By now, it’s reasonable to assume that the future is multi-chain. It’s likely that instead of one blockchain gaining complete dominance, there is going to be a multitude of interconnected networks, each with unique properties, trust assumptions, performance, and security.
Polygon aims to bring that future closer to reality by offering a framework for creating scaling solutions compatible with Ethereum. Their Proof of Stake sidechain has been garnering some interest across the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community. Let’s take a closer look.
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The long-awaited Ethereum scaling roadmap is finally starting to come to fruition, and the Polygon project is part of these efforts.
You may have heard about Cosmos and their “internet of blockchains” vision through the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC), where messages can travel between different blockchains that have implemented the protocol.
The Polygon vision is somewhat similar, but it has tailored this concept specifically for the Ethereum ecosystem. The>Layer 2 (L2) solution to a network of networks.
What is Polygon (MATIC)?
Polygon is a framework for creating Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks and scaling solutions. Polygon is more of a protocol than a single solution. This is why one of the main offerings of the ecosystem is the Polygon SDK, which allows developers to create these Ethereum-compatible networks.
Still, you may have heard about the Polygon Network, a Proof of Stake (PoS) sidechain and one of the first live products in the Polygon ecosystem. A sidechain is essentially a parallel chain that’s connected to another blockchain.
Sidechains can offer several benefits – most notably, increased transaction throughput and low fees. If you’ve used the Polygon Network, you’ll know that it’s incredibly fast and very low-cost compared to Ethereum. Even so, there are some trade-offs to be made for this performance. We’ll get into these later.
As Polygon supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), existing applications can be ported to it with relative ease. This can give users a comparable experience to Ethereum, only with the previously mentioned high throughput and low fees.
But what can you do as a user on Polygon? Unsurprisingly, similar things as you can on Ethereum, but much cheaper and faster. Some of the most popular DeFi dapps have already been deployed on it, such as Aave, 1inch, Curve, and Sushi. But there are also some native applications on it that don’t exist elsewhere, such as QuickSwap and Slingshot.
Polygon development is led by its founders: Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun, and Mihailo Bjelic.
How does Polygon work?
The Polygon framework supports two major types of Ethereum-compatible networks: secured chains and stand-alone chains. An example for a secured chain is a rollup, while an example for a stand-alone chain is a sidechain.
Secured chains rely on the infrastructure of the chain they are attached to, so they don’t have to adopt their own security model. In contrast, stand-alone chains have to take care of their own security. This means that secured chains tend to offer a higher level of security, while stand-alone chains offer more flexibility for specific needs.
So, what about the Polygon Network? The Polygon sidechain is secured by its own set of validators (validator pool), and it has to submit checkpoints to Ethereum from time to time. This is why some people say that sidechains are not a “pure” Layer 2 solution. They have to take care of their own security instead of leveraging Ethereum’s security. This can be a crucial distinction, and we’ll get into it in a bit more detail later when discussing rollups.
In the future, the Polygon platform aims to support a wider variety of scaling solutions, including zero-knowledge (zk) rollups, optimistic rollups, and Validum chains. Once more of these scaling solutions are available, developers will have more tools to develop innovative applications, solutions, and products. Also, we can expect all of these to be compatible with existing Ethereum tools and wallets, such as MetaMask.
MATIC token use cases
Despite the rebrand, the MATIC token retained its name. It’s used for paying gas fees on the network and participating in governance. If you’d like to stake your MATIC tokens, you can do it on Binance Earn or through the Matic Web Wallet made by the Polygon team.
The Polygon Bridge is the most convenient way to bring your funds from another blockchain network to the Polygon sidechain. Note that you’ll still have to pay mainnet transaction fees since the bridging transaction is on the mainnet.
Once it’s complete, however, you can enjoy the low fees and fast transactions that Polygon has to offer. Otherwise, some centralized exchanges (CEX) also offer>scalability because there could be scaling solutions for many different use cases across different industries.
Polygon is a framework for creating blockchain scaling solutions that are compatible with Ethereum. The Polygon Network is a Proof of Stake (PoS) sidechain that has garnered decent adoption thanks to its fast, low-cost transactions, and EVM compatibility.
Polygon aims to offer more scalability solutions in the future, including zk rollups, optimistic rollups, and stand-alone blockchains, which should help create a more vibrant and interconnected Layer 2 ecosystem for Ethereum.