low-Latency Transactions?

In the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions, scalability and efficiency have emerged as critical challenges. As the demand for decentralized applications (DApps) and digital assets continues to surge, the need for blockchain networks capable of handling high throughput and low-latency transactions has become more pressing than ever. In this context, two prominent scaling solutions have risen to the forefront: Polygon and ZkSync.

In this guide, we dive into an in-depth exploration of these two innovative scaling solutions, dissecting their underlying technologies, consensus mechanisms, security models, and performance metrics. As Ethereum‘s native layer-2 scaling solution, Polygon has gained widespread adoption by providing a framework for building and connecting various compatible blockchains. On the other hand, zkSync employs cutting-edge zero-knowledge proofs to achieve scalability without compromising on security, boasting rapid transaction finality and robust decentralization.

zkSync Era was introduced to the mainnet on March 24th, closely followed by Polygon’s launch of their own Polygon zkEVM on the subsequent Monday. As attention converges on these two chains, a natural inquiry arises: what sets these two chains apart in terms of differences?

What is Polygon zkEVM?

Developed and introduced by Polygon, a notable player in Ethereum scaling solutions, the Polygon zkEVM initiative marks a pivotal progression in their journey towards efficient scalability. Polygon initially embarked on their scaling expedition with the establishment of their proof-of-stake sidechain, commonly known as the Polygon chain. However, Polygon was not oblivious to the criticisms that surfaced, particularly concerning security vulnerabilities and centralization tendencies inherent in their sidechain model.

In a bid to address these concerns and propel their scaling efforts to new heights, Polygon dived extensively into the realm of zk-rollups. This pursuit involved strategic acquisitions of significant zk-oriented companies like Hermez and Mir. Moreover, Polygon engaged in collaborative endeavors such as Polygon Nightfall, Polygon Miden, and Polygon Zero, revealing a deep commitment to research and development in the zk-space.

The outcome of these dedicated efforts culminated in the present-day launch of Polygon zkEVM. This innovative solution reflects a fusion of the evolutionary trajectory of Polygon Hermez and the breakthroughs achieved through Polygon Zero’s intensive technological exploration. By amalgamating the strengths of these initiatives, Polygon seeks to offer a robust and secure Ethereum Virtual Machine experience, assuaging past concerns and catering to the growing demand for enhanced blockchain scalability.

What is ZkSync?

ZkSync is a layer-2 scaling solution for blockchain networks, developed by Matter Labs. It’s designed to enhance the scalability and efficiency of Ethereum and other compatible blockchains by utilizing zk-rollup technology.

At its core, zkSync aims to alleviate the limitations of blockchain scalability by moving the bulk of transaction processing off-chain while still ensuring the security and validity of these transactions on the main blockchain. This is achieved through the use of zero-knowledge proofs, which allow for the creation of cryptographic evidence that a set of transactions is valid without revealing the specifics of each transaction.

In zkSync, users deposit their assets onto the zkSync chain, where transactions occur with near-instant finality and very low fees. The zk-rollup construction ensures that the transactions are batched and then submitted as a single proof to the main blockchain, greatly reducing the congestion and resource demands on the main chain. This leads to significantly higher throughput and cost savings compared to executing transactions directly on the main chain.

zkSync also supports the execution of smart contracts, enabling decentralized applications to benefit from the scalability improvements. It’s important to note that while zkSync enhances scalability, it relies on the security of the underlying Ethereum or compatible blockchain for dispute resolution and finality guarantees.

The zkSync solution has seen a significant evolution. It has evolved from zkSync 1.0 (now zkSync Lite), zkSync 2.0 to zkSync Era, which is specifically designed to introduce a new paradigm in blockchain scalability by implementing zk-rollup technology.

At its core, zkSync Era aims to address the scalability limitations of existing blockchain networks, particularly Ethereum. It achieves this by utilizing zk-rollups, a layer-2 scaling technique that combines on-chain and off-chain processes. In a zk-rollup system like zkSync Era, transactions are processed and verified off-chain, and only a cryptographic proof of their correctness is submitted to the main blockchain, drastically reducing the congestion and resource consumption on the main chain.

zkSync Era takes this concept a step further by introducing a zkEVM (zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine) chain. This is a novel approach that allows smart contracts to run in a privacy-preserving and highly efficient environment. zkEVM essentially enables the execution of smart contracts within a zero-knowledge proof, ensuring that the validity of transactions is maintained while offering a significant boost in throughput and cost efficiency.

zkSync Era represents the cutting-edge evolution of Matter Labs’ zk-rollup technology, providing a scalable and efficient solution for blockchain networks. By incorporating zkEVM and building on the foundation of previous zkSync versions, zkSync Era contributes to the ongoing efforts to address the scalability challenges facing decentralized applications and blockchain ecosystems.

Differences between Polygon zkEVM and ZkSync

Polygon zkEVM and ZkSync are two distinct layer-2 scaling solutions that utilize zk-rollup technology to enhance blockchain scalability and efficiency. While they share similarities in their use of zero-knowledge proofs and layer-2 approaches, there are several key differences between the two:

Development Teams and Initiators

Polygon zkEVM was developed and launched by Polygon, a blockchain scaling company that aims to improve Ethereum’s scalability through various solutions.

ZkSync was developed by Matter Labs, a blockchain research and engineering firm, ZkSync represents Matter Labs’ approach to enhancing blockchain scalability.

Scope of Implementation

Polygon zkEVM focuses on introducing a zero-knowledge rollup solution that integrates with Ethereum’s EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), allowing for the execution of smart contracts while benefiting from zk-rollup scalability.

