Even if there are several contenders to the ‘throne’, Ethereum continues to stay well ahead of its rivals. Despite its much-publicized scalability issues, it’s going to take a while until some of the potential Ethereum-killers will make their claim.
Still, all this talk about taking down the proverbial Goliath of a Web3 platform wouldn’t gain prominence if Ethereum didn’t have serious issues. Issues with scalability, in particular.
A Short Note about Layer 1 and Layer 2 Scaling
With the rapid expansion of DeFi, the number of transactions that take place on the Ethereum platform since 2020 has skyrocketed.
To the point where the platform struggled to keep up with all the ‘action’. Which, simply put, means catering to more users and the transactions that have to be processed. This has resulted in transaction congestion and a substantial increase in transaction fees. Unfortunately, in comparison to legacy transaction processing systems, the throughput on the Ethereum platform pales in comparison.
While it isn’t possible to let things remain as is, two broad classes of solutions labelled Layer 1 and Layer 2 scaling solutions are considered the right way to solve the Blockchain Trilemma, as phrased by Vitalik Buterin himself.
Now, the Merge, which has taken place in 2022 Q3, is regarded to be a Layer 1 scaling solution. This brings us to Polygon, a Layer 2 solution, specifically for the Ethereum platform. Let’s find out more about this platform and how it contributes to improving Ethereum’s issue with scalability.
Your First Look at the Polygon Platform
As the website states, Polygon was founded in 2017 and went fully operational in 2020. Formerly known as MATIC, its re-branding to Polygon took place in 2021 while also being widely acknowledged as Ethereum’s Internet of Blockchains.
Speaking of which, the Polygon network was built to deal with Ethereum’s scalability issues by processing transactions on an Ethereum-compatible blockchain while returning the batch of transactions to Ethereum once the processing is complete.
In fact, due to its adoption of the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, Polygon can process up to 65,000 transactions per second along with entire blocks in 2.1 seconds. This is why Polygon considers itself to be a scaling solution for Ethereum. A solid one at that too since the numbers rarely lie.
However, Polygon’s utility doesn’t just stop there. Deploying existing blockchains and building custom blockchains can be carried out apart from enabling existing blockchain networks to become compatible with Ethereum. Lastly, Polygon helps other blockchains communicate with Ethereum.
One major benefit includes a reduction in gas fees that has to be paid for Ethereum transactions as gas fees associated with Polygon are very low. In addition, the processing of transactions have rapidly increased which prevents network congestion while being competitive with legacy systems such as Visa and MasterCard.
What the Polygon (MATIC) Platform offers Validators and Developers
So, what can you do with the Polygon platform?
Much like Ethereum, you can further the cause of decentralized technology by serving as either a developer or a validator. While the first role will write smart contracts and build DApps on Polygon, the second will create blocks of transactions based on the PoS consensus protocol that Polygon has adopted.
Now, the MATIC token has been used since the platform’s inception to govern, secure and pay for transaction fees. Much like Ethereum 2.0, validators will have to stake their MATIC in order to validate network transactions.
This will prevent them from using the tokens for any other purpose. However, unlike Ether, investors are not known to transact all that much using the MATIC token. In other words, the native token is generally used on the Polygon network itself.
As for developers, they can use a number of Polygon solutions such as its plasma sidechains, its PoS blockchain bridge as well as its zk and optimistic rollups. Depending on their precise needs, each of these scaling solutions can be used for said project based on what benefits each of these scaling solutions offer.
What sets Polygon apart from other Layer 2 Solutions
Of course, Polygon isn’t the only Layer 2 solution. There are several others vying to provide that proverbial ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to Layer 2 scaling solutions.
So, how do each of these solutions measure up to Polygon’s offerings?
For starters, some of the other popular solutions include those offered by Arbitrum and Optimism. Here is a nifty table in a Pixel Plex article that differentiates between each of these Layer 2 Solutions:
So, what do you think of Polygon as a Layer 2 solution? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Source : Polygon Medium