Ultimate Guide to Polygon Blockchain

Originally published in October 31, 2008 by the pseudonymous inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin Whitepaper is one of the most groundbreaking works of computer science since the internet, which lays the foundations of electronic peer-to-peer cash and its underlying blockchain technology. The paper is titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

The Bitcoin Whitepaper is only nine pages long and is a proposal for a trustless system of electronic transactions. The Bitcoin network creates a structure for making payments without a trusted third party acting as intermediary. The Bitcoin Whitepaper in simple language attempts to translate complex technological concepts into easy-to-understand terminology.

This was Satoshi’s idea for an electronic currency that can make transactions with low costs while using no financial institutions or third parties. Instead of using a centralized server, it is structured to use many terminals connected over a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. It explains how the proof of work structure renders falsification of transaction information nearly impossible. For those who are interested, the original document can be read or downloaded at https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

What Exactly is Polygon? 

Polygon, also known as the Matic Network, is a scaling solution to fix Ethereum’s scalability issues, that provides multiple tools to increase the speed and decrease the cost of transactions on blockchain networks. 

The core of Polygon’s vision lies in Ethereum. This platform is home to a variety of decentralized applications. These include virtual worlds, games, art purchases, and financial services. This much activity has made Ethereum nearly unusable due to rising transmission costs and congestion. 

Polygon is a Layer 2 (or “sidechain”) scaling solution that was created to speed up transactions and reduce costs for users. It is a parallel blockchain that runs alongside the main Ethereum blockchain. You can use it to “bridge” your crypto to Polygon and then interact with many popular crypto apps that used to be only available on the main Ethereum blockchain. 

Polygon wants Ethereum to grow in size, security, and efficiency. It also seeks to encourage developers to bring more enticing products on the market faster. 


What is the Difference Between the Polygon and the Matic? 

Polygon’s earlier stages of development were the inspiration for MATIC. Polygon was rebranded in 2021 after it launched as Matic Network in Oct 2017. 

Polygon’s MATIC cryptocurrency, which is the underpinning of the network, was retained after the rebranding. MATIC is the unit for payment and settlement among participants in the network. This includes paying fees on the Polygon network for staking and governance. MATIC holders can vote on any changes to Polygon. 

The conclusion is that Polygon is now the umbrella for many projects, including the Matic network. However, Polygon’s native cryptocurrency is the Polygon (MATIC), token. 


How Does Polygon Work 

The Ethereum blockchain can only perform a small number of transactions per second. For the base layer, the throughput rate is approximately 14 transactions per second. Every transaction incurs transaction costs, known as gas fees on Ethereum. 

During high network congestion, gas fees increase and can quickly rise to over $50 to $80. This is a huge problem. Ethereum is out of reach for many users because they have to pay $50 per transaction. 

The Ethereum blockchain process is also slower due to network congestion, which discourages users from using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. 

These fees can quickly add up and cost hundreds of dollars for anyone who uses Decentralized Finance (DeFi), apps and protocols, buys and trades nonfungible tokens, NFTs, and swaps, purchases, or transfers tokens on Ethereum. 

How does Polygon make it cheaper? Polygon, a scaling solution like Polygon processes transactions on side chains to reduce gas costs. Polygon can handle as many as 65,000 transactions per minute, while Ethereum can only process around 17 transactions per minute.  

These fees can be provided by Polygon for pennies. Compare that price to Ethereum’s average transaction cost of $15 per transaction. Polygon is a collection of protocols, including the zero-knowledge proof variety (zk), so users can choose the most suitable scaling option for their needs. 

Zk proofs in cryptography are cryptographic primitives that can be used to verify to another party (the verifier), whether a statement is true. The prover does not have to give any additional information beyond the fact that the statement has been verified. 

There are many options for project teams to choose from when integrating Polygon. The most popular include plasma sidechains (a proof-of-stake blockchain bridge), zk rollups, and optimistic rollups. Matic started with plasma sidechains because they are lighter and more secure. 

Plasma chains are similar to side chains. They run alongside the primary blockchain. In this instance, Ethereum is the “primary”, or “parent” Blockchain. To allow assets to be transferred securely between them, plasma chains connect to the main blockchain and communicate with it. 

Polygon added a blockchain bridge in response to developers’ high demand. Developers can create DApps using the PoS bridge without having to compromise other platforms’ benefits. 

Ethereum can process batches of transactions directly on its PoS blockchain, eliminating the need to manually process each file. Polygon speeds up Ethereum’s processing speed by batching transactions from the main chain. 

Zk rollups process bundles off-chain transactions and create validity proofs. This verifies that each bundle contains accurate data. These validity proofs then get sent to the main Blockchain. 

Each validity proof acts like a proxy for the bundle that it represents, which reduces data on the main chain. This reduces the time required to validate transactions and also lowers gas fees. 

A different type of proof system is used for optimist rollups, called fraud proofs. A fraud-proof protocol is used to detect fraudulent transactions and then it self-executes to determine the correct transaction using the data on the main blockchain. 

ETH must be staked by those who update transactional information on the system. If anyone submits fraudulent transactions to the main Ethereum chain via optimistic rollups, their stake will be reduced. 

Polygon understands that not all applications will be satisfied by the same solution. Every scaling solution has tradeoffs. These include security, sovereignty, and transaction fees. Developers should be able to choose the most suitable scaling solution for their applications. Polygon has the largest range of scaling options. 


