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Understanding the Polygon Blockchain (MATIC)

Posted October 31, 2022 6:03 pm
7 min
By Deep In The Sesh

What is Polygon?

Polygon, formerly known as Matic Netowrk, is a decentralized platform that supports the construction, governance, and operation of projects built on Ethereum. It is a Layer 2 scaling solution that achieves scale by utilizing an adapted version of Plasma with Proof-of-Stake (PoS) based sidechains. Polygon is designed to provide fast, secure, and low-cost transactions on Ethereum. The platform is also intended to make it easy for developers to build and deploy decentralized applications.

Who are the Founders of Polygon?

Akshay Aggarwal, Anshul Gupta, and Sandeep Nailwal are the three Indian entrepreneurs who founded Polygon (formerly Matic Network) in 2017. The company is headquartered in Singapore. 

After changing its brand name, Polygon continued to use MATIC as its token. This means MATIC is the unit of payment and settlement between participants who interact within the network.

How Polygon Blockchain Works

Polygon is a platform which helps scale Ethereum through the use of many sidechains, all of which aims to unclog with the main platform in an effective and cost-efficient manner.  

Polygon is a Proof-of-Stake sidechain which means that it uses Proof-of-Stake as its consensus mechanism. For those not familiar, the sidechain concept is to run another blockchain alongside another “main” blockchain (in this case Ethereum). These two blockchains could then interact with each other so that assets can move between the two chains. In effect this allows for more transactions per second and at a much cheaper cost.  

Why is Polygon Good for Ethereum?

Polygon is EVM-compatible, meaning that any Ethereum-based application or token can be easily migrated to Polygon with no code changes. Polygon is also the first platform to offer Ethereum scaling and infrastructure solutions as a complete product suite. Polygon’s Layer 2 solutions include Plasma, PoSChain, Validation, and Security. Polygon’s native token, MATIC, is used to pay fees and gas costs, as well as to secure the network.

As of this writing there were over 37,000 decentralized apps (dApps) that have been built on Polygon including DeFi apps, NFTs, Web3 games, DAOs and more.

Polygon Vs. Ethereum Layer 1

It’s important to understand the difference between Layer 1 and Layer 2 solutions and how they can work together to help move the Ethereum ecosystem forward.

Layer 1 solutions, like Ethereum, are designed to scale by increasing the number of transactions that can be processed per second. Ethereum currently has a throughput of 15 transactions per second, but with Layer 1 solutions like sharding and Plasma, that number could potentially be increased to thousands or even millions of transactions per second.

Layer 2 solutions, like Polygon, are designed to scale by off-loading some of the processing of transactions to a separate Layer 2 network. This can be done by using techniques like side-chains, state channels, or plasma chains. By doing this, the load on the Ethereum network is reduced, and transaction speeds are increased.

Polygon is working on a solution that uses Plasma chains to offer high transaction speeds and low fees. Plasma chains are a type of side-chain that uses a system of smart contracts to secure transactions. Polygon is also working on tools to make it easy for developers to create

Why Use Polygon Over Ethereum Layer 1?

Layer 1 protocols are the foundation of the blockchain ecosystem, providing the security and scalability that are essential for mainstream adoption. Polygon is the first well-developed, easy-to-use platform that allows Ethereum developers to quickly build and deploy scalable dapps. Polygon’s unique architecture enables developers to take advantage of the best of both worlds – the security of Ethereum and the scalability of Layer 2.

Will Polygon Be Useful After Ethereum 2.0?

Polygon is a project that aims to provide a more scalable and user-friendly platform for Ethereum. This means that transactions can be processed off-chain, which greatly reduces congestion on the main Ethereum network.

However, some have argued that with the launch of Ethereum 2.0, which also aims to improve scalability, there may no longer be a need for Polygon. Ethereum 2.0 uses a similar sidechain solution, called sharding, which could provide the same benefits as Polygon.

Only time will tell if Polygon will be able to survive in a world with Ethereum 2.0. However, the team behind Polygon is confident that their platform has a bright future, and they are continuing to work on making it the best possible solution for Ethereum scaling.

Scaling Solutions: Other Layer 2 Competitors

Polygon is one of several Layer 2 solutions that have been developed to address the scalability issues of Ethereum. Other Layer 2 competitors include Arbirtrum, Optimism, Myria and Immutable X. While each of these solutions has its own unique approach, they all aim to provide a way to scale Ethereum without compromising its decentralization or security. Let’s take a look at each. 

Arbitrum

Arbitrum
Source: Arbitrum

The Arbitrum network is a Layer-2, developed by Offchain Labs that uses what’s called Optimistic Rollup technology. Optimistic rollups are used to reduce computation on the main Ethereum chain by processing transactions off-chain, reducing congesting and increasing transaction times.

The L2 solution launched on mainnet in 2021 and has continued to iterate. Optimistic rollups can improve the scalability of the network 10x-100x.  

Optimism

Optimism is another Layer 2 solution that uses a similar technique to Arbirtrum, called Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM). Optimism is an L2 blockchain built by Ethereum developers, for Ethereum developers and was launched in 2021. 

Myria

Myria
Source

Myria is a gaming ecosystem built on the Myria Chain, an Ethereum L2 built for gaming.

The ecosystem of Myria consists of:

Myria Platform

An all-in-one Ethereum L2 platform powered by StarkWare that includes Myria Wallet, Myria NFT marketplace, and more.

Myria Studios

A player-focused gaming studio centered around true ownership and rewards.

Myria Developer Solutions

A decentralized NFT and blockchain solutions platform, which includes APIs, SDKs, and other business success solutions, simplifies blockchain processes while providing speed, security, and scalability.

Immutable X

Immutable X is a Layer 2 solution that uses ZK rollups rather than optimistic rollups. ZK rollup technology is a trustless technique that enables transactions to be processed off-chain. 

The method of verification is the key difference between – zero knowledge (ZK) rollups and optimistic rollups. ZK rollups generate cryptographic proofs that can be used to prove the validity of transactions. Each batch of transactions has its own ‘validity proof’ which is submitted to the main chain.

In contrast, optimistic rollups assume that all transactions are valid and submit batches without performing any computation whatsoever, which can lead to significant improvements in scalability.

At the time of this writing Immutable X was a major player in helping NFT games scale on Ethereum. 

Polygon and NFT Gaming

The Polygon blockchain has cemented itself as a go-to chain for Web3 gaming as gamers want the security of Ethereum but faster transactions and lower fees.

The chain has a large user base and a variety of popular games. Additionally, Polygon is faster than Ethereum L1 with faster transaction time. This makes it ideal for gaming, as players do not have to wait for long periods of time for their transactions to be confirmed.

The Polygon blockchain is also flexible, with a wide range of features that can be used by developers. This makes it an ideal platform for developers who want to create new and innovative games.

As of this writing, and per DappRadar, Polygon includes a number of the top games by 30 day NFT volume including The Sandbox, Planet IX, My Crypto Heroes and Decentral Games to name a few.

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