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Matter Labs CEO denies copy-pasting code from Polygon Zero

In a recent development, the CEO of Matter Labs, Alex Gluchowski, has denied the allegations of copy-pasting code from Polygon Zero. The co-founder and CEO of zkSync creator Matter Labs responded to accusations made by Polygon Zero, stating that they had not copied critical components of their zero-knowledge system. The allegations made by Polygon Zero highlight the potential harm that can be caused to the developer ecosystem when code is reappropriated without proper attribution, especially impacting smaller development teams. Gluchowski defended their actions, claiming that every decision made by the team at Matter Labs is based on transparency and integrity. Despite admitting that they “could have done it better” in terms of attribution, the CEO denies copying the code and stands by their commitment to openness.

Matter Labs CEO denies copy-pasting code from Polygon Zero


Matter Labs CEO denies copy-pasting code from Polygon Zero


In recent news, Matter Labs CEO, Alex Gluchowski, has been facing allegations of copy-pasting code from Polygon Zero without proper attribution. Polygon Zero accused Matter Labs of copying “performance-critical components” of their zero-knowledge system, Plonky2, which were then found in Matter Labs’ proving system known as Boojum. This accusation has raised concerns about the integrity of Matter Labs and the impact it has on the developer ecosystem.

Allegations against Matter Labs

Polygon Zero’s blog post detailed their belief that Matter Labs copied code from their Plonky2 system without giving credit to the original authors. They emphasized that copying code without proper attribution goes against the open-source ethos and can potentially harm smaller development teams. The fear is that better-funded competitors could reappropriate the work of these smaller teams without proper recognition, hindering their progress and discouraging innovation in the industry.

Details of the code copying

Polygon Zero highlighted specific instances where they found similarities between the code used in Plonky2 and the code seen in Boojum. They claimed that these similarities were not coincidental and indicated a clear case of copy-pasting. This raised concerns about the ethical and legal implications of using someone else’s work without giving credit where it is due.

Importance of attribution in open-source projects

Attribution is a fundamental aspect of open-source projects. Giving credit to the original authors not only acknowledges their efforts and contributions but also maintains transparency and trust within the developer community. When code is copied without attribution, it creates an unfair advantage for those who take credit for the work, while potentially hindering the progress and recognition of the original authors.

Response from Matter Labs CEO

In response to the accusations, Matter Labs CEO, Alex Gluchowski, denied the allegations of copy-pasting. He addressed the issues raised by Polygon Zero through a lengthy statement posted on X (formerly Twitter). Gluchowski emphasized that every decision made by the Matter Labs team, including the development of their product zkSync, was based on integrity and transparency. He acknowledged that mistakes have been made in the past but assured the community that they have always openly acknowledged those mistakes and taken responsibility for them.

Integrity and transparency in decision making

Gluchowski stood by the integrity and transparency of Matter Labs’ decision-making process. He asserted that the allegations made against the company were unfounded and misleading. He expressed disappointment at the accusations coming from a team he highly respects. Gluchowski noted that passion for one’s work can sometimes lead to rushed arguments and inaccurate statements, and he believes this may have influenced Polygon Zero’s accusations.

Acknowledgment of possible mistakes

While denying the allegations, Gluchowski acknowledged that there may have been room for improvement in how attribution was handled. He mentioned that Plonky2 and Boojum are implementations of RedShift construction, which Matter Labs introduced three years before the release of the Plonky2 paper. Gluchowski claimed that the developers of Plonky2 did not give credit to Matter Labs for RedShift, but he admitted that Matter Labs could have handled the situation better. He expressed willingness to adopt the more standard approach for attribution pointed out by the community.

Statement on accuracy of Polygon Zero’s claims

Despite acknowledging the need for better attribution practices, Gluchowski maintained that the allegations presented by Polygon Zero were inaccurate. He emphasized that the similarities pointed out by Polygon Zero were due to the shared use of RedShift construction, not a case of direct code copying. Gluchowski asserted that Matter Labs is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards and believes in fair and transparent collaboration within the developer ecosystem.

Plonky2 and Boojum implementations

Gluchowski clarified that both Plonky2 and Boojum are implementations of the RedShift construction. He highlighted that Matter Labs introduced RedShift three years prior to the release of the Plonky2 paper. Gluchowski acknowledged that the developers of Plonky2 did not give credit to Matter Labs for their work on RedShift but only mentioned it in the paper. He accepted that this could have been handled better and expressed a willingness to adopt a more standardized approach to attribution.

Overview of RedShift construction

RedShift construction is the foundation on which both Plonky2 and Boojum are built. It is an essential component of the zero-knowledge system developed by Matter Labs. RedShift construction allows for efficient and secure zero-knowledge proofs, enabling scalability and privacy in blockchain transactions.

Lack of credit in Plonky2 paper

In their accusation, Polygon Zero highlighted that the Plonky2 paper did not give proper credit to Matter Labs for their work on RedShift construction. They argued that this lack of attribution is evidence of the unethical behavior they accused Matter Labs of. This raises concerns about the responsibility of researchers and authors to acknowledge and attribute the work of others, especially in open-source projects.

Acknowledgment of better approach for attribution

Gluchowski acknowledged that Matter Labs could have taken a better approach to attribution. He noted the community’s suggestions for a more standardized approach and expressed a commitment to adopting those practices. By doing so, Matter Labs aims to ensure fair recognition of the contributions made by all members of the developer community.


The allegations against Matter Labs have brought to light the importance of integrity and transparency in the open-source community. The accusations of copy-pasting code without attribution have raised concerns about fairness, recognition, and the impact on the developer ecosystem. While the Matter Labs CEO has denied the allegations, he acknowledges the need for better attribution practices and commits to improving the company’s approach. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical conduct and collaborative practices within the blockchain and software development industries.

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Ensuring integrity of blockchain transactions

Integrity is a crucial aspect of blockchain transactions. Trust and audits play a significant role in ensuring the transparency and security of these transactions. By upholding ethical standards, adopting better attribution practices, and promoting collaboration within the developer community, the blockchain industry can continue to grow and innovate with integrity.

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