Although Blockchain technology offers tremendous benefits, it still needs scaling solutions – a way for boosting system expansion.
This benefit is decentralization, trustless interactions, high levels of security, and immutable record-keeping.
It has enabled a booming cryptocurrency ecosystem to develop. It also underpinned consistent technological innovation.
Yet, scalability is one of the main problems with many blockchain networks.
Scaling problems are an issue when the amount of data passing through the blockchain hits a limit.
This limit is due to the insufficient capacities of the blockchain.
In this article, we will be looking at:
- The need for scaling solutions.
- Layer-1 scaling solution.
- Polygon: A Layer-2 scaling solution.
- Real-world use cases of Polygon.
The Need For Scaling Solutions.
Scaling solutions can fix the problems above by providing respite for the blockchain.
With this solution, there’s no need to increase block sizes or introduce other measures.
This solution protects the capacity for decentralization and high levels of security.
The Layer-1 Scaling Solutions
Layer 1 blockchain solutions help to improve the base protocols (E.g., Bitcoin’s proof-of-work, or PoW) by changing how they operate as regards processing data.
For example, the Ethereum network is moving to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
This new mining method supports faster transaction speeds and more efficient energy use in the mining process.
Sharding is another layer one scaling solution that breaks down authenticating and validating transactions into smaller pieces.
It spreads the workload better across the peer-to-peer (P2P) network to bring in more computing power from more nodes.
All these allow for faster and more complete blocks.
Why We Need Layer-2 Scaling Solutions.
The design of Layer 2 solutions increases the speed and efficiency of blockchains.
Please look at their different forms and how they work in this guide.
Polygon: A Layer-2 Scaling Solution.
Polygon is a Layer-2 scaling solution created to help bring mass adoption to the Ethereum platform.
It caters to the needs of developers by providing tools to create scalable decentralized applications (dApps).
These dApps focus on performance, user experience (UX), and security.
Polygon achieves this in large part through its technical architecture of:
2. Commit Chain
3. More Viable Plasma (MoreVP) L2 scaling solution.
Polygon’s PoS blockchain serves as a Commit Chain to the Ethereum mainchain. With this, it attracted over 80 Ethereum dApps to transact on its platform.
These transactions had no network congestion common to Ethereum and other Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchains.
Polygon functions through Commit chains.
Commit chains are transaction networks that operate next to the main blockchain — in this case, Ethereum. It bundles together batches of transactions and confirms them en masse before returning data to the main chain.
Theoretically, Polygon will have thousands of chains scaling together to increase throughput. One day, it will generate millions of transactions per second (TPS) when attached to a mainchain like Ethereum.
Polygon currently only makes use of Commit Chain connectivity to improve transaction times.
Soon, it will use other Layer-2 scaling mechanisms such as Optimistic Rollups.
Focused on Ethereum at present, it plans to develop its scalability-focused product offering to support other blockchains. Also, it will provide cross-chain interoperability between different protocols.
Matic Token and Matic Wallet
The Matic token (MATIC) is Polygon’s native token and has several specific uses.
One of its uses is to power the protocol via a gas-based mechanism to pay network fees.
These are fees from the computational power the network exerts to transfer data.
This mechanism allows software developers and ecosystem contributors to build dApps on Polygon. This you can do by paying MATIC tokens to use the platform and its development framework.
You can store MATIC in the Matic Wallet, giving holders the option to stake their tokens and manage their investments.
The design of the Matic Wallet uses Polygon’s MoreVP technology as an easy-to-use solution for MATIC token holders. It provides a simple and secure way to manage their crypto finances.
The wallet structure is lightning-fast and integrates with WalletConnect. This method ensures the safekeeping of a user’s private keys and provides access to other Polygon features.
The wallet also allows users to do other things like:
1. connect with various dApps
2. stake their MATIC tokens.
3. hold other ERC-20 tokens.
In the future, Polygon hopes to expand beyond Ethereum and be useful for other blockchains. This way, creating your decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems will be easy.
For the mass adoption of DeFi, building a new blockchain infrastructure must be decentralized, immutable, and trustless. Also, with high scalability and the ability to deliver cheap, fast transactions, Polygon hopes to address a challenge.
