A Beginner's Guide to Polygon: Ethereum's Scaling Solution



Introduction



Ethereum has revolutionized the cryptocurrency space with its smart contracts and decentralized applications. However, it faces challenges in terms of low throughput, user-friendliness, and limited options for developers. In this article, we'll explore Polygon, a blockchain that leverages Ethereum's technology while offering higher throughput, lower transaction fees, and better options.



Understanding the Challenges



Ethereum's low throughput issue limits its processing speed to 30 transactions per second, which is considerably low compared to other alternatives. For example, Cardano can process 257 transactions per second, Polkadot up to 1,000, and Solana up to a staggering 65,000. Moreover, the Ethereum network is not user-friendly, as users need to bid in an auction to secure one of the limited 30 transaction spots, resulting in expensive transaction fees. Lastly, Ethereum's limited options mean that all projects run on the same network and share its problems.



What is Polygon?



Polygon, formerly known as Matic, is a blockchain platform that addresses the challenges faced by Ethereum. It offers a layer two scaling solution that aims to increase the usage of decentralized applications (DApps) and improve the overall scalability of the Ethereum network.



How does Polygon solve Ethereum challenges?



Polygon provides higher throughput, lower transaction fees, and more options for developers compared to Ethereum. It achieves this by leveraging Ethereum's technology while introducing interconnected blockchains and various scaling solutions. These solutions allow for faster transaction processing, increased scalability, and a more user-friendly experience.



What is the relationship between Polygon and Ethereum?



Polygon is built on top of the Ethereum network and works in conjunction with it. It utilizes Ethereum's security and smart contract capabilities while providing additional scalability and flexibility through its interconnected chains. Polygon acts as a layer two solution that complements and enhances the Ethereum ecosystem.



What are the advantages of using Polygon?



Polygon offers several advantages, including:

  • Higher Throughput: Polygon can process up to 65,000 transactions per second, significantly surpassing Ethereum's limited throughput of 30 transactions per second.
  • Lower Transaction Fees: Transaction fees on the Polygon network are considerably lower compared to Ethereum, enabling users to perform transactions at a fraction of the cost.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Polygon aims to create a more accessible and intuitive environment for users and developers, encouraging wider adoption and experimentation with DApps.
  • Flexibility for Developers: Polygon provides developers with a range of options to scale their applications, including the ability to create separate chains, such as zk-rollups and optimistic roll-ups.



How Polygon Works



Polygon operates through a four-layer system: the Ethereum layer, the security layer, the Polygon networks layer, and the execution layer. The Ethereum layer consists of smart contracts that handle staking, transaction approval, and interaction between Ethereum and Polygon chains.

The security layer provides additional security through validator services. The Polygon networks layer comprises various projects and blockchain networks developed on Polygon, each with its own community and consensus mechanism. Finally, the execution layer, also known as Polygon's Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), executes smart contracts on the Polygon blockchain, ensuring compatibility with Ethereum's code.

Polygon is often associated with its proof-of-stake chain, which is a side chain to Ethereum. This chain offers faster transaction processing and lower fees, making it more affordable for users. However, Polygon is more than just a single proof-of-stake chain. 

It comprises a series of interconnected blockchains that work together to scale Ethereum. Developers can create various scaling solutions, including separate chains like zk-rollups and optimistic roll-ups, to enhance Ethereum's throughput and efficiency.

Polygon operates through a four-layer system:

  • Ethereum Layer: This layer consists of Ethereum-based smart contracts that handle various functions, such as staking, transaction approval, and interaction with the Polygon chains.
  • Security Layer: The security layer works in tandem with Ethereum, providing additional security through validator services to ensure the integrity of the Polygon network.
  • Polygon Networks Layer: This layer comprises various projects and blockchain networks developed on Polygon. Each project or network has its own community and consensus mechanism.
  • Execution Layer: Also known as Polygon's Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), this layer executes smart contracts on the Polygon blockchain, enabling compatibility with Ethereum's code.



How can I benefit from using Polygon?



Polygon offers various opportunities for users, including high-yield investments and access to innovative DApps. Users can take advantage of lower transaction fees and faster transaction processing while exploring the growing ecosystem of projects and networks on the Polygon platform.



Is Polygon a good option for beginners in the crypto space?



Yes, Polygon, along with Binance Smart Chain, is often recommended for beginners exploring the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. The lower transaction fees and user-friendly experience make it more accessible for newcomers to experiment with different applications and investment opportunities.




What is the native token of the Polygon network?



The native token of the Polygon network is called Matic (MATIC). It plays a vital role in the ecosystem, serving as a means of exchange, staking, and participating in network governance. Matic tokens have a limited supply of 10 billion, with a significant portion already in circulation.


Matic, the native token of the Polygon network, plays a vital role in its ecosystem. With a current market capitalization of around $13 billion, Matic has a total supply of 10 billion tokens, with nearly 6.8 billion already in circulation. The remaining tokens are allocated for staking rewards and have a time-locked release schedule.

Matic tokens were initially distributed through private launches and an initial exchange offering. The development team, advisors, staking rewards, ecosystem, and Polygon foundation hold significant portions of the token supply. Matic's tokenomics are currently inflationary but will transition to a deflationary model with the implementation of their version of EIP1559, where transaction fees will be burned.



Conclusion



Polygon offers a scalable solution to Ethereum's challenges, providing higher throughput, lower transaction fees, and more options for developers. Its layer two scaling platform and interconnected blockchains enable the creation of various scaling solutions.

Matic, the native token, serves as a crucial component of the Polygon network. As a beginner, Polygon and Binance Smart Chain are recommended for exploring the DeFi space. Polygon's ecosystem has numerous opportunities for users, including high-yield investments and innovative applications.


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