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Polygon or “Matic network” is a technology network; both a framework and a protocol that scales and connects Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. In other words, Polygon builds on the Ethereum blockchain as it runs alongside it and adopts its flexibility, sovereignty, security, and interoperability.
Polygon is, therefore, considered a “side chain” or a “layer two” scaling network that add-on to the Ethereum network (instead of altering it).
A sidechain essentially is a blockchain attached to a “main chain”, which in Polygon’s case is the Ethereum blockchain. The sidechain (Polygon) allows for the mainchain’s (Ethereum) assets or tokens to be utilized on it and then returned back to the mainchain if needed.
Furthermore, this technology emerged in an attempt to take some pressure off of the Ethereum network. This is because Ethereum users can play games, engage in virtual realities, and partake in financial activities all at the same time, which would render the Ethereum network useless since it becomes hard for it to function under such pressures. Consequently, Polygon aims to enable faster transactions, lower fees (gas), and more security, efficiency, and usefulness than the ones on the Ethereum platform.
While sidechains are attached to the main chain, they are still considered independent blockchains. Their independence means that their security relies on them and not on the mainchain and that they connect to the mainchain through a two-way peg.
A two-way peg (2WP), enables a certain amount of cryptocurrencies to be temporarily locked on a certain blockchain and simultaneously unlocks the same amount of cryptocurrencies on a secondary one. In simple terms, it enables the “transfer” of a certain amount of cryptocurrencies from one blockchain to another.
To fully grasp the functions of the Polygon network, it is important to understand its history and how it came about.
Initially, Polygon was named the Matic Network, which was an India-based project that was built by blockchain experts Jayanti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, and Anurag Arjunin in 2017.
Matic Network emerged as a response to the scalability problems experienced on the Ethereum network. Accordingly, it aimed to solve common blockchain problems such as high fees, security issues, performance speed, and more.
Later, in 2019, Polygon’s native coin “Matic”, was launched and publicly exchanged (IPC). Further down the line, at the beginning of 2021, the Matic network was rebranded to Polygon. Nonetheless, in spite of the name change, Polygon’s native currency retained its original name of Matic.
The Matic coin and its parenting network, Polygon, have hit multiple milestones. On the 26th of December 2021, Polygon (Matic) peaked at an all-time high of $2.88 per token.
A few months later, in April 2022, Polygon made an effort to become more environmentally friendly by going carbon-negative and released its “Green Manifesto” project, which helped Polygon go back on an upward trajectory after experiencing a downwards trend.
As of May 2022, there are over 7.85B tokens in circulation and this crypto has an astounding market cap of over $7.3 billion.
Like many blockchains, Polygon has a native cryptocurrency. The Polygon network’s native crypto, Matic, lets users pay fees, stake, and even gives users voting rights on changes that could be done on its network.
Much of what the future holds for this crypto is still unknown; like many other cryptocurrencies, Polygon (Matic) is inherently volatile. Nonetheless, some analysts argue that the future seems bright for this coin as they believe that it will continue to grow in the upcoming years. Moreover, some believe that its shift to a green approach might even attract more investors to it, especially environmentalists.