Polygon, previously known as the Matic Network, is the first platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. This article will give an introduction to DeFi and the Blockchain problems before the Matic Network, how the Matic Network works and its switch to Polygon and its mechanism, the potential problems of Polygon and its community.
The world is changing and sometimes beyond imagination. New technology is springing up in some sectors while old ones are remodeled to meet the current reality. Global finance is at the centre of worldwide innovation with the advent of blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a decentralized public ledger which consists of records known as blocks. All blocks are related to the previous blocks cryptographically forming a chain and cannot be altered without affecting the previous transactions.
Blockchains are a game changer from centralized finance. With blockchain technology, financial transactions can take place without middlemen like banks and other traditional finance houses while maintaining tight financial security.
Blockchain revamped the push for decentralized finance, DeFi. Without centralized control, people all over the world with high end devices can verify transactions on the blockchain.
Cryptocurrency is the currency of the blockchain and with the mass adoption of Bitcoin after its launch in 2009, many DeFi solutions sprung forth maintaining the push for decentralized finance.
DeFi solutions such DEX decentralized exchanges, automated market makers, AI trading, non-fungible token marketplaces, digital games etc are built on the Blockchain and ‘powered’ by cryptocurrencies and utility tokens. Though the Bitcoin Blockchain was the flagship blockchain, the Ethereum blockchain has the most dApps as its smart contract execution remains top-notch.
There are over 3000 dApps on the Ethereum Blockchain. Though this is a blessing for the platform, the mass adoption of users around the world has led to reduced efficiency. Processing of transactions is now slower creating a backlog bringing about the push for scalability and layer 2 solutions. Scalability is the ability of a blockchain to respond to the increased number of transactions on its network.
The Matic Network
The Matic Network came to the rescue of developers to provide scalable and secured transactions on Ethereum by deploying its Plasma sidechains. The Matic Network is a side upgrade solution for existing platforms to cope with scalability and mass adoption to avoid slow processing times and high transaction fees without compromising the security of the network. As it provides scalability to Ethereum solutions, Matic also benefits from the secured nature of Ethereum.
As a layer 2 solution, Matic ensures its scalability through off chain computation which is tightly secured by its proof-of-stake model and the Plasma technology. As a result of the decentralization mantra of the technology, Matic deploys validators for the off chain computation.
Existing solutions are thus being provided with better and improved user experience. User experience is key to the Matic team as the current situation caused by blockchains is very poor.
Matic Network revamps user experience with its instant transfer and reduced cost offered to users. Matic also has an in-built top-notch web browser for developers to create amazing utility DeFi solutions for users around the world.
Matic open source foundation ensures that developers can take advantage of its Matic Wallet, payment API and SDK and other products to design DeFi solutions and to migrate D-apps built on Ethereum. The Ethereum blockchain is the only basechain supported by the Matic Network because it was developed to create a scaling solution for Ethereum based dApps.
However, with a forward thinking team and past success of the project, it plans to stretch its wings to other basechains with the support of its community. With time, the same congestion that affected the Ethereum Blockchain will soon affect others. The Matic sidechains which are used for scaling are very effective on the Ethereum blockchain as they can handle all the dApps present. Matic upgrades the speed which in turn reduces cost without jeopardizing user experience and security.
As earlier stated, the over-crowding of blockchains led to the creation of scaling solutions like Matic. To improve user experience, side chains are utilized and user assets have to flow from the mainchain to the sidechains.
Plasma is a mechanism where assets, tokens and other states are ported to the side chain through locking or deposits in a mainchain contract. Once the assets are on the side chain, it is possible to make cheaper and faster transactions.
Plasma would require the periodic transmission of ‘state’ commitment of the side chain so that they can be on the mainchain contract at all times. States need to be sent to the mainchain to be withdrawn. If a state is changed in the sidechain, the will be required to submit a proof of the state to the mainchain. Fraud proofs come in here to validate the state and then the exit order is made.
The Plasma mechanism ensures users that even if the sidechain is compromised or faulty, all assets on it are still safe and the user can still exit the chain. The Plasma mechanism works hand in hand with the proof-of-stake concept.
Though a Plasma chain can be run by a single operator, this is not advisable as it will lead to unavailability of data but through an incentivized proof-of-stake mechanism on the sidechain data will not be unavailable and the community can also earn a passive income.
Features and Benefits of the Matic Network
Key features of the Matic Network include public sidechains, security, scalability, high throughput, user experience etc.
- User Experience: A main function of the Matic Network is that it provides an improved user experience compared to most blockchains and it edges to be better than centralized networks. It provides a smooth UI to the sidechain with native mobile apps, SDK and constant support.
- Security: The Matic Network offers top security based on its proof-of-stake model and it also benefits from the security which Ethereum provides and Plasma.
- Scalability: The Matic Network provides fast transaction processing and reduced cost. Ethereum mainnet allows for about 40 transactions per second which is very slow compared to the 65000 transactions per second offered by Matic. This affords perfect scalability and reduced gas fees.
- Public Sidechains: Matic sidechains are public in nature coupled with being permissionless and can support multiple protocols.
How Matic Works
Matic Network is very easy and simple to use and its perfect UI makes it easy for non dev users. The first step kicks off when a user simply deposits his assets in the Matic contract on the mainchain. Immediately after the tokens have been verified on the mainchain, a corresponding deposit is made on the Matic sidechain. The user can now transfer his crypto assets to anyone at a reduced cost and at a faster processing speed.
Matic operates faster blocks leading to a perfect scalable solution. A user can withdraw the remaining tokens by providing proof of remaining tokens on the mainchain. All fungible crypto assets can be represented as ERC 20 assets on the Matic Network.
Developers should scale up their DeFi solutions through the use of the Matic Network.
The Switch to Polygon
The goal for Polygon is to be the “Ethereum’s internet of blockchain”. Polygon as a protocol builds and connects multiple Ethereum compatible blockchains. Polygon aggregates the Ethereum blockchain with other compatible blockchain creating a multi-chain system similar to Polkadot, Cosmos etc.
Polygon’s main advantages over the others are it is more secure while enjoying the benefits of Ethereum’s network effects. It is also open and powerful. The technology behind polygon is stellar as its interoperability is lauded by experts.
The interoperability protocol is used to communicate with Ethereum and other blockchains. It is also built with a growing set of modules for developing custom networks. Polygon prides itself on technology built by developers for developers. Recently Billionaire Mark Cuban has backed Polygon which further reinforces it as a perfect blockchain solution. Polygon’s user base grew by 75,000 new users in just one week generating nearly $1 billion. Popular solutions that have embraced Polygon are Polymarket, Aavegotchi, Sport X, Decentral Games etc.