The Beginner’s Guide to Polygon MATIC

Polygon, formerly known as the Matic Network, is a scaling solution that aims to provide multiple tools to improve the speed and reduce the cost and complexities of transactions on blockchain networks.
 
At the center of Polygon’s vision is Ethereum, a platform that is home to a range of decentralized applications, ones where you can join virtual worlds, play games, buy art, and participate in a range of financial services. However, this much activity on its blockchain has rendered Ethereum almost unusable, as the cost of transmission is rising and traffic is becoming clogged.

Enter Polygon. In a nutshell, Polygon bills itself as a layer-2 network, meaning it acts as an add-on layer to Ethereum that does not seek to change the original blockchain layer. Like its geometric namesake, Polygon has many sides, shapes, and uses and promises a simpler framework for building interconnected networks.

Polygon wants to help Ethereum expand in size, security, efficiency, and usefulness and seeks to spur developers to bring enticing products to market all the quicker. 

After the rebranding, Polygon retained its MATIC cryptocurrency, the digital coin underpinning the network. MATIC is used as the unit of payment and settlement between participants who interact within the network. 

How Does Polygon Work?

Polygon is a multi-level platform with the aim to scale Ethereum thanks to a plethora of sidechains, all of which aims to unclog with the main platform in an effective and cost efficient manner.  

If you’re unfamiliar, sidechains are unique blockchains that are bound to the main Ethereum blockchain and are effective in supporting many Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols available in Ethereum.

As such, Polygon can be compared to other competing networks such as PolkadotCosmos, and Avalanche.


Architecture

At the core of the network is the Polygon software development kit (SDK), used to build Ethereum-compatible decentralized applications as sidechains and connect them to its main blockchain.

Sidechains can be built using one of the following  construction scalability methods: 

  • Plasma Chains – Bundles transactions into blocks, batched into a single submission on the Ethereum blockchain
  • zk-Rollups – Allows multiple transfers to be bundled into a single transaction
  • Optimistic Rollups – Similar to Plasma Chains, but with the capability of also scaling Ethereum smart contracts
     

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

Why Use MATIC?

Proponents of the Polygon Network may be drawn to its ability to provide scaling solutions to Ethereum, and developers can leverage Polygon’s technology to build more user-friendly dapps on its blockchain. 

Examples of dapps that are built on Polygon include Sushi, a decentralized exchange platform, Augur, a prediction market platform and Ocean Protocol, a platform that allows businesses and individuals to exchange and monetize data and data-based services

Investors may also seek to buy MATIC and add it to their portfolio should they believe in Layer-2 solutions for improving the Ethereum Network.

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