ZkSync offers a broader range of capabilities, including token transfers, fast withdrawals, and limited smart contract support. It started with zkSync 1.0 (now zkSync Lite), which emphasized token transfers, and later evolved into zkSync 2.0 with more advanced features.

Bytecode Compatibility

Polygon zkEVM is designed to be bytecode compatible with Ethereum, making it relatively straightforward to port existing Ethereum smart contracts to the Polygon zkEVM network.

ZkSync is not bytecode compatible in the same way as Polygon zkEVM. It requires projects to be compiled using its LLVM-based compiler before they can be used on the zkSync network.

Smart Contract Execution

Polygon zkEVM offers a robust environment for executing smart contracts, enabling a wide range of decentralized applications to operate on the network.

On the other hand, ZkSync provides limited smart contract support through zkSync 2.0, allowing for the execution of specific types of smart contracts, although its primary focus has been on asset transfers.

Integration with Existing Chains

Polygon zkEVM is built as a part of the Polygon ecosystem, aiming to provide seamless scalability for existing Ethereum applications and users.

ZkSync aims to enhance Ethereum scalability while maintaining a separate identity from Ethereum, with the potential to integrate with other blockchains as well.

Similarities between ZkSync and Polygon zkEVM

ZkSync and Polygon zkEVM, despite their differences, share several similarities due to their common utilization of zk-rollup technology and their goals of enhancing blockchain scalability and efficiency. Some of the key similarities between the two solutions include:

zk-rollup Framework

Both ZkSync and Polygon zkEVM are built upon the zk-rollup framework, a layer-2 scaling solution that processes transactions off-chain and submits proofs to the main blockchain to ensure their validity. This common foundation contributes to their ability to significantly increase transaction throughput and reduce fees.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Both solutions rely on zero-knowledge proofs to maintain the security and integrity of off-chain transactions. This cryptographic technique allows transactions to be verified without revealing their underlying data, enhancing privacy while ensuring trustless verification.

Main Chain Interaction

ZkSync and Polygon zkEVM both interact with the Ethereum mainnet to secure their operations and provide finality guarantees. This interaction ensures that the transactions executed within their respective layer-2 networks are ultimately settled on the Ethereum main chain.

Scalability Focus

The primary objective of both solutions is to address the scalability limitations of blockchain networks like Ethereum. By processing a large number of transactions off-chain and submitting summarized proofs to the main chain, both ZkSync and Polygon zkEVM aim to achieve higher transaction throughput and lower fees compared to executing transactions directly on the main chain.

Layer-2 Efficiency

Both solutions operate as layer-2 solutions, meaning they build on top of existing blockchains like Ethereum. This approach allows them to leverage the security and decentralization of the main chain while offering improved efficiency and scalability.

Ethereum Ecosystem Integration

Both ZkSync and Polygon zkEVM are designed to complement the Ethereum ecosystem. They provide solutions for projects seeking to leverage Ethereum’s capabilities while mitigating its scalability challenges.


In the intricate landscape of blockchain scalability solutions, the comparison between Polygon and ZkSync reveals the diverse approaches that can drive innovation. While both solutions harness zk-rollup technology to amplify blockchain efficiency and throughput, their unique strengths set them apart. Polygon, with its zkEVM integration and Ethereum compatibility, offers a gateway for seamless adoption within the Ethereum ecosystem, emphasizing smart contract execution and broader decentralized applications. On the other hand, ZkSync’s evolution from token transfers to zkSync 2.0 showcases a more comprehensive scope, catering to a wider range of applications and use cases.

As the demand for scalability intensifies, this detailed comparison underscores the significance of tailored solutions to meet specific project needs. Polygon’s bytecode compatibility streamlines deployment for Ethereum developers, while ZkSync’s approach necessitates adaptation via its LLVM-based compiler. The ongoing development of these solutions heralds an era of innovation, providing the blockchain community with varied tools to tackle scalability bottlenecks.

Ultimately, the choice between Polygon and ZkSync hinges on project requirements, priorities, and long-term goals. This comparison underscores the evolution of blockchain scaling solutions and emphasizes the vitality of informed decision-making as the ecosystem continues its dynamic growth. By weighing the unique merits of each solution, developers and stakeholders are poised to chart a course toward a more scalable and inclusive blockchain landscape.


What is the main difference between Polygon zkEVM and ZkSync?

The main difference lies in their approach to smart contracts. Polygon zkEVM focuses on integrating with Ethereum's existing ecosystem, providing compatibility for Ethereum smart contracts. ZkSync, on the other hand, initially emphasized token transfers and evolved into zkSync 2.0, offering limited smart contract support for specific use cases.

Are Polygon zkEVM and ZkSync compatible with Ethereum?

Yes, both solutions are designed to be compatible with Ethereum. However, the extent of compatibility varies. Polygon zkEVM is designed to be bytecode compatible with Ethereum, allowing for easier deployment of Ethereum smart contracts. ZkSync, while not bytecode compatible, aims to provide similar scalability benefits by processing transactions off-chain.

What is zk-rollup technology?

zk-rollup is a layer-2 scaling technique that involves processing transactions off-chain while ensuring their security through cryptographic proofs submitted to the main blockchain. This approach enhances scalability by reducing congestion on the main chain.

Do both Polygon zkEVM and ZkSync use zero-knowledge proofs?

Yes, both solutions utilize zero-knowledge proofs to validate transactions off-chain while maintaining privacy and security.

What advantages do these solutions offer over using the Ethereum main chain directly?

Both Polygon zkEVM and ZkSync offer significantly higher throughput and lower fees compared to executing transactions directly on the Ethereum main chain. They achieve this by processing transactions off-chain and submitting summarized proofs to the main chain, reducing resource demands.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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