Learn everything about the blockchain taking Ethereum scaling solutions to the next level
Polygon is one of the most famous blockchain platforms with dapps. You can benefit from fast and cheap transactions and enjoy EVM conveniences to build your own project. But because it is constantly evolving it’s hard to keep up with the latest developments. This article will cover everything you need to know about Polygon, from the basics of how it works to the upcoming features that may change the future of Web3. Read on!
What is Polygon?
Polygon is a popular Layer 2 protocol solving problems inherent in the Ethereum mainnet. It provides higher throughput and deals with high gas fees thanks to a number of scaling solutions like sidechains and zero-knowledge rollups (zkRollups).
Essentially, Polygon is trying to combine the best of Ethereum with other blockchains into one solution whilst also adding a better user experience.
In 2023, DappRadar recorded Polygon’s rise in dominance as a gaming blockchain, and games built using this technology are some of the most promising ones in the space.
The Polygon 2.0 proposal
Announced in June 2023, Polygon 2.0 is a set of various upgrades to the Polygon PoS blockchain that will gradually change the protocol from its architecture to governance and the evolution of its token from MATIC to POL.
The Polygon PoS chain now has its own roadmap to become the internet’s Value Layer, a network of ZK-powered L2 chains that are EVM equivalent with unlimited scalability and unified liquidity. Keep reading to understand the changes to the Polygon PoS chain below.
Polygon public chains
Polygon has a number of big projects that contribute to how it’s improving dapp usage and Ethereum scalability. Let’s have a look at some of their public blockchain solutions below.
Polygon PoS or zkEVM Validium
The Polygon most of us know is Polygon PoS, the EVM-compatible sidechain. According to DappRadar, it is one of the most used chains in the world, hosting thousands of dapps and registering millions of transactions every day.
This is the chain that the team is upgrading to a zkEVM Validium and that will be at the core of Polygon 2.0.
Validiums outperform rollups thanks to their significantly lower fees because they don’t consume any Ethereum gas but store transaction data on a blockspace. Moreover, they also have higher scalability because their throughput is not limited by the transaction data capable on Ethereum.
Polygon zkEVM Rollup
Another innovative public network in the Polygon ecosystem, Polygon zkEVM is an EVM equivalent zk Rollup. A zero-knowledge rollup basically aggregates multiple off-chain transactions into one on-chain transaction. Polygon’s journey to develop zkRollups started long ago, and it’s now closer than ever to the highest Ethereum throughput while keeping the chain’s security.
Like its predecessor, Polygon PoS, Polygon zkEVM is an Ethereum L2 and scaling solution. However, by leveraging ZK technology, it achieves its goal by being EVM equivalent and not only compatible – making transactions even cheaper and faster.
But unlike you may think, this chain will not seize existing with Polygon 2.0. The new ecosystem envisions both chains coexistent harmoniously:
- zkEVM Validium for Web3 gaming and social dapps, because of its very high scalability and low dees that are a great fit for dapps with high transaction volume; and
- Polygon zkEVM rollup as it is, that already is as safe as it can be but doesn’t focus on lower fees, that would be ideal for DeFi dapps that require the safest environment of all.
Polygon’s third public chain solution coming soon, Miden Virtual Machine is optimized for STARK-proofs and not for EVM equivalence. A STARK represents an innovative computation validation method, enabling the generation of proof that can be easily verified to confirm that a specific computation has been performed accurately. Polygon Miden, therefore, stands as the ecosystem’s version of StarkNet.
While it may stand as a challenge for Solidity developers, Polygon presents it as a main actor in the next generation of dapp development while harnessing the security of Ethereum.
Announced on February 2022, Polygon Supernets is a new type of Polygon network that will be designed for specific use cases. They are based on Polygon’s PoS consensus mechanism, but they offer a number of additional features that make them ideal for high-performance dapps.
Projects get Polygon’s assistance to create its own ecosystem on a Supernet. Here are some key features of Polygon Supernets:
- Setting up a custom application-specific blockchain to run your projects’ dapps
- Defining your own throughput and gas cryptocurrency
- Having total control over the network that your dapp is built on
- EVM compatible with zkEVM technology
Some of the first projects building with Polygon Supernets were announced in March 2023, including Korean games publisher Nexon with its game MapleStory Universe.
AI meets blockchain: Polygon Copilot
In June 2023, Polygon introduced its AI Assistant Chatbot, named Polygon Copilot, leveraging OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. This development followed the launch of the final mainnet of its zkEVM solution for Ethereum in March. Polygon Copilot, energized by the GPT-4 large language model and trained using Polygon blockchain documentation, delivers analytics and insights to developers.
