Polygon vs Ethereum, what's the difference?

Why have they gained so much popularity in the web3 space?

Polygon vs Ethereum
Polygon vs Ethereum

After being involved in web3 the blockchain world for any duration, you must have come across the terms Polygon and Ethereum. Ethereum, with its currency Ether, has been an old-school cryptocurrency many people know and trade.

Nowadays, Polygon, with native currency Matic, has gained a lot of popularity and seems to be always present wherever Ethereum is. This is because they are closely related, and Polygon is like a Carbon-copy of the Ethereum blockchain, with one significant difference, the proofing concept. Polygon is a Level-2 scaling project for Ethereum.

With its advantage in proofing, Polygon has taken over the web3 market. Lesser gas fees and the dynamism of Ethereum have pushed many startups to use polygon instead of Ethereum when implementing their projects. Big giants like Opensea.io, dArticle.io, and others chose polygon, to give their customers reduced costs.

Ethereum - As a Blockchain

More than just a Cryptocurrency, the Ethereum blockchain added the functionality to deploy smart contracts on their network. You are able to add executable code to the blockchain, that get verified y miners, thus allowing funtinality of creating tokens.

Non-Fungible tokens, (NFTs), Fungible tokens, and a whole ecosystem of tokens have been created, that can be generated and deployed to the blockchain. In this manner, the tokens too get the same functionality of being completely decentralized and interacting with just an Ethereum 0x address.

The concept revolutionized Blockchain technology and gave Ethereum a head start. But all this while Ethereum, has had a very bad drawback, of having very high gas fees. Gas fees, are a fee that you must pay to miners, to interact with the blockchain - say sell tokens, mint tokens, or transfer coins. The gas fees are as high as 120$ per transaction, making it almost unfeasible for commercial applications. 

It works more like a proof-of-concept. Though the situation is promised to change with ETH2 Merge.

A cheaper alternative was needed - Polygon

Polygon - The alternative

Polygon as a project started with a Level 2 scaling for Ethereum. It has gained a lot of success over the years, as it has consistently delivered its promise of low gas fees. Gas fees on each transaction cost only about $0.02.

Polygon works exactly the same way as Ethereum, This gives Polygon throe advantage of using the great community projects of Ethereum like Solidity and waffle. Solidity is a programming language that was created to write smart contracts for Ethereum, and as polygon uses the same chain mechanics, you can transfer your smart contracts to the polygon chain, without even tinkering with the code.

All the great projects of Ethereum like De-Fi, NFT games, and others can be transferred to the Polygon chain with no hassle. This is why Polygon has become really popular, and so has its native currency MATIC. Most Dapps now use Polygon as their main network.

How does Polygon Deliver lower gas fees, if it's like a carbon copy of Ethereum? - Its proofing mechanism.

Polygon uses a Proof-of-Stake(PoS) instead of a Proof-of-Work(PoW) mechanism. With this difference, computers are not mindlessly doing calculations to no end to verify a transaction. The implications and mechanics of this concept are beyond the scope of this article, but you can read more here.

Final Words

Ethereum has been pioneering the blockchain technology space. Polygon is a Level 2 scaling project of Ethereum that acts like a Carbon-copy of Ethereum, having the same functionality at lower gas fees. With Polygon you can expect

  • Lower gas fees ($ 0.02 per transaction)
  • Wide community projects
  • Very simple to migrate back and forth from Ethereum
  • Enjoys Legibility by big companies

Hopefully, over time, Ethereum too provides lower gas fees. Till then Polygon is the better option.

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