Polygon network, the biggest Ethereum layer-2, has once again found itself in the middle of a controversy.
? Last week the network was down for over 11 hours, leading to numerous users experiencing stuck transactions or missing funds.
The downtime was caused by a flaw in the so-called Heimdall chain, Polygon’s PoS verifier layer, which is built on top of the Tendermint consensus engine and responsible for checkpointing a representation of Polygon’s Plasma blocks to the main chain. It appears that the validators could not agree on the state of the network, thus halting block production.
The team has deployed a “temporary hotfix” to get the system going several hours later, but the main issue still needs to be fixed.
? Polygon has been amassing critics for some time already. Earlier this year it was clogged by a farming game – an expected problem for a layer-2 solution, which was created specifically to increase Ethereum’s scalability.
⚠️ Then the issue of its multisig admin contract started to get attention. It appears that 4 of the 8 multisig keyholders are Polygon members, and the others have been appointed by them. Many industry actors have publicly called Polygon to share the details of the opaque security and cryptography ritual around the creation of the multisig, but to no avail. Some have even suggested that it would be easy for 5 multisig key holders to conspire and exit scam the project, or be targeted by a creative hacker.
The stakes are high: Polygon is currently holding over $3.5Bn of total value locked, which at one point last year reached almost $10Bn.
? We do hope that the $450M raised by the company in the beginning of the year will be used to not only improve the protocol, but also to address the centralization issue.
In the meantime, other Ethereum layer-2 like Optimism PBC, Arbitrum, zkSync or Loopring can take note. Or even Ethereum itself, with the merge of its PoW and PoS chains ?