What Is Polygon (MATIC)?

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by Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 6 min read
What Is Polygon (MATIC)?
Photo: Depositphotos

With the guide, you will get a clear understanding of the Polygon (MATIC) network that has ambitions of alleviating the problems of the Ethereum network whilst also promoting true and routine blockchain interoperability.

Ethereum (ETH) remains the most actively used blockchain in the world. This decentralized, open-source blockchain rapidly gained popularity after its launch in 2013, offering smart contract functionality in the form of a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system. But Ethereum’s rapid adoption comes at a literally high price, with transaction fees often tripling the amount being transferred. This is due to the high amount of users on the network, which lowers transaction scalability significantly. Polygon (MATIC) addresses these issues.

Polygon (MATIC) is the interchain scalability solution that provides a framework for building blockchain networks that can connect. It aims to bring the scalability and flexibility of alt chains together with Ethereum’s liquidity, security, and interoperability. Polygon also plans to unveil two new roll-ups in the future. One will parcel large numbers of off-chain transactions together into a single transaction, while the other one will run on top of the Ethereum network to increase transaction speed.

History and Launch of Polygon

Polygon started as MATIC, a highly successful scalability solution to the Ethereum network that used PoS-based alt chains and an adapted version of Plasma. Over time, MATIC’s continued success with projects like Decentraland (MANA) and Maker (MKR), along with platforms like Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and Binance, finally brought enough financing to the MATIC team to expand their services.

Polygon MATIC launched as a testnet in October 2017 before moving to mainnet later in the year. They went on to implement Plasma, a framework that is partly used after their rebranding in February 2021. In April 2021, AAVE launched on the platform, boosting the valuation of the Polygon network.

The vibrant team behind the network is led by CEO and co-founder Jayanti Kanani. He is a former chief data scientist at India’s top search platform Home. He is an inspired technology architect. Polygon’s Chief Operating Officer, Sandeep Nailwal, is a management consultant and the former CEO of Scopeweaver.com, a premier professional marketplace. Its Chief Product Officer, Anurag Arjun, is a veteran product manager with extensive XBRL solutions experience. As CPO, he coordinates and defines the Polygon MATIC roadmap for products. The final co-founder is Mihailo Bjelic, a tech maximalist, Etherean and enigmatic developer.

Polygon’s Core Tech and Features

At the core of Polygon’s inner workings, we find two equally vital mechanisms, the Proof-of-Stake consensus model and a unique crypto-based architecture called Heimdall. Polygon launched as a scalability solution to Ethereum. Polygon validators intermittently perform periodic proofs of blocks produced by block producers in a Block Producer Layer against the Ethereum mainchain. These checks settle any transaction disagreements that happen on the Polygon sidechain through cryptographic proof and make up the Proof-of-Stake model.

The Heimdall architecture chooses random block producers (miners) from a random pool of PoS validators in the MATIC network. Heimdall helps distinguish Polygon from traditional Proof-of-Stake blockchains where anyone can participate in validation and production of blocks. As a result, it provides higher security alongside the scalability of the PoS consensus model. Besides, there is a noticeable increase in scalability, with test networks running on Polygon reaching over 7000 transactions per second (TPS).

Polygon is secured with this permissionless group of random PoS validators and checks. Further, it is secured again when the PoS is checked against the Ethereum blockchain. This is because Polygon’s PoS chain is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible sidechain. Validation is essential in the Polygon chain. MATIC token holders (delegators) choose validators and then delegate staked tokens to them in exchange for a portion of the validators’ revenue. Both delegators and validators share the risk and reward of the validation process.

Polygon (MATIC) Token

Polygon’s MATIC is an ERC-based token that powers the Polygon Network. It provides a scaling solution for Ethereum by delivering several layer 2 sidechains running alongside the Ethereum mainchain. Polygon’s users can put their Ethereum tokens in a Polygon smart contract, converting the ETH into MATIC at a 1:1 peg.

