Polygon Stops Work on 'Edge,' Used to Build Dogechain, as Focus Turns to ZK

Polygon Labs, a developer of scaling networks for Ethereum, has shifted toward "Polygon CDK," a blockchain-development kit powered by zero-knowledge cryptography. The older "Polygon Edge" was used by Dogechain, in an unofficial effort to build a Dogecoin-oriented smart-contracts network.

AccessTimeIconDec 15, 2023 at 9:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 6:46 p.m. UTC
  • Polygon Labs is deprecating support for Polygon Edge, a blockchain template that predates the project's shift toward zero-knowledge cryptography as a core technology.
  • Dogechain, which was never officially endorsed by leaders of the Dogecoin project, used Polygon Edge to build their new network, which accepts Dogecoin's DOGE to pay for transactions, known as gas fees.

Polygon Labs, the primary developer behind the Polygon blockchain ecosystem, said it has discontinued contributions to Polygon Edge, the open-source software for building Ethereum-compatible networks that was used as the template for Dogechain – created purportedly to bring DeFi to the Dogecoin community.

In a blog post, the developer said that its support for chain development in the Polygon ecosystem has shifted toward the new Polygon CDK, which is a framework for building layer-2 blockchains powered by zero-knowledge cryptography. Also known as "ZK," the technology has become a core feature of many new projects and upgrades emanating from the crypto industry.

Top executives at Polygon Labs have been signaling that shift toward ZK since early this year. A new Ethereum-compatible, zero-knowledge-powered network called Polygon zkEVM launched in March, and subsequently the team has been recruiting blockchain builders to use "Polygon CDK," a blueprint for new layer-2 networks that can be modeled after the original technology.

"The landscape in which Edge was developed has changed and Polygon Labs now supports a solution that empowers developers to build within a (future) unified ecosystem of ZK-powered L2s," the blog post reads.

Several projects including Immutable, Astar, Canto, Gnosis Pay and Manta Network already have committed to using Polygon CDK. The team is actively competing to land the Celo blockchain's migration to a layer 2 as well as, according to people familiar with the matter, a new layer-2 network for the crypto exchange Kraken.

Dogechain, Dogecoin and DOGE

Dogechain was started last year by developers claiming an affinity with the Dogecoin community (although there is no official tie between Dogecoin and its DOGE meme coin, and Dogechain), and they chose Polygon Edge as the open-source software template for the project.

It was pitched as a way of adding support for Ethereum-style smart contracts, which in turn could facilitate new DeFi protocols as well as NFTs; the original Dogecoin blockchain lacked smart-contract support, since it was a fork of Litecoin, which in turn was an early clone of Bitcoin, the original blockchain launched in 2009 – several years before Ethereum came along, ushering in the new era of smart contracts.

Dogecoin's DOGE tokens could be used to pay for transactions on Dogechain, known as "gas fees."

The Dogechain whitepaper, published in June 2022, mentions Polygon Edge 22 times.

"Polygon Edge employs a modular and extensible framework for creating EVM-compatible blockchain networks, sidechains, and global scaling solutions," the white paper reads. "After all, Polygon Edge is primarily used to launch new blockchain networks that are fully compatible with Ethereum smart contracts and transactions."

Notably, though, the Dogechain effort did not appear to have the endorsement of top leaders of the Dogecoin community. At the time of Dogechain's launch, Jens Wiechers, executive board member of the Dogecoin Foundation, tweeted that the Foundation had no affiliation with the Dogechain project. The founders of Dogecoin do not have any ties to Dogechain either.

It's not clear if or how Dogechain's operations or roadmap might change as a result of Polygon's decision. A request for comment sent through the Dogechain website wasn't immediately returned, and there was no immediate reply to a query posted to the project's official Discord channel. .

Friday's blog post from Polygon Labs did say: "While a variety of projects began building with Polygon Edge, many will choose to migrate to Polygon CDK, with the option to, eventually, plug into the unified CDK ecosystem."

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.