The battle between two crypto-projects is a win-win for the readers. Twitter and other platforms are filled with mentions of Solana and Matic. No doubt that there is something really interesting deep down, let’s dig in deep.
Polygon and Solana are two very intriguing projects and comparing won’t do justice to either. While Solana’s ecosystem is clearly bigger than Polygon’s, it is worth the mention that the community of Polygon is stronger than Solana. The exchange value of the token is not the only parameter to judge a token and compare. The major factor that determines the success of any project is what solutions does the product provides and how feasible the solutions are. Here, since both the tokens aim to improve the scalability of the existing blockchain, there are two very different approaches to the problem.
Polygon — Ethereum’s Internet Of Blockchains
Polygon was founded by three Indians (Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, and Anurag Arjun) who had active participation in the crypto space. The launched project was called MATIC and later rebranded as Polygon with the token name remaining the same, MATIC. Here’s what the Polygon ecosystem looks like:
With new projects emerging every day, the question arises, WHY POLYGON?
- Faster Transactions
Most blockchain projects achieve consensus through the Proof of Work Mechanism which can be slow as each transaction requires multiple conformations. Proof Of Work is not only time-consuming but uses a lot of energy that is, in turn, coming up as an environmental concern.
Proof Of Stake mechanism is able to give a high throughput but only at the cost of decentralization. These limitations are often a necessary condition for public blockchains to ensure security and decentralization where a block needs to be propagated through the network and validated by all the nodes to achieve finality.
The Matic Network solves this problem by using a high throughput blockchain with consensus provided by a selected set of Block Producers, chosen for every checkpoint by a set of Staker. It then uses a Proof Of Stake layer to validate the blocks and publish periodic proofs of the blocks produced by the Block Producers to the Ethereum mainchain. This helps in achieving a high level of decentralization while maintaining extremely fast (< 2 seconds) block confirmation times.
One of the major concerns that restrict the usage of crypto in daily life is the Transaction per second. The TPS for MATIC is 65,000 which is a larger number than VISA’s TPS of 4,000–10,000. The data here is for a single side chain. In the future, The Matic Network is expected to be able to easily add more side chains horizontally to increase the total number of transactions on the Matic Chain while using the same decentralized PoS layer.
The MATIC is though capable of handling millions of transitions per second but that’s theory. This can be achieved by adding multiple side chains to the blockchain.
- Multiple micropayment channels with other off-chain solutions
The Matic Network uses a state-based architecture on an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), it does not require payment channels to be opened between two parties. In fact, any valid Ethereum address is a valid Matic Address and a receiver does not need to be on the Matic chain to receive payment. They would only need to have a Matic Wallet when they want to retrieve the payments on the main chain or spend them in the ecosystem on the Matic Network.
- Low Transaction Fees
Transaction fees are required when we make transactions in any blockchain. This fee works as an incentive to the validators. Ethereum requires you to pay a gas fee to make the transaction. With an increasing number of transactions, lately, this gas fee has increased. Provided that NFT is too in the buzz. This high gas fee is a blocker for many and restricts smaller transitions
The Matic Network enables low-cost transactions through achieving economies of scale by doing a large number of transactions on the Block Producer layer which ensures low cost, and then subsequently batching the proofs of the Matic blocks using the Merkle root of the blocks to a highly decentralized mainchain (for ex. Ethereum) using a decentralized layer of PoS Stakers.
Solana’s team includes former leading technologists from Qualcomm, Intel, Netscape, and Google. just by looking at the team, one can assume that what they build is not usual. Solana is a project which is out of the box and it has come up as one of the most secure and decentralized blockchains in a short period of time. Solana functions up to eight major innovations that aim to make the solve the “Blockchain Trilemma” — decentralization, security, and scalability.
The engineering put behind the scenes can allow millions of transactions to place at the same time. This might not be true and tested today, but who knows what the future has for us. The Solana Blockchain solves the trilemma with the hassle of sharding or other such methods that may add up to the transaction time. Here’s what Solana uses:
- Proof of history
A clock for blockchain. Blockchains are decentralized and recording the transaction with respect to some local time may create discrepancies.
The Proof of History is a Verifiable Delay Function. Solana’s specific implementation uses a sequential pre-image resistant hash that runs over itself continuously with the previous output used as the next input. Periodically the count and the current output are recorded.
PoH works on two principles:
- Sha256 loops as fast as possible, such that each output is the next input.
- The loop is sampled, and the number of iterations and states are recorded.
- Tower BFT
Solana implements a derivation of PBFT, but with one fundamental difference. Proof of History (PoH) provides a global source of time before consensus. Our implementation of PBFT uses the PoH as the network clock of time, and the exponentially-increasing time-outs that replicas use in PBFT can be computed and enforced in the PoH itself.
Turbine borrows heavily from BitTorrent — although a few major technical details differentiate the two. Turbine is optimized for streaming, and transmits data using UDP only, and implements a random path per packet through the network as leaders (block producers) stream their data.
- Gulf Stream
A mempool is a set of transactions that have been submitted but have not yet been processed by the network. Solana solves this problem by pushing transaction caching and forwarding to the edge of the network. This enables users to make transactions ahead of time. Gulf Stream reduces confirmation times, switch leaders faster, and reduce the memory pressure on validators from the unconfirmed transaction pool.
Solana transactions describe all the states a transaction will read or write while executing. This not only allows for non-overlapping transactions to execute concurrently but also for transactions that are only reading the same state to execute concurrently as well.
Pipelining is an appropriate process when there’s a stream of input data that needs to be processed by a sequence of steps and there’s different hardware responsible for each.
Solana and Polygon are two very different projects that aim to solve the Trilemma in one way or other. While Solana uses its eight innovations to improve the blockchain, Polygon uses Layering and side chains. Polygon uses Proof of Stake and Solana uses Proof of History as the consensus mechanism. There are pros and cons for both blockchains and none can be stated as the best. Solana’s eight innovations and the growing ecosystem can support millions of transactions at the same time while Polygon has the calculation for this theoretically.
On comparing numbers:
If you loved our content here, you should have a look at our newsletter, munch India’s first-ever crypto exclusive newsletter!
Munch is a fun and interactive way of canceling the noise in the crypto world and learn something new every day!
Munch, India’s First-Ever Crypto Exclusive Newsletter!! ships daily bite-size breakdown of trends, news, and analysis right into your inbox!