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Astar partners with Polygon to deploy its zkEVM testnet, the network’s solution for interoperability



Astar Network, a leading blockchain platform on Polkadot creating a cross-chain smart contract environment to support enterprises and dApp builders, joins forces with Polygon to launch zKatana, the testnet for its layer-2 scaling solution.

Blockchain scalability presents the challenge of balancing decentralization, security, and transaction capacity within networks and protocols. This has led to the development of layer-1 and layer-2 scaling solutions, each tasked with different responsibilities and functions. Layer-1 solutions modify the base blockchain protocol to directly boost transaction throughput. In contrast, layer-2 solutions, such as state channels and sidechains, offload transactional work to auxiliary systems, reducing the load on the primary blockchain and boosting efficiency.

Astar’s introduction of zkEVM and its partnership with Polygon primarily focuses on layer-2 solutions, enhancing interoperability and scalability without compromising decentralization or security. Its deployment aims to ensure Ethereum state continuity while providing verifiable data, delivering a reliable blockchain solution tailored for global enterprises. As part of its Astar Supernova zkEVM launch, it effectively addresses scalability issues while enhancing security and privacy, facilitating trustless interoperability abilities. Its key attributes include:

  • Speed and Scalability: Through zero-knowledge technology, Astar zkEVM ensures seamless operational stability, even during high transaction volume periods.
  • High EVM Equivalency: Astar zkEVM is equivalent to Ethereum’s EVM, offering greater scalability when working with existing Ethereum tools and clients.
  • Security: Building upon Ethereum’s security mechanisms, Astar zkEVM establishes a robust and secure environment for executing smart contracts and processing transactions.
  • Interoperability: Trustless interoperability, making integrations with Ethereum-based applications and assets smoother than ever.
  • Cost Efficiency: Astar zkEVM significantly reduces transaction costs compared to Ethereum, delivering economic benefits for users and companies.

zkEVM deployment serves as an expansion strategy for the Astar ecosystem, enriching developer choices and reinforcing connections with leading Ethereum ventures. Astar’s collaboration with Polygon Labs and its zkRollup technology marks a pivotal achievement in promoting interoperability and unlocking a diverse spectrum of applications. It’s a key component of Astar 2.0, a transformative phase that expands its capabilities to support multiple chains and smart contract technologies, unlocking the full potential of Web3 applications.

Astar 2.0 showcases the project’s dedication to Web3 innovation and solidifies its position as a leading Polkadot parachain, marked by initiatives including the Supernova launch, a Japanese ecosystem expansion, and the Astar Tokenomics 2.0 upgrade.

As a pioneering parachain with a total value locked (TVL) exceeding $200 million, Astar has excelled through strong partnerships and a pilot program with major Japanese enterprises including Sony and Toyota. Its primary goal is to promote expansion and interoperability in the blockchain industry, providing developers and enterprises with greater options. By adopting zkRollup technology, Astar prioritizes security by enabling trustless interactions and safeguarding sensitive data, serving as a significant step forward for the entire blockchain sector.

“Astar is set to illuminate the path to an exciting future in the blockchain space,” affirms Sota Watanabe, CEO of Astar Network. “Our journey at Astar has been a remarkable evolution, driven by our unwavering commitment to advancing the blockchain landscape. As we transition to Astar 2.0, we are poised to unlock a new era of possibilities in the Web3 industry to global audiences.”

“Astar’s impressive journey to 2.0 signifies a pivotal moment that will ignite a phase of unprecedented growth,” says James Wo, founder of Digital Finance Group, or DFG, a global blockchain and digital asset investment firm, itself an early backer of Astar Network. “The prospects for Astar in Japan, the Asia-Pacific region, and on a global scale are exceptionally bright. We anticipate Astar’s ecosystem expanding, bringing the benefits of Web3 to millions of users.”


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Financial industry bodies defend permissionless blockchains against Basel Committee’s classification




Five financial industry bodies have pushed back against the treatment of permissionless blockchains by a global banking supervision authority.

In December, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published a report on proposed amendments to bank capital requirements for digital assets, stablecoins, and tokenized assets.

The report classified all permissionless blockchains as high-risk, claiming that some risks could not be mitigated through existing solutions. BCBS was particularly concerned about banks’ lack of control over third parties who conduct most operations on these blockchains. It also warned about their privacy, finality, liquidity, and political, legal, and policy risks.

In response, five global financial industry regulators have defended permissionless blockchains. In a joint response, they stated that the industry “has all necessary expertise and robust compliance frameworks to fully identify, manage and mitigate these risks.”

The five are the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the Global Financial Markets Association, the Institute of International Finance, the Futures Industry Association, and the Financial Services Forum.

Blockchain’s application in the financial industry is evolving, and regulators must not disincentivize banks from exploring the technology, the regulators stated. By putting up unnecessary hurdles, the BCBS would only push these institutions to the non-regulated shadow banking space, which would be riskier for them.

The regulators further noted that dozens of global banks have conducted successful pilots using permissionless blockchains. These pilots have shed more light on the technology’s application and allowed them to understand and control emergent risks.

The BCBS approach is unfair to blockchain and veers away from the regulator’s long-held “same asset, same risk” approach, they added.

“While we acknowledge that risk mitigation techniques are evolving for permissionless crypto assets…we are confident that solutions already exist in respect of specific use cases,” the five stated.

They believe deciding whether to build on permissionless blockchains should be left to the banks.

The financial sector has been a leader in blockchain adoption, with some, like JPMorgan (NASDAQ: JPM), developing their own permissioned networks, albeit unsuccessfully. However, most have relied on existing solutions to build applications spanning settlement, bond issuance, tokenization, etc.


The post Financial industry bodies defend permissionless blockchains against Basel Committee’s classification appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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