zkSync creator and Matter Labs CEO Alex Gluchowski refuted allegations of plagiarizing code without appropriately crediting zero-knowledge scaling firm Polygon Zero. Gluchowski called the accusations “unfounded, misleading, and extremely disappointing” from a team the exec “highly respects.”
The comments are in response to Polygon Zero’s lengthy blog post accusing the developers of Matter Labs of copy-pasting “a substantial amount of source code” from performance-critical components of the Plonky2 library.
Matter Labs’ Feud With Polygon Zero
Polygon claimed that Matter Labs’ recent release, Boojum, integrated certain code from Plonky2, a zero-knowledge technology created by Polygon. While the Plonky2 platform is open-source, Polygon raised concerns about Matter Labs’ failure to include the code in Boojum without original copyrights or clear attribution to the original authors.
In addition to the “directly copied code,” Polygon claimed that Boojum is extremely similar to Plonky2, highlighting the use of the same strategy of parallel repetition to foster soundness in a small field, similar custom gates to efficiently arithmetic recursive verification, as well as the same lookup argument developed by the scaling firm’s teammate Ulrich Haböck.
“To add insult to injury, the founder of Matter Labs claimed that Boojum is more than 10x faster than Plonky2. Wondering how this is possible, given that the performance-critical field arithmetic code is directly copied from Plonky2? You should be.”
Polygon further said that it is “extremely misleading” to claim that Boojum is 10x faster than Plonky2.
Gluchowski maintained that the Matter Labs’ team gave credit to Polygon in the first line of the Boojum module and went on to elaborate that nearly 5% of the Boojum code draws inspiration from the Plonky2 codebase. He also emphasized that both Plonky2 and Boojum stem from the RedShift framework, an initiative pioneered by Matter Labs three years before the unveiling of the Plonky2 paper.
“We could have done it better. The community rightfully pointed out that there is a more standard approach to attributions, which we will wholeheartedly apply from now on.”
The Matter Labs asserted that if the Polygon Zero team wanted additional credit, they could have submitted a pull request which the former “would have happily accepted.”