Another Episode in the Layer-2 Teams Drama

Margaux Nijkerk

This isn’t the first time that Matter Labs has found itself in hot water with its competitors. In August 2023, the Polygon team went on a media blitz with the claim that Matter Labs had copied its Plonky-2 software system without proper attribution. Leaders from other teams, like Starkware, also weighed in at the time, expressing their disappointment with Matter Labs. (Gluchowski denied the claims of copying but said his team “could have done better” by providing clearer attribution to other teams’ open-source code.) Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal seemed to reference the debacle when he weighed in on the earlier dispute, saying in a statement last week that “zkSync has repeatedly acted contrary to the Web3 ethos, despite consistently signaling those same values. We believe that if we do not publicly address this behavior, it will persist and potentially worsen.” Alex Gluchowski, the CEO of Matter Labs, initially dismissed the complaints, sharing that his intention with the trademark application was to protect users and adding that Matter Labs would eventually move to share the trademark with a yet-to-exist consortium of ecosystem stakeholders. Three days later, however, Matter Labs opted to walk back on its trademark efforts entirely.

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