Ethereum has held the #2 spot in cryptocurrencies’ market capitalization for many years. While Polygon has yet to achieve that rank, it follows closely behind at #17 in the current market. Although both blockchains serve of great importance to the crypto space, one might meet your needs better than the other.
What Is Polygon (MATIC)? Ethereum’s Layer 2
With Ethereum’s rising popularity, there’s also a rise in its network traffic. Consequently, this leads to an increase in Ethereum transaction fees and a decrease in its scalability. This is where Polygon comes in handy.
The Polygon blockchain acts as a layer 2 scaling solution running parallel to Ethereum. It was built to reduce Ethereum network traffic while keeping the original state of the blockchain as it is. Ultimately, Polygon’s proof-of-stake consensus and zkRollups protocol ensure low fees and fast transactions with the same level of security found in Ethereum.
We know that Ethereum is the heart of smart contracts, where most dApps operate. However, the network’s rising fees have deemed it impossible for some users to access it. Therefore, Polygon provides an alternate access to the same dApps found in Ethereum but on a less congested network by creating a “bridge” between the two networks.
Polygon Vs. Ethereum: Which has lower gas fees?
At the time of writing, it’s surprising to say that Ethereum, for once, has low gas fees when compared to Polygon. Even though the total number of Ethereum transactions is increasing. The public’s declining interest in NFTs lowered the network traffic. In return, Ethereum gas fees are much cheaper. This time last year, gas fees typically ranged from 50 to 200 dollars. Today, a simple transaction could cost as little as 50 cents.
On the other hand, Polygon’s less congested network ultimately means lower gas fees. Although Ethereum’s transaction fees are significantly decreasing, it still would be hard to reach Polygon’s. When Ethereum’s gas fees were the highest, Polygon transactions cost as little as $0.1. Today, Polygon transaction fees range from $0.1 to $1 per gas unit.
Polygon Vs. Ethereum: Which is better for NFTs?
As I mentioned above, Ethereum’s rising fees were mainly due to the high demand for NFT transactions. However, in recent months, the hype around NFTs has been decreasing. As a result, the most popular NFT marketplace, Opensea, witnessed a drop in its trading volume by 23.29% in the last month, according to DappRadar.
When it comes to NFTs, the main difference between Ethereum and Polygon is the minting costs. Most NFT marketplaces provide a “lazy minting” option. This function allows you to pay minting fees only for your first NFT listing. Any other NFT created after will be minted at no cost.
With Ethereum, it was only 4 months ago that it cost around $200 to list an NFT. However, listing an NFT on Opensea using the Ethereum blockchain today can cost you only $35.
Despite Ethereum’s declining gas costs, Polygon may act as a better alternative for minting NFTs. Since listing an NFT on its blockchain costs zero cents. Although you can get a better deal on Polygon, there’s a chance your NFT will be missed by several potential buyers. Reaching a wide range of customers is crucial when selling NFTs. Therefore, taking a blockchain’s popularity into consideration is an added bonus.
Polygon Vs. Ethereum: Which is more popular?
Most people already recognize Ethereum. Polygon? