What is Polygon (Matic)?

Polygon is a project that is looking to change the way that blockchains work. They want to make it easier for people to use, and they believe that their platform will revolutionize the industry. If you’re not familiar with Polygon, or you’re unsure about what they offer, then this article is for you. We’ll go over everything you need to know about Polygon, including what it is, how it works, and why it’s important. By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll have a better understanding of why Polygon is one of the most exciting companies in the blockchain space.

Polygon Network is a blockchain-based platform that allows users to create and trade digital assets. Polygon Matic is the name of their flagship product, which is a user-friendly platform for creating and managing digital assets. With the latest developments, Polygon also enables anyone to deploy its own blockchain as a sidechain or Layer 2 solution on top of the Ethereum Network.

What is Polygon (Matic)?

According to their whitepaper, the purpose of Polygon (formerly Matic Network) is to provide a scaling solution that aims to give multiple tools for boosting transaction speed and lowering costs and complexity on blockchain networks.

The Polygon vision is built by having Ethereum Network at the core, a decentralized platform that houses a variety of decentralized applications in which you can create your own virtual worlds, play games, purchase art, and take part in a variety of financial services. However, because the cost of transmission is increasing and traffic is clogged, this much activity on its blockchain has made it almost unusable.

That’s where Polygon comes into the picture. In brief, Polygon claims to be a layer-2 network, meaning it acts as an add-on layer to Ethereum that does not seek to alter the original blockchain layer. Polygon has many sides, forms, and applications, and it promises to provide a less complex architecture for creating interconnected networks.

Polygon wants to assist Ethereum to grow in size, efficiency, and usefulness, and it aims to incentivize developers to develop more interesting products faster.

Polygon’s native cryptocurrency is called MATIC. The name of the token comes from the original name of the network called Matic Network. Matic Network has been rebranded in 2021 to Polygon Network, but the native token kept its original name.

A Brief History of Polygon

In 2017, Matic Network was launched, which was the original name of Polygon Network. Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, and Anurag Arjun were among the founding members who wanted to address blockchain scaling and usability concerns.

The initial iteration of blockchains have a number of challenges. They are slow and costly to use, which makes them unattractive for most applications. Layer-2 solutions or external networks can be used as load balancers on networks that don’t have the ability to scale up as users increase activity.

In 2017, Plasma Technology was at the leading edge of blockchain scaling, and Matic included a plasma-driven scaling strategy and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) sidechains to help Ethereum manage the growing demand for the network. Matic POS grew in popularity over time as a scalable solution for various apps.

Matic was rebranded as Polygon in February 2021 to become a Swiss Army knife for scaling solutions. Polygon wants to integrate rollups and Validium into its existing Plasma/POS network. In addition, Polygon announced its plans to support “Supernets”, which is a solution that allows anyone to deploy their own customized blockchain as an Ethereum Layer 2 or sidechain.

The Polygon project understands that Ethereum may not scale from a single approach in isolation. It’s possible that many solutions will co-exist and help scale Ethereum together, and Polygon wants to be at the center of this infrastructure.

Polygon Platform Architecture

What is Polygon Matic - Polygon Thesis
Polygon Thesis (source: Polygon Technologies)

The Polygon software development kit (SDK), which is built on top of Ethereum, is at the heart of the network. It’s used to develop Ethereum-compatible decentralized applications as sidechains and link them to the core blockchain.

Polygon offers a variety of scalability methods for someone to build a sidechain. First, Polygon offers Plasma Chains. Plasma Chains combine transactions into blocks, which are then bundled into a single transaction on the Ethereum blockchain. Second, Polygon offers the zk-Rollups mechanism that allows several transactions to be combined into a single transaction. Finally, Polygon offers Optimistic Rollups as well which are very similar to Plasma Chains mentioned above with the add-on capability of scaling Ethereum Smart Contracts.

The main chain is a Proof of Stake (PoS) sidechain in which network users can stake MATIC tokens to validate transactions and vote on network upgrades.

Polygon Solution Offerings

Polygon PoS

Polygon PoS is the main product of Polygon, which is the product that made Polygon gain significant popularity in 2020-2021.

Polygon PoS is a solution that uses side chains to process transactions at incredibly quick speeds and reduce costs. Polygon POS also protects the assets by employing the strong Plasma bridging framework and a decentralized network of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) validators.

Polygon Supernets

What is Polygon Matic - Polygon Supernets
Polygon Supernets (source: Polygon Technologies)

Supernets are the quickest way for new private and public networks for dApps and businesses to adopt blockchain. Polygon Supernets is a program that focuses on developing highly secure, decentralized systems utilizing Polygon Edge as a configurable infrastructure solution.

