Ethereum was the first blockchain to enable smart contract functionality. This meant that this network could now host a myriad of decentralized apps and NFTs, which attracted developers aplenty. However, being the first to market, the chain was faced with a couple of teething problems, primarily its slow transaction speeds and high transaction costs (gas fees). In response, several blockchains were developed with smart contract capability, with the aim of overtaking Ethereum’s majority market share. Polygon is one of the leading Ethereum killers in that respect.
Formerly known as MATIC, Polygon is a blockchain network designed to promote cross-chain interoperability. It utilizes sidechains called parachains, which are essentially side networks that run parallel to the main Ethereum network. Its aim is to support a multichain ecosystem centered around Ethereum.
Polygon is classified as a layer 2 aggregator that is based on the Plasma framework. This means that it is built on the main chain (Ethereum) so as to run projects and transactions on sidechains in order to relieve the base network of congestion. This enables it to achieve high transaction speeds at near-zero costs. What’s more, delegating transactions to these secondary chains does not compromise the security of the network. This has seen most dApp developers switch their projects from the expensive Ethereum network to Polygon.
Top projects hosted on Polygon
This is a smart wallet for decentralized finance that allows its users to access various dApps on one platform. Instead of switching across different apps to utilize each of their functions, InstaDapp aggregates all of them into one single app, making them much easier to use. Its mantra revolves around keeping things as simple as possible.
In addition to aggregating several DeFi protocols into one platform, it also uses its own smart contracts to maintain a seamless DeFi experience even as you switch between apps. These smart contracts are what enable its smart wallet functionality. To use this platform, all you’d need is a web 3.0 wallet such as MetaMask.
QuickSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that was forked from the popular Uniswap DEX. It utilizes the automated market maker (AMM) model to facilitate transactions between its users. This means that instead of running an order book, it utilizes pools of tokens called liquidity pools.
Users can choose to stake their ERC-20 tokens in pairs in these liquidity pools, and in return, they earn crypto rewards when anyone uses the pool. This enables other users to trade any pair on this platform as long as a liquidity pool exists for it.
This platform bears a close resemblance to Uniswap. Users can trade tokens without having to complete any Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. As long as you have connected a compatible wallet to the platform and have MATIC to pay your transaction fees, you’re good to go.
3. Dfyn Network
This is another DEX launched on the Polygon chain. Though somewhat similar to Ethereum’s Uniswap, it stands out in that it enables multi-chain token swaps. This means that Dfyn plugs into liquidity pools across several layer 1 and layer 2 blockchains, enabling its users to swap their tokens seamlessly on one platform.
In addition to allowing multi-chain interoperability, the network enjoys transaction speeds 10 times faster than those on Ethereum. This is because it is hosted on the far more robust Polygon blockchain. This means that the platform also features near-zero gas fees. What’s more, users are granted the best market prices through Dfyn’s smart order routing feature.
4. Polycat Finance
This is a yield aggregator hosted on the Polygon network. This means that it automatically searches for the yield farms with the highest gains for its users and invests their liquidity provider (LP) tokens in them. Those who stake LP tokens in yield farms earn FISH rewards. What’s more, users who deposit their LP tokens in Polycat’s vaults get their rewards automatically compounded into their account balance. These vaults have no deposit fees, but the platform charges a 0.1% withdrawal fee for all other tokens except its native coin, FISH.
This is a blockchain-based sports betting platform hosted on Polygon. By decentralizing the betting scene, this platform aims to revolutionize the industry by introducing smart contracts in bet settlements. This ensures that staked funds are kept in escrow, and no central authority can contest the result of the bet. Instead of betting against the house as many online platforms have their users do, SportX has its users bet against each other. Further, users do not require an initial deposit to participate on the platform.
SportX also offers special features such as events like the SportX World Tour. In it, participants stand to take home up to $50,000 in DAI. What’s more, bets are placed in USDC, Polygon’s stablecoin, which is faster and cheaper than other Ethereum stablecoins.
6. Zed Run
This is a play-to-earn game hosted on the Polygon network. In this game, users buy, breed, and join horse races to earn rewards. These horses are classified into bloodlines, which have varying levels of rarity. This ultimately determines their value.
By winning races, you can increase the value of your NFT horse. If you become a regular winner, you can qualify to become a professional horse breeder. Zed Run has partnered with renowned names in the gaming industry, such as Atari and NASCAR. Such institutional interest speaks to its legitimacy.
Polygon is a layer 2 interchain scalability solution built on Ethereum. It utilizes multiple sidechains to host transactions, thus reducing congestion on the main network. This helps it achieve quick transactions at a fraction of the cost. For that reason, many dApp developers prefer to build their projects on this faster, cheaper blockchain.