Polygon Vs. Ethereum 

Polygon is not in competition with Ethereum. It’s more dependent on Ethereum than it is on Polygon. Polygon’s mission is to use the Polygon network to build infrastructure that can support the mass adoption and growth of Ethereum. Polygon is, therefore, more dependent upon Ethereum than Ethereum is on Polygon. This is to be expected as Polygon is built upon its blockchain. 

Polygon, for example, improves Ethereum. This will lead to more people using the Ethereum blockchain. It will be more valuable if more people lock their capital in the Ethereum Blockchain freely. This is despite the possibility of Ethereum being stolen and total value locked (TVL). 

Layer-2 scaling solutions can seem complicated at first glance. Layer 1 is the base blockchain architecture. Layer 2 is the layer that sits on top of the underlying base blockchain architecture as an overlaying network. 

Layer-2 solutions are protocols that interoperate with the base blockchain in order to improve speed and efficiency. Layer-2 solutions such as Polygon can make protocols that run on top of Ethereum even more efficient and faster. 

Ethereum was built using an auction-based model. This encourages users to bid to have their transactions included in the next block. Because of this, network congestion can lead to increasing costs. 

Polygon has big ambitions for the future. They don’t include transaction costs or speed. The protocol links all Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible blockchains together, allowing developers to enjoy the benefits of other blockchain platforms without any friction. 


What’s the Impact of Ethereum 2.0 on Polygon? 

Although Ethereum 2.0, will be a significant upgrade to Ethereum’s blockchain, it will not solve the scaling problem. With more and more DApps and decentralized platforms using on-chain solutions such as Eth2.0, the demand for scalability may increase. 

This causes a buildup in network traffic, as mentioned. The network is subject to the same load conditions as before, and gas fees start to rise. Polygon provides an additional layer to the Ethereum blockchain’s scalability.  

Eth2.0 will offer a better experience with layer 2s such as the Polygon network. Layer 2 makes it possible to upgrade Ethereum even faster. Polygon makes sure that end-users have the best possible experience. 


Other Layer 2 Competitors 

Polygon is not the only project trying to speed up Ethereum transactions. The number of transactions per day for Ethereum is increasing steadily, according to network data. This strain on Ethereum’s blockchain can be managed best by layer-2 solutions. The benefits of layer-2 solutions go far beyond offloading transactions. 

Many layer-2 networks allow transactions to be processed outside of the main network and then bridged onto it. These include Polkadot and Cosmos as well as Avalanche and Optimism. 


Insights of the Polygon 

What sets Polygon apart from its competitors in layer 2? Polygon is unique in that its token MATIC can be staked on the Polygon Blockchain. Staking allows users to get interested each year in validating transactions on the Blockchain. 

Polygon offers solutions for developers, everyday users, and enterprises. Polygon’s primary goal is to build an Internet of Things (IoT), for the Ethereum blockchain. The goal of the project is to bring Ethereum to one million users, without compromising security or decentralization. 

Polygon’s approach is what sets it apart from other L2 solutions. Polygon allows developers to access a variety of solutions through a single network. This allows developers to choose the best scaling solution for their applications. 

A developer can choose from zk-rollups and optimistic rollups on Polygon. Polygon Avail, a highly secure data availability blockchain that can be used for standalone chains, sidechains, and off-chain scaling solutions, may be an option. 

The Polygon network launched the Polygon SDK in May 2021. This makes it much easier to build multichain networks. Developers can now create their own standalone chains using the Polygon SDK. They are responsible for their security. These sidechains will be connected to Ethereum via a PoS bridge network. 

Polygon has many other scaling options, such as its PoS commit chains. The commit chain is commonly referred to simply as Polygon or the Polygon Blockchain. The most popular Polygon product is its PoS sidechain. According to polygonscan.com data, approximately one billion transactions have been processed by the Polygon blockchain so far. 

The PoS commit chains are EVM-compatible, so they work flawlessly with most Ethereum protocols. Developers can easily move DApps between platforms. 

Polygon, unlike other EVM side chains, commits checkpoints on Ethereum. Polygon creates checkpoints on Ethereum every time it processes a transaction. These checkpoints make sure that all data processed by Polygon to this point is valid and secure for the Ethereum blockchain. Other EVM sidechains don’t use checkpoints. 


Where to Buy the Matic Cryptocurrency 

MATIC can also be purchased on popular centralized cryptocurrency platforms like Coinbase, FTX, and Binance. You only need to create an account and find MATIC tokens. 

Matic tokens can be purchased by experienced cryptocurrency users via decentralized exchanges (DEXs), such as Uniswap. Wrapped Ethereum (wETH) is an ERC-20 token that allows you to trade ETH on decentralized platforms. MATIC tokens can be stored in a Polygon account. 

How to Get a Polygon Wallet 

The Polygon wallet lets users send and receive crypto assets and stake MATIC on Polygon to earn interest. They can also access the Polygon bridge that allows them to deposit or withdraw between blockchains. 

Users can use the Polygon project’s non-custodial web bank to manage their tokens on Polygon. The private keys are only available to non-custodial wallets. However, MATIC can be stored in any ERC-20 compatible wallet. 

MetaMask and Ledger (hardware wallet) are two popular crypto wallets that Polygon uses. The following article will show you how to obtain a MetaMask wallet to join the Polygon network. 

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