The native token of the Polygon platform, MATIC has been one of the best-performing tokens of 2021 so far, with its value on CoinMarketCap increasing over 12,000%, from $0.02 in January to $2.45 at its all-time high in May. However, far from a speculative boom, MATIC prices are driven by a slew of adoption from developers and users.
Polygon was founded in 2017 under the name Matic Network by a group of three blockchain developers in India. Jaynti Kanani, now CEO of Polygon, contributed to the development of Plasma, a layer 2 scaling technology for Ethereum. Upon realizing that the proposed Plasma implementations would likely suffer from scaling issues, Jaynti convened with two other developers, Sandeep Nailwal and Anurag Arjun, and founded Matic Network.
The project’s initial aim was to develop an implementation of Plasma that would allow Ethereum to scale and overcome its notorious issues with congestion, slow throughput, and high fees.
Matic Network gained significant early traction and, on May 31, 2020, went live on mainnet. In January 2021, Matic Network rebranded to Polygon to reflect a new, expanded scope to the project.
In its most basic iteration, Polygon scales Ethereum using a hybrid Proof-of-Stake/Plasma sidechain, which uses a PoS bridge and a Plasma bridge to enter and exit the permissionless side chains, which dramatically speed up processing times. The general idea is that the side chains bear the bulk of transaction validation, while there are periodic checkpoints where the side chains update the main Ethereum chain. These checkpoints serve to maintain Ethereum account balances and the state of smart contracts.
In addition to the Plasma side chains, Polygon also uses a Proof-of-Stake network to validate transactions. In doing so, the project has been able to demonstrate speeds of up to 7,000 transactions per second, with block confirmation times of around two seconds.
Polygon aims to be a “protocol and framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks.” It allows any project to launch an Ethereum-compatible, scalable, sovereign, and flexible blockchain network. This means that all existing Ethereum developer tools and wallets can operate on Polygon blockchains.
Projects on Polygon can opt to launch their standalone chain or take advantage of the platform’s “Security-as-a-Service,” allowing them to leverage Ethereum’s security or that of a pool of professional validators.
The former offers high independence and flexibility but means the developer must assemble a validator network that’s extensive enough to secure its chain. The latter has some flexibility trade-offs but allows the developer to take advantage of a ready-made network and operational consensus.
Since the rebrand and expanded vision, Polygon has attracted a veritable wave of adoption, particularly in 2021. However, the project has long cultivated partnerships and collaborations with others in the ecosystem, extending back to CEO Jaynti Kanani’s contributions to Plasma.
The Polygon ecosystem now comprises many projects that have either set up on Polygon as their native platform or migrated from Ethereum for the scalability and fee benefits. For example, one of Ethereum’s flagship DeFi protocols, lending platform Aave, has expanded to Polygon, citing high transaction fees as a deterrent to DeFi’s mission of inclusive finance. Others, including DEXs Curve Finance and SushiSwap, have also extended their footprint to Polygon.
The Polygon platform has several native DeFi applications, including QuickSwap, a Uniswap-style DEX, EasyFi, a fork of Compound, and the enterprise-focused Trace Network.
Beyond DeFi, Polygon is also attractive among gaming applications—a logical fit given that gaming tends to involve high-frequency, low-value transactions. Notable games include VR games Decentraland and Terra Virtua, as well as DeFi-NFT crossover Aavegotchi. On the fringes of the gaming ecosystem, NFT marketplace OpenSea also operates a Polygon iteration.
The speed at which Polygon has risen to become one of the most popular development platforms in the space with a token to match is a testament to its strong fundamentals.
EQONEX is pleased to list MATIC tokens, offering our traders and investors the opportunity to speculate on this exciting asset.
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