Why Polygon Is An Important Layer 2 Solution

Polygon, formerly known as the MATIC network, is a framework aimed at solving the problem of scalability on Ethereum. Its success in this cause has caused it to be adopted by several other crypto projects that want to enjoy the benefits of building on Ethereum.

What is a Layer 2 Solution?

It operates as a Layer 2 solution in the Blockchain Community. A Layer 2 framework or protocol is developed on top of an existing blockchain system. The primary purpose of these protocols is to address the primary blockchain network’s transaction speed and scaling issues. The scalability problem involves the limitations of a blockchain’s transaction, which ultimately affects transaction speed and cost.

Rather than being a simple scaling solution, like its predecessor Matic Network, which uses Plasma technology to process exchanges off-chain before finalizing them on the Ethereum mainchain, Polygon is intended to be an entire platform for launching interoperable blockchains. This means that not only does it involve the network for which it was built – Ethereum, it also has room for other Blockchain programs.

Usually, a blockchain should process an infinite number of transactions per second, commonly known as throughput or TPS. The Bitcoin main chain, on the other hand, can only handle 3-7 TPS. In comparison, Visa’s centralized VisaNet electronic payment network has a capacity of approximately 24,000 TPS. This is because each transaction in Bitcoin must be accepted, mined, distributed, and validated by a global network of nodes.

Solutions to Scalability

In order to address these issues, blockchain developers are attempting to expand the scope of what a blockchain can do. This means enabling more transactions per second and quicker processing times. This would bring the blockchain community’s unifying aim of making cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based systems available to everyone in a convenient, safe, and efficient manner a reality. This was what birthed Layer 2 Solutions in the first place. Apart from Polygon, several Layer 2 solutions have been proposed or deployed. They include

Plasma

Plasma is a planned (but not yet fully realized) method that builds a network of side chains that form a tree-like structure beneath the main Ethereum network. Each side chain (powered by a smart contract) communicates with the main chain individually, essentially taking the pressure off the main network. Plasma works by removing unneeded data from the root chain. It will handle smart contracts the same way as its foundation does, but it will only broadcast completed transactions to the public Ethereum chain.

This saves a massive amount of processing power and memory for the chain’s members. It will also speed up transactions sufficiently to allow decentralized apps to run without concern for any backlog. Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon proposed it years ago, but nothing has come out of it since then.

State Channel

This refers to a more inexpensive, private, and efficient location for interactions to take place and then be recorded on the blockchain. Traditional cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on the blockchain, a digital record book maintained by a network of thousands of users. Because a network maintains the blockchain, each new record must first be captured before being shared and confirmed by the whole network.

A state channel is a secure location where permitted interactions can be recorded and published to the blockchain. A state channel allows users to engage directly, eliminating sending all data to the blockchain. Only the outcomes of perhaps hundreds or thousands of messages are sent to the blockchain. This is referred to as an “off-chain” approach.

Unlike these examples above, Polygon is mostly powered by Commit chains. These are transaction networks that run alongside a primary blockchain – in this case, Ethereum. Before returning data to the main chain, the Commit chains group together batches of transactions and confirm them all at once.

Polygon as a Solution

Theoretically, Polygon will potentially have thousands of such chains scaling together to boost throughput, potentially creating millions of transactions per second (TPS) when connected to a mainchain like Ethereum. Polygon currently uses Commit Chain connectivity to improve transaction times but will ultimately employ additional Layer-2 scaling mechanisms.

A look at Polygon and how it has adapted to the challenges makes it one of the best Layer 2 solutions presently. The fact that other projects have taken it on is a testament to this effect. In light of this, the importance of Polygon as a Layer 2 solution cannot be overemphasized.

For one, Polygon, being a Layer 2 solution, combines existing Ethereum protocols with other existing and independent Blockchain systems to create a unified framework without compromising security. This is so useful as the advantages of many of these Blockchain networks are fused into one network. Moreover, it aids the speed of the Transaction per Second (TPS) of other projects at a lower cost than many Layer 2 solutions.

Its speed and cost-effectiveness are huge selling points, and the reason many blockchain projects are using it. Slowness and the high cost of gas are major problems that could discourage users and jeopardize the progress of any blockchain platform. The fact that Polygon solves these problems without being a security risk increases its importance to the Blockchain network in its entirety.

In addition, the working dynamic of Polygon, one in which it adopts different technologies and merges them into one, gives it an edge over the others in that it has hybrid-like characteristics. In other words, Polygon aims to transform Ethereum into an ‘Internet of Blockchains.’

Summarily, the lack of scalability of blockchains is one of the issues affecting their adoption. Protocols specifically intended to address this issue are required to ensure that cryptocurrencies are scalable and fast enough for use in everyday transactions. Initiatives like Polygon are essential, and we can only hope that additional projects will follow in their footsteps and provide a reasonable response in this respect.

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