Matic is renamed Polygon to pursue the “Polkadot on Ethereum” strategy

The Matic Network, a project to develop an Ethereum-based Layer Two solution and an independent blockchain to prove its use, announced on Tuesday that it would be renamed Polygon. While the existing products and token would largely stay the same, the new branding signals a strategic change to become a layer two aggregator.

In addition to its internal platforms, Polygon should also support other scalability solutions from Ethereum, in particular Optimistic Rollups, ZkRollups and StarkWare’s Validium. The strategy is implemented through a new Polygon SDK that allows developers to build their DApps on a scalable and Ethereum-anchored infrastructure without having to choose a specific technology.

Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Matic and Polygon, stated that the approach also includes a variety of interoperability mechanisms. This includes asynchronous messaging systems based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which are intended for EVM-compatible chains. Messaging based on status channels, a more complex version of the core concept of the Lightning Network; and a potential “overlay rollup” that combines other Layer Two platforms and enables instant inter-rollup transactions. Polygon would maintain the full connection to Ethereum via a variety of second-tier security mechanisms and additionally use Matic’s existing asset bridging implementation.

As part of the new strategy, well-known Ethereum developers and influencers such as Hudson Jameson, Ryan Sean Adams, Anthony Sassano and John Lilic were called in as consultants. According to Nailwal, some of the consultants described Polygon’s approach as a kind of “Polkadot on Ethereum” which is not an official slogan of the team, but still offers an “easier to understand narrative for the community”.

Polygon’s SDK and platform would turn Ethereum into a multi-chain system that the team admits is no different from other projects like Polkadot, Cosmos or Avalanche. Still, Nailwal believes that the Ethereum-focused strategy offers several significant advantages over competing systems. Polygon would benefit from Ethereum’s general network effect of DApps and adoption while being “inherently more secure” as Ethereum is the larger and battle-tested blockchain.

Finally, Nailwal said that Polygon “is more open and capable, especially in terms of types of architecture it can support”. The platform can integrate any Ethereum scalability solution while adopting the “Ethereum ethos of open innovation”.

Polygon’s strategy, if successfully implemented, could have a significant impact on the Ethereum ecosystem. In the new “roll-up-centric” roadmap, shards would be used to bind a variety of Layer Two solutions. While sharded architectures involve cross-shard communication by design, the interoperability between layer two chains is less immediate and often requires going through the main Ethereum blockchain first. For decentralized funding projects where ease of assembly is critical, this problem could mean they must select the “winner rollup” even if it is crowded or otherwise unsuitable for their needs. Ease of interoperability could therefore be key to ensuring that Ethereum’s current roadmap has practical scalability for DApps.

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