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What is polygon?

Ethereum, the most well-liked good contract blockchain, could be sluggish and costly to make use of. Whereas upgrades are being made to deliver issues in control, many different networks have requested: why wait?

One such community is Polygon, a “layer-2” community that helps scale the Ethereum blockchain. This implies it sits on prime of Ethereum, however processes transactions sooner and cheaper, then sends transaction data again to Ethereum.

Polygon has since grown into a collection of scaling options, in addition to an impartial community able to standing by itself ft.

The community can course of 65,000 transactions per second at a price of lower than a penny – in distinction, Ethereum processes solely 14 transactions per second by August 2022, and every can price greater than a greenback – and generally Over $100!

And whereas Polygon is concentrated on Ethereum, it’s constructing a framework to seize the “multi-chain future” — the speculation that crypto’s future residence can be unfold throughout a number of blockchains slightly than a single market chief like Ethereum.

This text explains what Polygon is, how its coin, MATIC, works and which protocols it helps.

MATIC to polygon

Polygon was based in 2017 as a creation of a proficient group of Ethereum builders: Anurag Arjun, Jayanthi Kanani and Sandeep Nailwal. He based an Indian know-how firm known as Polygon Expertise to construct the community. Their creation launched as a single Layer 2 chain in June 2020 underneath the identify Matic Community.

After it turned clear that Ethereum couldn’t be served by a single Layer 2 community, the staff started increasing its providing. In February 2021, Matic Networks rebranded Polygon to mirror the challenge’s shift in focus to constructing a collection of Ethereum scalability options.

Upon rebranding, the staff added Mihailo Bjelic because the fourth co-founder. The coin’s ticker, MATIC, nonetheless displays the challenge’s authentic identify. Now, issues are coordinated by a non-profit known as the Polygon Basis.

You’ll have heard of MATIC earlier than – it has been within the (crypto) information due to its rising worth. On the time of the rebrand, it was value lower than a penny by early 2021.

Its worth then elevated, first to $2.45 in Could 2021 after which once more to $2.87 in December 2021. At its December peak, MATIC had a market cap of $20.41 billion – earlier than falling to $3 billion by June 2022 together with the broader crypto market. ,

MATIC’s rise to the highest, albeit short-lived, reveals that there’s a lot of demand for high-speed, low-cost blockchains. In 2021, the rising costs of different comparable blockchains corresponding to Solana and Avalanche confirmed that there’s competitors.

Polygon Community is now very nicely funded, having secured $451 million in funding by August 2022. A solo enterprise spherical in February 2022, led by Sequoia Capital India and joined by 39 different traders together with Variant Fund and Union Sq. Ventures, raised $450 million. million of its whole funding.

How Polygon’s POS collection works

Polygon achieves most of its scaling via proof-of-stake sidechains – that is the know-how that went reside within the authentic Matic community.


Proof-of-stake chains are those who permit these with essentially the most cash locked as much as validate transactions, slightly than these with the strongest computer systems. Sidechains are networks that feed information again to the mother or father blockchain, on this case, Ethereum.

Polygon’s sidechain boasts transaction speeds of as much as 65,000 transactions per second. How did it turn out to be a lot sooner than Ethereum? It is all because of one thing known as “”more viable plasma”, a scaling answer that removes the necessity for verifying signatures (thereby growing pace) on Plasma, a framework for a community of kid blockchains that feed information again into Ethereum.

Every of those youngster blockchains, which run parallel to Ethereum, is basically a replica of the Ethereum blockchain – however operates at a number of hundred occasions the pace. Periodically, Polygon’s validators report all exercise on these Plasma chains and submit their information to Ethereum.

Which means if the kid chain of Polygon will get tousled, it’s potential to get your crypto again from the kid chain. Polygon prevents validators from manipulating these snapshots by requiring them to stake MATIC tokens – ie locking them on the Ethereum blockchain. If validators try to govern their snapshot, a few of these at-stake MATIC tokens are destroyed.

Polygon’s PoS community constructions this job in three layers. The primary is the Ethereum layer, on which MATIC is staked. The second is Heimdall and the third is Bor. Heimdall is chargeable for coordinating the choice (and updating) of validators and for taking snapshots of kid chains. The Bore layer is chargeable for changing transactions into blocks. 7-10 verifiers who’ve accomplished work on the bore are chosen at random from the 100 verifiers who’ve accomplished work on Heimdall.

