Inside Ethereum's Internet Of Blockchains

Polygon is not Sandeep Nailwal’s first enterprise in the blockchain technology domain. In 2016, he founded ScopeWeaver, a firm that provides blockchain products and decentralised app architecture design. Nailwal, along with the other three founders of Polygon–Jaynti Kanani, Anurag Arjun and Mihailo Bjelic–have been part of the ethereum and bitcoin blockchain communities since long. 

Inside Ethereum's Internet Of Blockchains

Polygon

At the peak of CryptoKitties’ craze–a blockchain game on Ethereum that allows users to breed, purchase and sell virtual cats–in 2017, the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem was choked with a mere 100 users. This was a moment of realisation for Nailwal that the Ethereum blockchain was not ready for mass adoption. 

“We (the co-founders) also realised that the existing infrastructure was not scalable enough to build anything and that’s when we decided to build the infrastructure to scale ethereum,” says Nailwal.

This led to the genesis of Matic Network, rechristened to Polygon recently. 

“Polygon is a multi-chain ethereum ecosystem,” explains the chief operations officer (COO) Nailwal, adding that it can be described as Ethereum’s Internet of blockchain. “What it means is that the ethereum blockchain remains at the centre and what we are building are connected blockchains. Sometimes, these blockchains are called layer two blockchains, while the others can be called side chains.” 

Essentially, the company is creating a multi-chain environment on top of the ethereum blockchain, which can be used by decentralised applications or Dapps.

“Right now, ethereum can support 100,000 to 200,000 users a day. If we want more users, we need more scalability and these layer two scalability chains that we’re building help many of these applications to scale them,” he said. 

The platform is seeing massive adoption, as per Nailwal, with some of the top Decentralised Finance (DeFi) applications and Non-fungible Token (NFT) applications having many more users on Polygon compared to the ethereum main chain. “World’s biggest DeFi protocol Aave DeFi application has 200 per cent more users on Polygon compared to ethereum.”

Earlier this year in May, US-based billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who owns National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Dallas Mavericks, made an investment in Polygon. Nailwal pointed out that the company has received about USD 5.6 million external funding so far, however they won’t be looking at raising any more funds going further. “Since we are a public blockchain, we don’t need any external funding because we are already a public project and the company’s treasury is large enough to fund it.”

 

Going Global In the Pandemic

Despite being a tech company, remote working was inconceivable for the Polygon team before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. 

“Originally we used to be very focused on co-location and co-working,” said Nailwal. As the Covid-19 induced lockdown forced businesses across sectors to switch to remote work overnight, Polygon too warmed up to the setup and soon realised the many advantages of remote working. 

“We considered very few people to work remotely, but this pandemic forced us to work remotely. We assisted our employees with the setup in their homes so that they are closer to their families and in their hometowns. Eventually, we realise that this is working very nicely and the team is fairly productive.”

He added that now remote working has become a norm for the founders and their team and co-location doesn’t seem that important to them anymore. 

“We are very happy in that sense, and we have adapted to the remote settings and all our employees have mostly worked remotely in the last 16 months. Also, Polygon has become much more global, and due to that a lot of remote teams have to collaborate. So, we consider ourselves as a fully remote team now.”

On being asked about the company’s growth plans for the coming years, Nailwal pointed out that they believe in betting on the future and not get swayed by what is hyped in the market. 

“Right now in ethereum, scalability, optimistic roll ups and ZK (zero-knowledge) roll-ups are very hot. However, our main plan right now revolves around zero-knowledge technology instead of getting distracted by hyped up technologies like optimistic roll-ups as we believe that they will be the norm in the future by staying away from the distraction of more hyped up technologies like optimistic roll-ups.”

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