Behind Polygon’s mission to become the “AWS of Ethereum”

The central theses

  • A rapidly rising star in the scalability race is Polygon, a sidechain network that is slowly becoming a second home for many Ethereum projects.
  • Over the past six months, many Ethereum dApps, including Aave and Sushiswap, have ported their contracts to this polygon’s plasma PoS chain.
  • Since October 2020, the total value of Polygon has increased from ~ $ 5 million to currently more than $ 800 million.

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Ethereum’s exorbitant gas fees have made headlines all year round. But there is a business for every bottleneck. A rapidly rising star in the scalability race is Polygon (formerly Matic), a sidechain network that is slowly becoming a second home for many Ethereum projects.

How Polygon lowered the cost of pennies

Since October 2020, Polygon’s total value has increased from less than $ 5 million to ~ $ 830 million at press time, according to The Block.

Much of Polygon’s recent growth has taken place on its EVM-compatible blockchain that leverages the plasma scaling solution. The ProS-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain acts as a bridge for Ethereum and offers up to 65,000 transactions per second (TPS) with a blocking time of two seconds.

Recently, many leading Ethereum dApps have ported their contracts to Polygon’s plasma PoS chain. The list includes popular DeFi protocols (Aave, Sushiswap), blockchain games (Avegotchi, Decentraland, Atari), prediction markets (Polymarket) and NFT projects (OpenSea, SuperFarm). Infrastructure projects such as Graph and Chainlink have also been expanded to include polygons.

In a conversation with Polygon’s co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, he explains to Crypto Briefing why his project is so popular. He says:

“Because of developer experience and EVM compatibility, many third-party developers are building on the Plasma POS blockchain. Our design goal is simple if you are an Ethereum [developer], you are already a polygon [developer]. We’re excited to achieve 99.9% compatibility, be it solidity, developer tools, wallets, almost everything works the same. You can move your entire app and assets within 10 minutes. “

According to Nailwal, Polygon’s developer tools are ready-to-use, so smart contracts can be seamlessly ported from Ethereum. In this way, developers and users get the same functionality as Ethereum.

Aave is probably the best-known dApp for integrating polygons. Aave launched a version of their credit market on Polygon on April 14, and within a few days total liquidity exceeded $ 600 million.

Aave protocol users on Polygon will have to pay less than a dime for the asset swap, which is a thousand times cheaper than on the main Ethereum chain.

“We see that users who come to Polygon from Ethereum don’t want to come back. They love the idea of ​​Feeless DeFi, ”says Nailwal.

Source: Dune Analytics

Behind the polygon rebrand

Polygon was founded in 2017 by three Indian developers – Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal and Anurag Arjun.

They launched the mainnet in May 2020 and it quickly caught on, especially with blockchain games like Neon District and Decentral Games.

In December 2020, the team partnered with Mihailo Bjelic, an Ethereum researcher, to revamp the project towards a new scaling infrastructure. This also led to the renaming of Matic to Polygon.

In its renamed form, Polygon provides a framework for creating and connecting scalable Ethereum-compatible blockchains. Regarding the new architecture of the project, Polygon has been designed to be flexible with the scaling of Ethereum.

In addition to its existing Plasma PoS blockchain, Polygon will support other Ethereum scalability solutions, notably Optimistic Rollups, ZK Rollups, and StarkWares Validium Chains. These scaling solutions like rollups are still in the pipeline and will be implemented later.

“We believe that scaling solutions will become a commodity. Therefore, Polygon is trying to be an AWS-like open source aggregator for scaling solutions that meets the needs of all developers, ”says Nailwal.

Polygon’s vision of scalability will continue to grow with the upcoming launch of Polygon SDK, a software development kit for building dApps over the network.

When asked why many scaling solutions are used, Nailwal said the decision was made to meet a growing trend of developers looking to create dApps for their specific needs. In Nailwal’s words, Polygon aims to be an “aggregator” of Ethereum scaling solutions.

“When Polygon (Matic) started a few years ago, Plasma was very exciting. Within a year, the industry switched to other scaling solutions such as rollups. We then realized that the industry narrative and technology was evolving rapidly. Now we don’t want to focus on just one technology and get an idea of ​​our approach, ”he says.

Place a large multi-chain bet

After building the scaling infrastructure, Polygon’s roadmap includes an interoperability solution for Ethereum.

The project’s multi-chain ecosystem is similar to projects like Polkadot and Cosmos, but it has the security benefits of Ethereum. The Polygon SDK also enables an interoperability protocol for exchanging tokens and contract calls with Ethereum and other blockchain networks.

“We are planning a multi-chain ecosystem and some analysts have called it the Ethereum Internet of Blockchains. Just like with Polkadot or Cosmos, you can build your own chains, and these chains are also interoperable with each other. The only difference is that we rely on Ethereum’s already mature security model instead of building security from scratch like others, ”explains Nailwal.

In his view, the Ethereum-focused interoperability strategy gives Polygon a significant edge over competing projects. He argued that other Layer 1 blockchains would struggle to match the level of security and developer traction as Ethereum.

With so much early momentum going, Polygon seems well positioned to solve one of Ethereum’s critical obstacles.

Disclosure: The author does not have the cryptocurrency mentioned in this article at the time of publication.

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