Polygon is no different from other proof-of-stake platforms with staking, governance, and network nodes. The Polygon protocol connects all Polygon-based blockchains. The same protocol also connects these blockchains to the Ethereum network to take advantage of Ethereum’s security model.
Polygon has a variety of scalability schemes, and users are free to choose the scalability scheme that best suits them. Some of these solutions are already working, while others are still in development.
Polygon Proof-of-Stake Consensus Polygon
Instead of relying on the classic proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, which consumes a lot of electricity when creating new blocks, it uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus, which includes a set of node validators to validate and validate blocks of transactions. The main difference is that validators must participate in work (computation) in the PoW network, while token holders validate and validate transactions in the PoS protocol. Users will be rewarded with $MATIC, the native token in the Polygon ecosystem. You can earn $MATIC in any of the following ways:
- become a validator. You can submit to the network and run a full node to validate transactions on the blockchain. As a validator, you get $MATIC and a portion of the fee. When you’re malicious or slow, your $MATIC can get slashed.
- become a principal. A public node that receives $MATIC from others to help the protocol with proof-of-stake verification. The voting power of the delegator depends on the size of the delegated shares. Becoming a delegator is easier than being a validator.
Polygon Edge is an extensible, modular framework for developing Ethereum-compatible sidechains, blockchain networks, and general scaling solutions. The main role of this framework is to bootstrap a new blockchain network while providing full compatibility with Ethereum transactions and smart contracts. It utilizes a centralized bridging solution to support communication with multiple blockchains, enabling the transfer of ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens.
Polygon Hermez is a decentralized L2 scaling solution based on cryptographic zero-knowledge proofs. The product is designed to provide verification and fast finality for off-chain transactions. Hermez 1.0 is up and running, and the team is working on Hermez 2.0, which will be a full emulation of Ethereum in a zero-knowledge virtual machine.
Polygon Nightfall is a privacy-focused roundup for businesses. The product is already in the testnet phase. It is a one-of-a-kind privacy rollup that combines zero-knowledge (ZK) and Optimistic rollups cryptography to create scalable transaction solutions.
Avail is still in development and is a general-purpose scalable data availability layer. Different execution environments such as sidechains, standalone chains, and off-chain scaling solutions can take advantage of this data availability layer.
Polygon Zero (still in development) leverages the speed of Plonky2 to introduce a scalable and more decentralized ZK Layer 2 (L2). The product has a rollup and verification mode, which means users can enjoy higher speeds and lower fees.
Polygon Miden is a general purpose zero-knowledge aggregation, also based on STARKs. The solution aggregates thousands of L2 transactions into a single Ethereum transaction, ultimately reducing transaction fees and increasing throughput.