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Polygon logo

Polygon

MATIC

0.55

0.00

Market Cap

$5.420984B

24h Volume

$257.4M

Volume/Market Cap (24h)

4.75

Circulating Supply

9.89768B MATIC

Total Supply

10B MATIC

Ethereum's Speedy Sidekick: Explaining Polygon in Cryptocurrency 

Even diehard Ethereum (ETH) fans agree the blockchain needs a scalability reboot. As more developers and traders flood Ethereum with activity, congestion rises, often triggering high transaction costs (gas fees) and sluggish confirmation speeds.  

Ethereum's core developers are addressing these issues with internal protocol updates, but a few separate blockchains are already taking some of the computational slack off of ETH's shoulders. 

For example, the layer 2 blockchain Polygon (MATIC) runs on top of the Ethereum blockchain and aims to offer traders a faster, cheaper way to explore Ethereum's exciting decentralized applications (dApps). Thanks to its convenience and usability, Polygon has become one of the most active blockchains for trading activity and a significant asset for global Ethereum adoption.  

Polygon’s history

During the 2017 crypto bull market, software engineers Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, and Anurag Arjun noticed Ethereum struggling to keep pace with the rapid increase in crypto trading activity. To help address these scalability struggles, the trio formed the company "Matic Network" and began work on complimentary crypto protocols for Ethereum. 

In 2019, the Matic team released their MATIC cryptocurrency in an initial coin offering (ICO) on the centralized exchange (CEX) Binance, and the Matic mainnet launched in June 2020. To better reflect its "many-sided" tools for blockchain scalability, Matic Network rebranded to Polygon in 2021 and continues expanding its suite of services for blockchain developers. 

Besides integrating with dozens of Ethereum's hottest dApps, Polygon works with institutional clients interested in using blockchain technology. Multiple partnerships, from Nike and Reddit to Starbucks and Meta, have propelled Polygon into web3's limelight. 

How does Polygon work?

Rather than offering one standalone blockchain solution, Polygon hosts a range of decentralized tools for Ethereum developers to pick and choose as they create the dApp of their dreams. In the project's early days, the Matic Network used "plasma chains" aiming to increase Ethereum's scalability, which are separate networks closely connected to a "parent chain" (e.g., Ethereum) that communicate transaction details through automated commands called smart contracts

Although Polygon began with plasma chains, its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) sidechain has become one of the most popular services. Compared with plasma chains, the Polygon PoS chain aims to offer greater flexibility to developers thanks to its internal "staking" consensus algorithm. In Polygon's PoS system, computers (aka nodes) lock (or "stake") the native MATIC cryptocurrency onchain to take part in transaction validation and earn crypto rewards. At regular intervals, the Polygon sidechain sends snapshots of transaction data to Ethereum for final confirmation via pre-coded smart contract commands. 

The "Polygon zkEVM" is another scaling solution on Polygon using a cryptographic technology called zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs to confirm data between senders and receivers without revealing specific details. The zkEVM uses this advanced cryptography to create a parallel platform compatible with the entire Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), making it easier for ETH developers to connect dApps directly to Polygon and attract more liquidity to their protocols. 

Polygon FAQs

What is the MATIC token? 

Despite Polygon's 2021 rebranding, the team still uses the original "MATIC" ticker for its native cryptocurrency. As the primary cryptocurrency in the Polygon Network, MATIC plays many essential functions, including staking, incentivizing nodes, and paying gas fees. 

Crypto traders can search for the latest Polygon price chart on crypto exchanges using the ticker "MATIC" or the phrase "Polygon price." Because MATIC is a fungible cryptocurrency, each Polygon coin price has a 1:1 value on the crypto market. 

How fast and cheap are MATIC transactions? 

Polygon can process 65,000 transactions per second (TPS), an average confirmation speed of a few seconds. Although gas fee rates fluctuate depending on network activity, it's rare for Polygon's fees to exceed a few pennies per transaction. 

How do crypto traders use Polygon? 

Interacting with dApps on Polygon is similar to using Ethereum, but traders first must confirm their chosen dApp is available on the Polygon and their crypto wallet syncs to the Polygon blockchain. Many Ethereum-focused crypto wallets like MetaMask now integrate with the Polygon blockchain, and dApps often have a list of supported chains in the top right-hand corner near the "Connect Wallet" icon. As long as traders see their wallet and dApp are set to "Polygon"—and they have MATIC in their wallet for gas fees—they're ready to use MATIC-based dApps. 

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