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Polygon Explained | A beginner’s guide

Polygon is a blockchain platform that runs alongside the Ethereum blockchain. As a Layer 2 scaling solution, Polygon is a “sidechain” that provides an easy framework for blockchain projects to build on Ethereum without scalability limitations. The key benefit of Polygon is that it makes Ethereum transactions quicker and cheaper. It’s also a key player in the mass adoption of the Ethereum network. 

Polygon is sometimes referred to as “Ethereum’s internet of blockchains”, and it’s one of the biggest advocates of Web3. The goal of Polygon is to create an ecosystem where blockchains and decentralised products and services can interact seamlessly without operating through closed-off blockchain communities. 

It aims to interconnect the blockchain landscape, rendering it truly open and borderless. 

Good to know

Polygon has committed $100 million to projects enabling the transition to Web3 (i.e. the decentralised internet) 

Polygon and NFTs

Polygon is a beginner-friendly platform that supports low-cost NFT transactions. In 2021, the network launched Polygon Studios, a blockchain subsidiary that focuses on NFTs and blockchain gaming. Polygon Studios has real potential to become a leading provider of NFTs and decentralised entertainment in the future. 

One of Polygon Studios’ most recent partners is Starbucks, which recently launched its NFT-based Odyssey loyalty program.

To use Polygon to purchase NFTs, you need to purchase MATIC. Some marketplaces also require you to have Ether in your wallet. To spend Ethereum currencies on Polygon, you need to ‘bridge’ them from the Ethereum network to the Polygon network. This essentially connects the two blockchains with a protocol to work together. The Polygon Bridge is designed to help you to do this. 

You can buy Polygon NFTs on OpenSea, Rarible and Nifty Gateway.

What is MATIC?

MATIC is the cryptocurrency of the Polygon network. It’s an ERC-20 utility token that is used to govern the network and pay transaction fees. Unlike ether, the supply of MATIC is limited to 10 billion, with roughly 8.73 billion currently in circulation.  

MATIC traded for less than 5 cents until 2021. It reached almost $3 in late 2021, but the token sits around $1.09 USD at the time of writing.

Advantages of Polygon
  • Polygon supports fast and cheap transactions. Transaction fees are typically around $0.01, and the average block processing time is 2.1 seconds. 
  • Polygon is committed to the Web3 revolution and is driven by active innovation. Because of this, the network is highly adaptable and is likely to stick around for a long time. 
Disadvantages of Polygon
  • Polygon is a Layer 2 side chain that works on top of Ethereum – it isn’t an autonomous blockchain. If Ethereum is disrupted, Polygon also will be impacted.
  • As a token, MATIC isn’t the most versatile. It’s typically used to govern and secure the network and to pay transaction fees, rather than everyday purchases.

Where can I buy MATIC?

MATIC is a CoinMarketCap top 10 cryptocurrency and is available to purchase on most major exchanges including Binance, Coinbase Pro, Kucoin, OKX, Kraken, Bybit and more. It’s also available on decentralised exchanges such as Uniswap. You can read a full list of exchanges that list MATIC here.

To buy MATIC, you will need to create an account on one of the listed exchanges. You will then need to verify your identity and deposit your local currency into your account to purchase the token. You will also need a wallet that supports MATIC, such as MetaMask, Binance, Trust Wallet, Coinbase or 

If you purchase MATIC through an exchange such as Binance, the token will be automatically stored in your Binance wallet. If you purchase a large sum, it’s best to transfer your funds to a non-custodial wallet such as MetaMask, or a cold wallet such as Ledger. 

Our top three MATIC wallets are: 

  1. MetaMask (non-custodial, user-friendly)
  2. Ledger Nano X (non-custodial, cold wallet) 
  3. Trust Wallet (non-custodial, trusted mobile app)

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