The Most Adopted Blockchain of 2022.
Polygon has seen enterprise adoption, unlike any other project, with brands from Reddit to Starbucks adopting it. Several on-chain metrics also show that Polygon is doing well. It is not without reason that it was named the 2022 cryptocurrency of the year.
Polygon is a blockchain many have heard about, as it is one of the first and most popular Ethereum scaling solutions to arrive at the scene. Being built as a scaling solution, it can handle thousands of transactions quickly, efficiently, and cheaply for users. Ethereum initially used a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, and its increased adoption resulted in extremely high transaction fees. Polygon’s main goal when it came out in 2017 was to make a blockchain that used Ethereum’s technology and was cheap for the end user by having low transaction fees and fast transactions.
Polygon allows developers to build and connect Layer-2 infrastructures like Plasma, Optimistic Rollups, zkRollups, Validium, and standalone sidechains like the project’s primary product, A Proof-of-Stake sidechain to the Ethereum mainchain. Ethereum recently restructured its blockchain architecture to a Proof-of-Stake as well (the merge).
The Polygon Network has become much more than just a sidechain scaling solution. Their core idea is to provide developers and applications with user-friendly and flexible tools for various purposes, meeting industry and enterprise needs. As a result, they have multiple tools, from on-chain SSI Identity solutions to the recent zkEVM launched on testnet. Specifically, Polygon has various approaches to scaling solutions instead of only one.
Put simply; it is not your average project.
The future for Polygon looks bright.
Polygon was named Decrypt’s 2022 Crypto Project of the Year. With mainstream brands like Starbucks, Reddit, and Instagram adopting it, the big players have chosen their preferred chain. The blockchain has attracted a wide range of massive, well-established brands that are building applications on top of it in the past several months, despite decreasing confidence in the crypto space due to the collapse of Terra and the cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
This summer, Reddit released “Collectible Avatar” NFTs based on its Snoo mascot on the Polygon blockchain. Rather than charging for them, the company increasingly gave them away for free to reward its most active users. Within a few months, it was announced that users had created more than three million Polygon wallets to claim these NFTs. More than 5.2 million colorful avatars have been minted across more than 4.3 million unique wallets—a significant surge in adoption through NFT mints. Previously, Solana led the NFT game, with increased adoption due to NFT sales and mints (transactions) due to Ethereum being expensive.
Through this initiative alone, the amount minted has only accelerated. On December 3, more than 250,000 of the Polygon NFTs were minted, setting a new daily record, beating previous records on this and many other blockchains.
The Reddit partnership did increasingly well for both, strengthening their brands. As mentioned above, the mints and on-chain activity increased drastically by 1110%. Daily active addresses, as seen on Nansen, showed the on-chain daily active addresses going to the roof.
Polygon’s on-chain metrics
Because of the various NFT partnerships, users per week show an increase in minting adoption towards the end of this year.
The users seem to return according to the “Buyers Per Day” metric.
The rise of Polygon “Users Per Week” can be explained specifically through the “Unique holders of the Reddit avatars over time” query on Dune Analytics. It is on-chain proof that the Reddit NFT collection caused the increased activity on Polygon.
Another interesting metric that compares all EVM blockchains, Total smart contracts created on EVM blockchains, shows us that Polygon is almost leading in terms of the total smart contracts created on its blockchain.
The average daily transactions across EVM chains show Polygon as leading across the entirety of 2022, far ahead of Ethereum. The four colors present various time-period’s, with blue being one year.
The reason behind Polygon’s 2022 hype and adoption.
Outside the Reddit partnership, the coffee giant Starbucks is launching a new NFT-driven rewards program on Polygon. Nike plans to put digital apparel on Polygon in early 2023, and recently Donald Trump’s NFTs were minted on the Polygon blockchain.
The main reason for the polygon adoption is likely because Polygon still is connected to the Ethereum mainchain. The Polygon founder also expressed this himself in a series of tweets, responding to criticism from the Solana community.
“The truth is all brands want to build on Ethereum and not on half-baked L1s. Polygon is just a medium for them to access Ethereum”
Most enterprises and brands are aware of Ethereum’s dominance in DeFi, the only problem is the scalability issue it is facing. To be able to merge over to Ethereum easily in case that is solved, being connected to Ethereum while eliminating the scalability issues, Polygon becomes the blockchain of choice.
