On-Chain Markets Report by Gabriel Halm, IntoTheBlock
Polygon announced their zkEVM testnet with a bang on Oct 10th. Both Aave and Uniswap are deploying their dApps alongside Lens protocol and the gaming studio Midnight Society.
Spotlighting influential DeFi protocols such as Aave and Uniswap help to convey that Polygon intends to be a serious contender in the zk-chain space. This news could also show why there was a surge in transaction volume for Polygon’s MATIC token the same day the testnet was announced.
Transactions exceeded 700M on Oct. 10 and were executed in tandem with a spike in positive netflows to addresses with more than 0.1% of supply.
Large MATIC token holders are making the bulk of these acquisitions before the launch of zkEVM on Polygon. Though it is unclear if these are investment institutions or protocols acquiring liquidity for new pools, it is a positive sign for tokenholders.
Polygon’s launch of a public zkEVM testnet means there will be a live zk-rollup soon. With Polygon being the No. 5 chain by TVL and with many protocols already deployed on their side-net, we can expect to see the testnet gain traction quickly and developg into a mainnet launch soon.
zkSync launches on mainnet
Another zkEVM, zkSync, has been in testnet phase since February and will be launching on mainnet on October 28th.
The mainnet launch is laid out in this thread and indicates that they could have a fully operational alpha product ready for users by the end of the year.
While they don’t have the same name recognition as Polygon, they are still a well-known company in the space that has been using their tech for payment processing on the blockchain for quite some time now. Additionally, having first mover advantage to mainnet could be a big benefit in picking up the traction needed to break into the competitive L2 space.
Wen zk season incentives?
Another benefit that could play in favor of zkSync is that it has not yet released a token. As we saw with Optimism this summer, a well executed token incentive system can spin the flywheel that propels rapid growth in TVL on the blockchain. An airdrop or incentivization campaign from a new blockchain token could be the required catalyst for zkSync to become the frontrunner in the zkEVM space.
However, Polygon might have something up its sleeve to counter the frenzy that a new token launch can spur. Some of the final token vesting is occurring this year for the Polygon Foundation and the tokens designated for the ecosystem. The foundation is holding almost $500M in MATIC tokens.
While there haven’t been any announcements in this direction, Polygon does have a large enough war chest to launch an incentives program comparable to any other project in the space.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of new and exciting mainnet or testnets launching before the end of the year for users to experiment with. The competition between different projects will only be beneficial for the end user and could be an exciting reprieve from the bear market blues.