Polygon is a layer-2 protocol designed to scale Ethereum’s speed and lower costs while establishing a framework for linking Ethereum-compatible blockchains.
Ethereum has gone so far in the last few years, from becoming the top 2 cryptocurrency in market cap to sprouting an entire ecosystem of dapps that power decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), games, and now metaverses. Unfortunately, its popularity has also exposed its weakness: scaling. Currently, the network can only handle 10-19 tps, which is not enough. In fact, gas fees are now too expensive, pricing out the average joe from the Ethereum on-chain.
One platform decided to solve this, not by competing with Ethereum, but by creating a “breather” for the blockchain giant and helping unload its saturated ecosystem to increase its efficiency.
Polygon was formerly called the Matic Network and was created by Ethereum developers Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun, and Mihailo Bjelic.
These men dreamt of creating a platform that can finally eliminate gatekeepers, intermediaries, and artificial borders that limit people’s ability to tap modern technology’s full potential.
Ethereum is currently the world’s most secure programmable blockchain, but along with its strength and dominance, it comes with several limitations that hamper its further growth. These challenges include high gas fees, lack of sovereignty, governance dependence, delayed PoW finality, and low throughput.
While there are Ethereum-compatible blockchains designed to deal with these problems, the last missing piece in the puzzle is an efficient protocol that can seamlessly connect them all. Without connecting them, ecosystem fragmentation would only aggravate, bringing another layer of limitation to Ethereum.
What is Polygon?
Polygon is a layer-2 network that serves as a protocol and framework for creating and linking Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. It is a scaling solution to increase the speed and lower the cost and complexities of transactions on blockchain networks.
It aims to help developers roll out Ethereum-based products and services at a much quicker phase by increasing the blockchain’s capacity, size, and security.
- ETH Compatibility
- Developer Experience
- User Experience
Polygon’s software development kit or SDK allows developers to create Ethereum-compatible dApps as sidechains and link them to the main blockchain.
These sidechains can be created using construction scalability methods such as zk-rollups, optimistic rollups, and Plasma chains. But how do each of these methods help developers in creating an efficient sidechain? Here’s how:
|ZK Rollup||Plasma Chain||Optimistic Rollup|
|Ties up various transfers into only one transaction.||Bundles and batches transactions into a block and single submission.||Works much like a Plasma Chain, but it can scale Ethereum smart contracts.|
Polygon’s architecture is equipped with four abstract, composable layers: Ethereum layer, Polygon Networks Layer, Execution Layer, and Security Layer. Here’s how each layer helps Polygon become a more efficient Layer-2 for Ethereum.
Ethereum Layer – manages tasks that include staking, finality/checkpointing, message relaying, and dispute resolving.
Polygon Networks Layer – in charge of block production, local consensus, and transaction collation
Execution Layer – equipped with two sublayers, which are execution environment and execution logic
Security Layer – runs Polygon chains validation and validator management.
Secured Chains are blockchain networks that utilize security as a service or SaaS instead of creating a validator pool, and this service can be rolled out directly through Ethereum or by a pool of professional validators.
Even though it is equipped with solid security features, its only downside is it gives up a certain amount of flexibility and independence.
Stand-Alone Chains have their own pool of validators, meaning they are not dependent on other services just to establish their security, its only problem is that it sometimes challenges its own validators.
MATIC is the native cryptocurrency of Polygon and was retained even after Matic Network’s rebranding. The token, which is limited to a 10 billion supply, was designed for staking and paying for transaction fees, but more importantly, it plays a significant role in increasing the efficiency of the entire Polygon Network.
Platform users can acquire MATIC tokens by helping in executing smart contracts and validating transactions, in other words, by contributing computational power and services for Polygon.
MATIC token holders will have the privilege to vote on network upgrades, and each of their votes is proportional to the number of their token stakes.
Swap for Gas
The ‘Swap For Gas’ feature is Polygon’s solution to source MATIC tokens on Polygon PoS Mainnet efficiently. Through this, users wouldn’t be burdened by sourcing MATIC from exchanges and bridging costs.
How To Use The ‘Swap For Gas’ Feature
1. Go to the application menu on the Navigation Bar, and click the “Swap for Gas” button.
2. Bridged ETH, DAI, or USDT tokens can be seamlessly converted to MATIC on the Polygon PoS Network.
3. Choose the desired amount of MATIC, then select the bridged asset that needs to be swapped, after that, approve the transaction.
4. Click the ‘Swap’ button to execute the swapping process.
5. Once the process is completed, a user will receive the chosen amount of MATIC on his account.
Reminders: This feature is “gasless,” meaning users don’t have to pay anything for the swap. Also, users can only swap 1 MATIC and a max of 20 MATIC at a time.
Polygon Score or PolyScore for short is the platform’s metric system that measures a platform user’s activeness from 1 to 100.
PolyScore is calculated through a combination of a two-week engagement measurement, which monitors a user’s activeness in the last two weeks, and ten-week retention, which measures a member’s activities for the past ten weeks.
Benefits of PolyScore for:
Rewards Programs can be built around the PolyScore metric system, which would be very beneficial for members with high rankings and encourage platform users to increase their rankings further.
Also, Polygon is currently developing a website where users can monitor their rank and see the rewards programs that are matched for their PolyScores.
A minimum score of 20 is considered a starting point for users to have a good standing in the PolyScore rankings. And to be able to qualify for rewards, users are encouraged to achieve a score of 30 to 50 and above.
PolyScore can help dApps spot active members in the Polygon platform, which would enable them to provide users with perks such as airdrops, whitelisting for beta testing and premium features, and other highly beneficial incentives.
Polygon has brought a big favor to the tech world by creating an efficient layer 2 protocol that could help maintain Ethereum’s strength, convenience, affordability, and overall performance. With this, Ethereum users can further leverage the blockchain’s capabilities and create greater services in the future.