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August 19, 2021

Last week, the Ethereum-scaling project Polygon announced the acquisition of and merger with Hermez, another project which has similar goals. 

Both Polygon and Hermez focus their development on enhancing Ethereum throughput. The former focuses on providing scalability resources to developers through SDKs and other tools, while the latter is creating an implementation of rollups, paired with Zero-Knowledge (ZK) proofs.

What do all those terms mean? To fully grasp the potential of this merger, it is important to understand what this means to Ethereum. 

Rollups are relatively new. They aggregate transactions off-chain via an Ethereum smart contract and then process them in batches – similar to the Lightning Network on Bitcoin – reducing the cost of each individual operation.

ZK-proofs have a longer history in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The term refers to a protocol that allows for users to make private transactions, where no address data is revealed.
This merger, then, represents a big milestone in the development of scaling solutions for Ethereum. Polygon has grown rapidly recently and it’s currently ranked 17th on CoinMarketCap.
Polygon states this is a historical moment in the ecosystem, because it is the first time two blockchains and their tokens will be integrated. Acquisitions aren’t new, but in the past, merged blockchains had continued to operate as separate networks.

The product of the merger will be called Polygon Hermez, and the HEZ tokens will be swapped for MATIC tokens and eventually discontinued. According to the Polygon announcement:

“Polygon Hermez will become a part of the growing Polygon suite that already offers solutions as Polygon PoS, Polygon SDK, Polygon Avail, etc.”


What is Polygon?

Polygon is a protocol and framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. It provides lower fees and faster confirmation times. Both the Polygon and Hermez networks, moreover, offer this without sacrificing security.

Over the last few months, many top projects in the DeFi space have joined the Polygon ecosystem. Exchanges like SushiSwap, DODO, and 1inch operate on Polygon, as well as NFT environments and marketplaces like Decentraland, OpenSea, and Ethermon.



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What is Hermez?

Hermez is an open-source ZK-Rollup optimized for secure, low-cost token transfers, based on Ethereum. It’s a layer-2 solution that can process over 2,000 transactions on a single batch, which are then signed as one on the main chain.

One of the key points of the Hermez protocol, highlighted by Polygon, is the optimization of rollup technology. As stated in the announcement: “Today’s rollups are still in the early phases of development, normally with important components like operators fully centralized (…) Hermez has a decentralized operator model built into the protocol and is already live on the mainnet, and we are looking forward to working with them on improving it even more.” 

Kirobo exploring all the options

The resulting product of this merger is very promising, as both projects are very positive on their own. Kirobo is always on the lookout for the most useful tokens to add to its platform, so Polygon-Hermez is definitely being considered.

Kirobo enables error-proof crypto transactions with its ‘Undo Button’, which requires the sender to create a password that the recipient must enter in order to withdraw the funds. Besides that, Kirobo recently launched its ‘P2P Swap Button’. With this, users can swap tokens directly with one another, completely avoiding the slippage seen with DEXs. The P2P Swap Button also makes use of the safe transaction feature, so every transfer is secured by the protocol. So far, there are 10 major tokens supported, including ETH, USDT, BNB, UNI, SUSHI, LINK, DAI, USDC , WBTC and MANA