In a nutshell, Polygon with Supernets aims to provide a similar offering to Polkadot’s Parachains, Avalanche’s Subnets, and Cosmos’ Zones. Although all these concepts have different implementations and provide different features that someone can leverage, they all aim to make the deployment of a custom-built special-purpose blockchain easy.

Polygon Avail

What is Polygon Matic - Polygon Avail
Polygon Avail (source: Polygon Technologies)

Polygon Avail wants to revolutionize blockchain system design by making it easier for developers to create new blockchains. Avail allows you to build modular chains, which can be used in different execution environments and arrange data availability and ordering.

The underlying technology does not matter, as Avail is agnostic to the execution layer, which may be on-chain or off-chain scaling solutions that use Avail. The applications running on these execution layers have access to all of Avail’s security benefits.

Polygon Zero

The Polygon Zero project is a layer 2 scaling method for Ethereum. The power of Plonky2, Polygon’s ground-breaking prover system, which produces ZK proofs faster than any other technology, distinguishes Polygon Zero from other ZK scaling solutions.

Plonky2 supports recursive proof production, allowing Polygon Zero to scale vertically. This means that the protocol’s throughput is limited not by the weakest nodes on the network, but only by the overall processing capacity.

Polygon Miden

The Polygon Miden layer 2 scaling solution is for Ethereum. To “roll-up” thousands of layer 2 transactions into a single Ethereum transaction, Miden uses zero-knowledge technology (zk-STARKs). As a result, throughput and transaction costs are increased.

Miden VM: a STARK-based, Turing-complete virtual machine at the core of Polygon Miden. It offers a degree of security and supports advanced capabilities that are not available on Ethereum.

Polygon Hermez

The Hermez zk-rollup is a layer 2 solution on top of Ethereum that uses mass transfer processing to increase scalability by rolling many transfers into a single transaction.

The “zero-knowledge proof” (ZK) method is utilized to demonstrate and publicly document the validity and accuracy of the Ethereum blockchain’s rolled transfers. The network’s efficiency and throughput are improved by storing simply the proof as well as the compressed data of a batch of transactions.

Polygon Nightfall

What is Polygon Matic - Polygon Nightfall
Polygon Nightfall (source: Polygon Technologies)

The Optimistic Rollup is a form of blockchain technology that allows for the transfer of ERC20, ERC721, and ERC1155 tokens without any third-party involvement. Polygon Nightfall is simply an Optimistic Rollup mechanism. It employs an Optimistic Rollup to minimize transaction costs and uses zero-knowledge proofs for privacy.

The Optimistic Rollup uses Ethereum’s Smart Contracts (Layer 1). Proposers compact transactions into blocks and submit them to the Optimistic contracts. Any invalid block is challenged by the challengers utilizing the same contracts. Clients keep track of all necessary information, so they do not need to rely on an off-chain third party for.

Polygon Matic Token Utility

The MATIC token is the native currency of Polygon. It is staked to rule and secure the network. It’s the currency of Polygon apps, which allows people to engage with hundreds of dApps within the Polygon ecosystem. It has three main purposes: Gas Token, Network Security and Governance.

The MATIC cryptocurrency is the lifeblood of Polygon chains. You’ll pay a modest fee in MATIC to utilize Polygon chains whenever you carry out any transaction or use a Polygon app. This charge incentivizes validators to execute and verify your transaction.

The Polygon blockchain uses a Proof-Of-Stake consensus mechanism in which staked Matic tokens are used to reach an agreement on the network. You may safeguard the Polygon network and get rewards by staking MATIC. In this system, the danger of losing your MATIC discourages attacks.

Last but not least, Polygon aims to use Matic as a Governance token once Governance is in place. On the protocol, holders of Matic Tokens will get special rights. The coins can be utilized for network participation via governance voting on Polygon Improvement Proposals (PIPs).

Final Thoughts

Polygon is a unique project that has a lot to offer. The team is constantly innovating and expanding the platform’s capabilities. Polygon is quickly becoming the go-to platform for Ethereum scaling and development.

Governance is one topic that is still pending on Polygon. The team is currently working on building a governance framework that will allow the community to take the lead on decisions associated with Polygon’s future.

With the release of Ethereum 2.0 coming closer, uncertainty is created among the wider community on whether scaling solutions will be needed after Ethereum 2.0. Only time will tell whether Polygon will become the de-facto scaling solution for Ethereum or not.

One thing is certain, Polygon is a project to keep an eye on in the coming months and years.

Aris Ioannou
Aris Ioannouhttps://coinavalon.io
Aris created Coinavalon with the purpose of helping the average person navigate the decentralized web. Aris has been passively in the space since 2017 and full time since late 2020. Before Coinavalon, Aris worked as a Business & IT Architect in the financial services sector. Aris holds an MSc in Advanced Computing from Imperial College London, a BSc in Computer Engineering from University of Cyprus and currently pursuing an MBA degree from CIIM.

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