What is Polygon?
Polygon, previously known as Matic, changed its name in a rebranding process in February 2021. Polygon today is the most innovative platform for developing blockchain applications; it is a scalability platform and offers a framework that connects and builds Ethereum-compatible networks. MATIC is the native token of the Polygon platform.
The network aggregates scalable solutions to create a multichain Ethereum ecosystem. It is a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum that offers an advanced framework than Ethereum with sidechains and sovereign blockchains and also is interoperable with Ethereum’s infrastructure.
Ethereum is greatly popular for its open-source ecosystem and solves the problems associated with the Bitcoin blockchain. However, though Ethereum brings many unique features like a built-in programming language, EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), and smart contracts, some limitations exist within the Ethereum ecosystem like network congestion, low throughput, and high gas fees. All these issues indeed lead to scalability issues on Ethereum. But, Polygon aims to solve all these issues.
The Polygon network is driven by layer-2 scaling solutions based on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The network uses the same technology as Ethereum and adds more benefits to it. Polygon offers higher throughput, low-cost transactions, enhanced security and better development options on Ethereum's ecosystem.
How does the Polygon network help with the issues on Ethereum?
The Polygon network works on a multichain ecosystem where the Ethereum blockchain is combined with the foreign chains. Ethereum blockchain can only process a very limited number of transactions per second. For the base Ethereum layer, the throughput is roughly only fourteen transactions per second, and each transaction comes with a cost called gas fees.
During high network congestion, the gas fees can rise to $50 to $80. Paying more than $50 for each transaction becomes non-feasible for most users. Moreover, the network congestion also makes the process slower. The gas fees can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars, discouraging users from engaging with the smart contracts or using any DeFi (decentralized finance) apps or NFTs.
Now let us understand how Polygon helps here.
- Polygon is a layer 2 solution built on the base chain to eliminate the limitations of the base chain. To cut down costs, the provision is there on Polygon to process transactions on the side chains. Using multiple side chains helps the network to handle millions of transactions per second, making it more scalable.
- Polygon is faster. Polygon can manage up to 65000 transactions per second. Besides speed, users can also save a lot on transaction costs here. Comparing that price with Ethereum, the average per transaction fee on Polygon is around $15.
- Polygon offers enhanced security as Polygon’s smart contracts rely on the base chain’s (Ethereum) security. The network has three main security models to secure the network.
- First, it uses staking management contracts on Ethereum, and second, a set of incentivized validators run Heimdall and Bor Nodes. The developers also have the option to implement both the models (hybrid) into their dApps.
- Polygon also provides Plasma Guarantees for different attack scenarios to safeguard the network. Polygon is a Plasma-based aggregator that supports off-chain dApp development in a secured way.
Developing with Polygon
Polygon has recently emerged as a leading platform for the development of scalable Ethereum solutions and decentralized applications. The network now has multiple project partners and is still growing. As of now, over three hundred applications have already been built on the network, and many projects are under development. In addition, the platform keeps introducing innovative tools from time to time.
Polygon's infrastructure support is incomparable, and it is a go-to scaling solution today for developers across the globe. If anybody is versed with Ethereum-based development, they are already Polygon developers. All tools on Ethereum are also supported on the Polygon network, like Truffle, Remix, and Web 3js. Thus, you can just switch to Polygon’s RPC and start developing on the network.
The developers can directly deploy applications on the main network, or they can either deploy first on the Polygon Test Network.
Polygon’s Test Network (Mumbai-Testnet) connects with Ethereum’s Test Network (Goerli Testnet), which works as a Parent Chain.
How to build a dApp on the Polygon Network?
The user needs to have an Ethereum-based wallet to start interacting with the Polygon Network. Users can set up a MetaMask wallet or Arkane Wallet. Users can create a wallet using their email ids and connect to multiple other networks within the app.
There are various smart contracts, and Polygon supports a number of services that the users can use to test, compile, debug, and deploy dApps on the network like Alchemy, Chainstack, Quicknode, Remix, Truffle and Replit. The users can add Polygon to Metamask, which allows them to connect using RPC.
Polygon network also introduced a blockchain bridge to cater to the increasing demand from developers. The proof-of-stake bridge allows users to create dApps on one platform without having to worry about the benefits afforded by other platforms. This way, there is no need for the main chain (Ethereum) to process all files on its own network. So, by clubbing various transactions off the chain, Polygon makes the Ethereum network faster and lighter.
Creating a new dApp on Polygon
Decentralized Applications (dApps) have proved to be highly effective within the blockchain ecosystem. These applications act as a bridge between users and their data privacy on the network. There are many resources available online like the Full stack dApp tutorial series, Web3.js, Etheres.js, Remix, and Truffle for the developers without experience building dApps on Polygon.
If you already have a dApp
If you are someone who has a dApp but wants the platform to help you scale, then Polygon can certainly allow you to;
- Migrate easily from the main EVM-based chain
- Deploying your dApp on Polygon Mainnet is a wise choice as it is a faster transaction layer for your dApps.
Hence, by integrating the base features of Ethereum and the scaling opportunities, Polygon becomes a robust solution to transform your dApp into a more scalable and faster application. With different Polygon chains residing on the Ethereum network, developers can further explore the utility of the Polygon network with the Ethereum platform.