Real-World Uses of Polygon as a Layer-2 Scaling Solution.
The design of the Polygon crypto platform allows dApps to speed up payments. This design enables a near instant payment through the integration of:
1. A specialized application programming interface (API)
2. A software development kit (SDK) integration.
This process allows dApps, merchants, and users to accept instant payments in any cryptocurrency — though usually in ERC-20 tokens or ETH.
This system is in three distinct phases:
Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 token payments Solution.
ERC-20 tokens allow Cross-chain multi-asset token transfers and payments.
It utilizes atomic swaps in partnership with liquidity providersFiat-based payment systems. Additionally, it uses a platform that provides fiat liquidity, such as Polygon.
Polygon is building a mechanism that allows merchants to analyze the credit ratings of users who have signed up to use the platform by assessing their transaction history.
It carries out this functionality in partnership with Dharma Protocol.
The leading Lending Protocol ‘Aave’ has more than $1B liquidity locked on its Polygon markets with more than 8000 users.
Polygon’s Layer-2 sidechain scaling solution makes blockchain-based gaming faster and performs better.
Blockchain gaming lags behind traditional PC and console gaming systems. This problem is because of poor transaction speed and high network latency.
With Polygon’s Commit Chain scaling technology and the Ethereum network working together, developers and gamers will be able to build and play effective games.
Polygon’s ability to help grow the blockchain gaming industry could not come at a better time with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
NFTs and NFT marketplaces are driving the popularity of the blockchain and crypto industry.
With NFTs, many gamers buy, sell, and trade different types of in-game NFTs.
Top Gaming and NFT Dapps have scaled their user experiences with Polygon. These games include:
2. Neon District.
3. Zed Run.
Other Use Cases Of Polygon As A Scaling Solution
1. With Polygon, we help realize the fast settlement times needed to allow decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to offer users faster and cheaper trading.
Quickswap, Dfyn, and ComethSwap are some Polygon DEXs witnessing high volumes and user activity.
2. Protocols like Curve and mStable have also ensured low cost and low slippage stablecoin swaps.
Polygon’s plasma scaling solution can speed up cross-chain atomic swaps. This swap involves both tokenized and non-tokenized assets.
Due to user privacy concerns, most dApps need a way to sign transactions without submitting private keys. Because of its scalability enhancements, it helps enable an open identity framework for dApp design and use.
3. Polygon is expanding on Matic’s capabilities. We know it as Matic Network, which launched in 2017. Polygon’s primary aim has always been about building Ethereum scaling architecture.
Operating for several years as the Matic Network, it accomplished this with its PoS chain and plasma sidechain scaling solution.
Its official announcement of transition to Polygon was in February 2021.
It maintains the same mission but with an expanded scope. It also has a set of technological ambitions within the Ethereum ecosystem.
Polygon differs from its predecessor in that its approach is now multi-faceted.
4. Polygon seeks to transform Ethereum into a true multi-chain ecosystem that benefits from all kinds of Layer-2 scalability, not just the initial implementations provided by the Matic Network.
Polygon presents a suite of solutions to Ethereum’s scalability crisis, hence the ‘poly’ portion of the project’s updated nomenclature.
5. Polygon still deals with sidechain connectivity and runs its main PoS chain as of April 2021. But, it has plans to expand its toolbox to include other Layer-2 solutions like:
- zkRollups and Optimistic Rollups.
- Standalone sidechains.
- Enterprise chains.
- Shared security chains.
- Interchain communication protocols.
6. Polygon is a Swiss Army knife of Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development.
It is important to note that Polygon’s already proven infrastructure. Its PoS chain and plasma sidechains will continue uninterrupted. They will build Polygon’s new additions and scaling solutions around these cornerstones.
7. Polygon’s scaling solutions have widespread adoption with 250+ Dapps, ~20M+ txns, and ~390K unique wallet users.
Polygon hopes to transform Ethereum into an ‘Internet of Blockchains .’It achieves this through developing more scaling infrastructure and a full-fledged multi-chain ecosystem.
While Polygon’s roadmap is ambitious, the project has accrued the technology, support, and experience to deliver on its promises.
Though the extent to which Polygon can help scale the Ethereum network remains, the benefits of doing so cannot be understated.