The graphic created by the blockchain council shows us that NFTs undoubtedly are the driving feature of adoption for the Polygon blockchain. During 2021 and 2022, most of the top brands adopted Polygon to bring NFT solutions like marketplaces over to it. It has found its niche in a market with dozens of blockchains and scaling solutions.
Polygon’s advantages over other blockchains
Here are some of the primary advantages and enhancements that the Polygon platform brings to the table:
- Compatibility with EVM
Polygon is the first scaling solution to fully support the EVM, Ethereum’s blockchain-based software that enables developers to launch dApps in a matter of seconds while benefiting from faster and cheaper transactions.
- Simple access to the massive Ethereum community
Polygon is simple and easy to use for the Ethereum community. As a result, dApps built on the Polygon Network reap the benefits of Ethereum.
Polygon’s versatility is essential for developers who want to create completely interoperable decentralized applications (dApps) that take advantage of various linked blockchains. As technology advances at an accelerated rate, Polygon’s adaptable approach to scaling solutions future can act as a go-to resource for Web3 developers.
Polygon requires 99.99% less energy than other platforms that use PoW because it is built on the PoS consensus algorithm. There was a time when Ethereum was not, which made the case for Polygon bigger.
Allegedly, over 37k+ dApps have used Polygon to scale their performance, but only 1687 dApps are listed on their ecosystem page. Their top decentralized applications, according to Dappradar, are Uniswap V3, CelerNetwork, QuickSwap, 1inch. KyberSwap, Balancer, and 0x Protocol.
Polygon, as a PoS EVM-compatible sidechain, has its own consensus mechanism. This means it is responsible for its own security and does not depend on Ethereum. It makes Polygon increasingly faster than Ethereum, but as Ethereum is the most adopted blockchain across the Web3 space, it is thus more secure than other blockchains. Polygon is not as secure as Ethereum.
The Polygon Founder criticized Solana for experiencing shutdowns, it has happened to Polygon as well.
In March, the sidechain network went offline for approximately 11 hours due to a node issue. And last December, a surprise (and controversial) hard fork of the Polygon blockchain was executed to patch what was described as a “critical network vulnerability.”
zkEVM, Polygon’s most hyped new feature?
Zero-knowledge proofs are one of the most praised cryptographic technologies that have been said to enable the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Aside from Polygon’s already successful adoption of well-established brands, their zkEVM can enable further institutional adoption due to the technology’s capabilities. It lets developers build ZK-based decentralized applications. One of these is enabling compliance in decentralized and mathematically secure ways.
Zero-Knowledge proofs are popular because they can verify something without showing that specific something to the world. The technology has been said to be enabling privacy on transparent blockchains.
Why not optimistic rollups?
The co-founder of Polygon, Mihailo Bjelic, was asked why zero-knowledge rollups are preferred over optimistic rollups.
“Getting back to the various Zero Knowledge Technologies that you are building, it’s also interesting to see that you haven’t opted for optimistic rollups; why is that?”
“Generally, we are unopinionated, supporting all meaningful scaling efforts and approaches; that being said, we are definitely biased towards ZK tech. The main reason is that, compared to optimistic rollups, ZK technologies give you explicit mathematical assurances of the safety and validity of transactions. Optimistic gives you crypto economic assurances, they are harder to formalize, and they are a form of free-active security, whereas ZKEVM is pro-active security. A malicious transaction cannot even be submitted to Ethereum, the root chain for all scaling solutions. With optimistic rollups, a malicious transaction can be submitted, but then a third party must observe the chain and challenge the malicious transactions before it gets submitted. That’s why we believe it is a better, optimal approach to scaling. Mathematical assurance and proactive security.”
What can we conclude about this? One thing is certain: 2022 has been an incredible year for Polygon regarding partnerships and development. The underlying chain, Ethereum, has successfully merged over to PoS, which means it is on the road to solving its own scalability problems. But, even without Ethereum’s scalability issues, Polygon’s zero-knowledge-based EVM (zkEVM) could continue making Polygon the preferred chain to build on.
Source : Polygon Medium