As we enter the final quarter of 2021, Ethereum and Polygon are leading Web 3.0. While Ethereum is undoubtedly the leader, Polygon completes this new digital era by facilitating NFT trading with its reduced gas fees.
Ethereum leads the way
Although it’s facing more competitors than ever, Ethereum remains the go-to project for most developers on the NFT market, as well as DeFi.
In fact, it’s the second-largest cryptocurrency, with most blockchain games and exchanges present here. What’s more, Ethereum falls 7th in the top 10 of decentralized apps deployed in the ecosystem right now.
For the time being, all of the Web 3.0 users are eagerly waiting for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade – and for good reason.
The upgrade involves switching to Proof-of-Stake, which will eliminate the carbon footprint most platforms are trying to avoid. It will also speed up the entire network, thanks to the 64-shard block split (known as ‘sharding’).
However, its downsides have become more obvious than ever. The biggest complaints involve gas fees, which have increased insanely in recent months. Therefore, many users have turned to Polygon, also known as the Layer 2 solution.
The Polygon Sidechain innovation
When someone says “Layer 2 Solution,” everybody knows it’s Polygon. The Ethereum alternative has exploded in popularity this year, due to its (significantly) reduced gas fees and quick transactions. In fact, the blockchain even outperformed Ethereum in its number of active users this month, confirming its efficiency.
Now, plenty of NFT content creators are opting for Polygon to launch their collectibles. Nevertheless, Ethereum NFTs are still more ‘valuable’ as the blockchain is a pioneer on the market. The most expensive NFTs to date are also stored on Ethereum, although Polygon might catch up quickly.
However, the two blockchains are strongly interconnected. In fact, Polygon and Ethereum are sharing the load caused by the NFT craze this year. As Ethereum is expanding, so is Polygon, since many of its transactions are still settled on Ethereum.
What about other blockchains?
Polygon’s Ethereum compatibility proves its interest in growing the layer-1 solution – but not all blockchains want the same.
For example, Algorand is a relatively new ecosystem with features similar to Polygon. Notably, though, it’s not Ethereum-compatible, which is probably the main reason why it has significantly fewer transactions than Polygon.
Flow is another alternative to Polygon, but it comes with a major minus. In order to use the platform, users must learn a complicated contract language, called Cadence. By comparison, Polygon only requires switching the RPC to its mainnet.
At the time of writing, Polygon has 600 times more NFT and gaming dapps than other chains (excepting Ethereum). With NFT giants like The Sandbox or Decentraland joining Polygon, the sky is the limit for this successful Sidechain.