Summary: Ethereum’s current issues involving high transaction fees and slow confirmation times have led some users to migrate to other layer 1 blockchains, like Solana, Avalanche, and Binance Smart Chain. Polygon hopes to reverse this movement and create a protocol to connect all Ethereum-based chains together in one ecosystem. Polygon, previously called Matic Network, was founded ...

Ethereum’s current issues involving high transaction fees and slow confirmation times have led some users to migrate to other layer 1 blockchains, like Solana, Avalanche, and Binance Smart Chain. Polygon hopes to reverse this movement and create a protocol to connect all Ethereum-based chains together in one ecosystem.

Polygon, previously called Matic Network, was founded in 2017. They launched an Ethereum sidechain in June 2020, which allowed for fast and cheap transactions while not entirely sacrificing on security, which was achieved using plasma technology. Plasma is a scaling solution co-authored by Vitalik Buterin that is capable of guaranteeing the security of Ethereum assets on Polygon. All other transactions are confirmed using a proof of stake model where users stake MATIC and help to validate transactions on the network.

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Polygon’s sidechain has become one of the most popular in the cryptocurrency world, having amassed over $5.5 billion in total value on the chain and hosting top dApps like Uniswap and Aave. However, the team has much loftier goals than a single sidechain, as they want to be Ethereum’s “Internet of Blockchains.” In the future, they hope that Polygon will be a framework for connecting and creating Ethereum-compatible blockchains, with easy deployment, strong security, and sovereign governance for each chain. 

Currently, Polygon is working on building other scaling solutions for Ethereum. One of these is Polygon Miden, which is a zk rollup with EVM compatibility. This will allow for transactions to have the security of Ethereum while still being a fraction of the price. Polygon Nightfall, a privacy-focused rollup created in collaboration with Ernst & Young, will allow for private transactions in the Ethereum ecosystem, which is critical for any blockchain-based payment system. Furthermore, Polygon is working on Polygon Hermez, which is another EVM compatible zk rollup. Finally, Polygon has released the Polygon SDK, which allows anyone to create their own Ethereum chain with a premade framework. 

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All of these solutions will leverage the MATIC token for executing transactions. When these rollups and sidechains are released, the increased demand for the MATIC token could cause a massive increase in price, which could help achieve founder Sandeep Nailwal’s goal of making Polygon the third biggest cryptocurrency.

The vast amount of options and opportunities for blockchain creation is why Polygon brands itself as “Ethereum’s Internet of Blockchains.” Unlike other interoperability projects, Polygon’s adherence to Ethereum allows it to have a similar developer experience, meaning that there are no complicated languages or standards for Web3 developers to learn other than what is already required for Ethereum. Additionally, users can use MetaMask for all sidechains, creating a seamless user experience that does not require having multiple different extensions for each blockchain.

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There are nearly infinite opportunities for projects to build with Polygon and still have the benefits of the main Ethereum chain and bring value to both ETH and MATIC. If Polygon is able to accomplish its goal and bring fast, secure, and cheap transactions to millions of users, it will surely help usher in the era of Web 3.0 and the proliferation of the Ethereum ecosystem.

By Lincoln Murr