These insights are instrumental for those developing dapps, examining wallets and transactions, or crafting NFTs within the network’s ecosystem. Polygon Copilot promises to open up a universe of interactions, accessible by simply ‘asking’, to dedicated builders, enthusiasts, or curious users.
Polygon ID is a decentralized identity solution allowing users to create and manage their own digital identities on Polygon.
It stands as the first identity solution enabling user interaction with smart contracts through zero-knowledge proofs, reliant on robust off-chain issued Verifiable Credential documents. This allows users to verify their identity without the need to reveal personal data to external parties.
The Polygon token: MATIC and POL
MATIC, Polygon’s native token, acts as the cornerstone of interactions within the network, facilitating transactions across numerous dapps. It is integral to the network’s security, enabling staking mechanisms that underpin the Polygon PoS system. When users execute transactions or leverage applications on Polygon PoS, they pay a nominal fee in MATIC, which incentivizes validators to authenticate the transactions and secure the network.
In a major shift in July 2023, Polygon announced changes in its tokenomics, transitioning from MATIC to POL. Ever since Polygon’s inception, MATIC has served as the native token for the protocol.
POL represents a technical upgrade and rebranding of the MATIC token and is envisaged as a next-generation protocol token, pivotal to the coordination and expansion of the Polygon ecosystem. It aims to be the key driver in realizing the vision of the internet’s Value Layer. From the protocol’s perspective, MATIC and POL will not coexist; instead, POL will replace MATIC as the protocol’s native token – going live somewhat in 2024.
A bit of Polygon history
Matic is what the Polygon network used to be called back in its creation in 2017. At first, it POS and Plasma chain hosted by Binance Launchpad, with a utility token that held the same name. It wasn’t until February 2021 that it rebranded itself to the Polygon network.
In August of that same year, Polygon merged with Hermez network, a zkRollup platform that would evolve into what is now Polygon’s zkEVM Validium.
In 2023, Polygon took a step further into its organizational organization, establishing Polygon Labs and the Polygon Foundation, the first pillars of decentralized governance in the project.
Who is on the Polygon team?
Headquartered in Mumbai, India, the Polygon blockchain team consists of skilled engineers and entrepreneurs. Sandeep Nailwal, a notable figure in the blockchain industry and a serial entrepreneur, serves as the CEO and co-founder of Polygon.
Their vision revolves around “building the Value Layer of the Internet”. Their objective involves providing infrastructure that is scalable, secure, and easy to use in order to advance the development of Ethereum and Web3 technologies. Polygon’s innovative technology contributes to Ethereum’s mass adoption.
What are the most successful projects on Polygon?
Many of the well-known gaming decentralized applications are created on the Polygon PoS chain. However, it’s not just gaming; Polygon also serves as an optimal chain for NFT collections and marketplaces, offering affordable transaction fees in an EVM-compatible environment. Additionally, Polygon hosts various social and DeFi decentralized applications as well.
Some of the best dapps on Polygon you should know about include:
Don’t stop here. Visit DappRadar’s Polygon Dapps Ranking to find out what’s trending right now.
Polygon dominance and future plans
During the initial half of 2023, DeFi applications constituted 39% of the dapps built on Polygon. Games and NFTs were the next most common, each representing 17% of the total dapps. Additionally, social dapps made up a smaller portion, accounting for 3% of the projects on the Polygon platform.
Despite the ongoing bear market, the industry is robust, with Polygon’s main sectors – gaming (with 37% market dominance) and DeFi applications (with 32% dominance) – commanding significant market shares.
Polygon DeFi applications make it stand out as one of the blockchains with the highest total value locked in the second quarter of 2023, amid intense competition for rapid growth in the web3 arena.
Furthermore, DappRadar’s latest NFT report in May 2023 marked Polygon’s rise as an alternative NFT blockchain beyond Ethereum. Polygon became the most dominant blockchain in terms of NFT sales count (26.9%). Unlike Ethereum’s expensive PFP collectibles, Polygon NFTs then had their utility directly linked to Polygon games – which explains the high sales count and lower volume.
DappRadar’s July Games Report pointed out that Polygon also remained among the top gaming protocols by the number of monthly UAW.
While these outcomes are indeed promising, the enhancements ushered in by the Polygon 2.0 ecosystem suggest that Polygon’s influence within the Web3 domain is poised to increase, potentially boosting its position in the rankings.
Keep up with trending dapps on Polygon
DappRadar is the best place to keep up with what’s up with the Polygon dapps. Stay up to date with the latest trends by using the DappRadar Top Dapps Ranking. You can also use DappRadar Portfolio Tracker to manage your Polygon crypto and NFT portfolio.