Polygon permits any Web3 challenge to launch a devoted model of Ethereum that depends on these quick and low-cost proof-of-stake youngster chains. Their good contracts run within the Ethereum Digital Machine, digital cases of Ethereum that obey its computational logic.

Polygon’s PoS collection permits for a point of flexibility in how Web3 tasks function on the community. All Polygon chains can discuss to different Polygon chains and in addition to Ethereum.

Nevertheless, these chains could be impartial of Ethereum – though they in the end feed information again to Ethereum, standalone chains can have their very own pool of validators. Alternatively, they’ll validate transactions via “safe” chains whereby Ethereum validators, or a pool {of professional} validators, verify transactions.

Different scaling options for polygons

Polygon’s Proof of Stake chain is likely one of the scaling options supplied by the community. However what else is in its toolkit?

It is clear that Polygon believes the long run is in zero-knowledge proof rollups. Polygon in August 2021 Committed $1 billion to develop know-how that rolls up a lot of transactions into one, then passes the transactions again to a extra highly effective chain like Ethereum.


Polygon is betting on zero-knowledge proofs, which publish solely the date and time of transactions, to be futuristic, slightly than optimistic rollups that “optimistically” assume that each one transactions are legitimate. Nonetheless, “the optimistic rollup has the benefit of being prepared now,” wrote Polygon’s Brendan Farmer in a January put up.

That is why certainly one of Polygon’s options, a collaboration with Large 4 skilled companies agency EY, Knightfall, is a mixture of each optimistic and zero-knowledge rollups. It is the one rollup that is reside on Polygon up to now—and even then, it is in beta. Additionally within the works are Polygon Zero, a real zero-knowledge rollup, and Miden, one other EVM-compatible rollup.

Polygon can also be engaged on Polygon zkEVM, an open-source zk-rollup that gives parallelism to the Ethereum digital machine, in addition to the safety of Ethereum, and Polygon Evel, a modular blockchain that may combine transaction information from different blockchains. collects the However even Polygon Avail, which does not depend on any of those fancy rollup strategies, stays within the testnet.

The one different factor anticipated to be reside by August 2022 is Polygon Edge, “a modular and extensible framework for constructing non-public or public Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks.”

What are you able to do with polygons?

All this know-how is nicely and good, however what are you able to really do with polygons? Fortunately, fairly a number of. In keeping with DeFi Llama, as of August 2022, Polygon has a complete worth of $2 billion locked up on the community.

About 22% of this, or $446 million, is within the decentralized lending protocol Aave, which has began utilizing Polygon in its V2 model to chop prices and pace issues up. When Aave launched the third model of its lending protocol, v3, it deployed the entire thing on scaling options together with Polygon.


Uniswap, the biggest decentralized alternate on Ethereum, helps Polygon (together with rival scaling options Optimism and Arbitrum), which means merchants can depend on the community to course of transactions cheaply.

About $82 million is locked up within the Polygon model of Uniswap. Regardless of its dimension, it’s small potatoes contemplating Uniswap’s whole TVL of $6.24 billion, of which $6 billion sits on Ethereum.

The most important decentralized alternate on Polygon is QuickSwap, which helps $359 million in TVL. However a number of of Ethereum’s greatest names have additionally arrange store on Polygon, together with Curve, Sushi, Balancer, and PoolTogether.

To entry all of this, you will want to make use of MATIC, the platform’s fuel token. That is equal to utilizing ETH to pay for Ethereum’s transaction charges. As of August 2022, the typical fuel price is round $0.003, or nicely above Ethereum’s common fuel price of $0.8 as of this writing.

Whether or not or not Polygon will stay a major scaling answer is dependent upon the way forward for Ethereum. The community, which continues to be the biggest to assist good contracts, modified massively in September 2022 after merging with proof-of-stake – the identical know-how that powers Polygon’s chain. After this, Ethereum will finally add Plasma chains much like how Polygon works.

Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless too early to find out whether or not Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was proper when he mentioned that scaling options will proceed to enrich Ethereum after Ethereum upgrades its protocol.

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