About Polygon (MATIC)
Launched in October of 2017, Polygon (previously known as the Matic Network) is a blockchain-based protocol aiming to deploy a multitude of scaling solutions to the Ethereum Network, creating an “internet of blockchains” in the process.
Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus protocols (which Ethereum currently uses) have long been plagued by low transaction throughput and high gas prices. Even with ETH’s impending shift to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), third-party scalability solutions such as Polygon will still be needed if the larger network is to become, as some have forecast, the lynchpin of the global, decentralized economy.
Polygon plans to be the Swiss Army Knife in this scenario, offering an ecosystem of scaling solutions off which developers can piggyback. While other multi-chain scaling solutions, such as Polkadot and Cosmos, have succeeded in terms of garnering interest within the crypto space, both are fairly one-dimensional in terms of actual scalability solutions, with neither taking the all-encompassing approach of Polygon. If push comes to shove, Polygon could serve as a key cog in the Ethereum ecosystem, supporting a throughput of (potentially) millions of transactions per second at minimal cost.
The protocol’s “secured chains” offer a number of layer 2 scaling solutions including zk rollups, optimistic rollups, and perhaps most importantly Matic plasma. Secured chains utilize the “security as a service model” by outsourcing validation consensus to the Ethereum main chain by way of fraud proofs, or to a group of professional validators shared by the Polygon network.
There seems to be some debate over what a layer 2 scaling solution actually is. Some parties make a distinction between layer 2 and side layers, while others lump everything in as layer 2.
(This is one explanation: https://finematics.com/polygon-commit-chain-explained/)
Polygon’s “stand-alone” chains utilize their own consensus protocols with an independent set of validators, offering a high degree of flexibility and independence. Within this category falls sidechain solutions, enterprise chains, and the Matic POS chain.
MATIC is Polygon’s native token. It’s a utility token serving two distinct roles on the network. First, MATIC serves as the means by which users pay network fees accrued from executing transactions on the protocol. Second, MATIC holders can stake their tokens to smart contracts deployed on the Ethereum main chain in order to take part in the validation process and receive a cut of transaction fees produced by the network.
What’s the Price of MATIC?
As of late May 2021, MATIC is trading at $1.80, down 27% from its all-time high of $2.45 reached on May 17, but it is up nearly 10,500% since Jan. 1. The token has a circulating supply of 6.2 billion, giving MATIC a market capitalization of $11.1 billion, putting it in 15th place globally in terms of coins ranked by market cap. According to the token’s whitepaper, MATIC has a maximum supply of 10 billion tokens which will be released according to a preset schedule such that all tokens will be released by October of 2022. Matic’s recent rallies have largely coincided with gas price hikes on the Ethereum network, potentially reflecting investor sentiment regarding the token.
MATIC’s year-to-date trading volume has exploded 53,000% from just shy of $10 million to $1.8 billion.
On May 25, billionaire Mark Cuban confirmed his stake in MATIC via an email to Coindesk. Cuban plans on integrating Polygon into Lazy.com, a Mark Cuban Companies-owned website allowing individuals to easily display their NFTs.
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This article is for informational purposes only and takes no account of particular personal or market circumstances, and should not be relied upon as investment, tax, or legal advice. For investment, tax, or legal advice and before taking any action you should consult your own advisors. Note that digital assets such as cryptocurrencies present unique risks for investors. Please see our disclaimer regarding risks specific to holding digital assets before investing.
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This content is correct as of June 2021
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