The users can then interact with the MATIC on Polygon’s networks, pay transaction fees, participate in the PoS consensus model. Besides, when they wish, they can withdraw the MATIC back to the Ethereum Mainchain in ETH.

The MATIC token has been highly successful since the start of 2021, rising to over 7000% and beating both BTC’s 259.7% and ETH’s 90.27% rise. As of May 2021, its market cap reached over $6.8 billion, a total value locked totaled $6.3 billion, and a circulating supply made up about 5 billion coins. With these numbers, the coin is no doubt on its way to being one of the top tokens of the DeFi world.

Polygon’s Advantages Over Alternative Blockchains

Polygon’s multi-chain system is similar to other Ethereum-based ecosystems but only in basic setup alone. Polygon offers several clear upsides to ecosystems like Polkadot (DOT), Cosmos (ATOM), Avalanche (AVAX), among others. Its advantages are as follows:

  • It is intrinsically more secure due to its validation system. The various checks and proofs performed back and forth against the main and side chain ensure tight security.
  • Polygon uses a joint system of PoS consensus and the Heimdall architecture to increase the scalability and power of its multi-chain system and reduce gas fees.
  • The multi-chain system itself allows Polygon to access the full power of the Ethereum network, without sacrificing throughput or security.
  • Polygon offers a fully customizable tech stack, providing a user experience similar to Ethereum for developers. Its features like independent governance for boundless applications ensure elevated data sensitivity in place. Also, no new protocol-level information, token deposits, charges or permissions are required.
  • Polygons’ PoS chain, Plasma chains, optional shared security and planned ZK and Optimistic roll-ups all serve to separate it from its closest competitors.

Polygon has grown to become a protocol and framework for building and linking Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. It allows interoperability, development and easy deployment of custom or predetermined networks.


Polygon delivers a formidable custom-made suite of tools and services to the entire cryptocurrency space. It has ambitions of alleviating the problems of the Ethereum network whilst also promoting true and routine blockchain interoperability.

The Polygon network’s late debut in 2021 has not retarded its growth. Instead, it has provided an advantage to the network as it grows on the mistakes of earlier platforms, in its goal to deliver the first Internet of Blockchains to the world of crypto.



What is Polygon?

Polygon is envisioned as a framework for developers to build their dedicated blockchain networks, which can interconnect by combining the best features of standalone chains with the best of Ethereum.

What issues does Polygon address?

Polygon resolves the many issues of Ethereum, including low throughput, high gas fees, lack of proper self-governance, and a non-customizable tech stack.

How did Polygon appear?

Polygon started as the Matic network in 2017, but after studying the crypto space critically, the team behind Matic decided to expand their talents into a much-needed area in crypto. What followed was a rebranding into the Polygon Network in early 2021 and several vital upgrades to the Matic Network.

How does Polygon work?

Polygon uses a dual consensus architecture that joins the unique Matic PoS chain with the Heimdall validation architecture. It allows security and interoperability for all blockchains connected to or launched from Polygon.

What is so special about Polygon's Architecture?

Polygon’s superpower is its unique dual-chain system. Four different layers make up the network, the Ethereum layer, an optional security layer, a sovereign layer of networks that serve their respective networks, and a mandatory interpretation and execution layer for transactions running through the dual chain system.

How to use Polygon?

Users can stake Polygon tokens to become part of the validation or delegation ecosystem. The staking can be done directly over the network or through selected third-party platforms.

How many MATIC coins are there in circulation?

There are currently 5,188,388,130 MATIC in circulation, out of a total max supply of 10 billion MATIC.

How is Polygon secured?

Polygon is secured using a system of validation and delegation that checks transactions against both sovereign side chain and Ethereum mainchain.

How to get some Polygon?

Polygon’s MATIC can be acquired on any significant exchange like Kriptomat, Binance, or Coinbase. Developers and other advanced users can partake in the Polygon network via DEXs like Uniswap and Sushiswap.

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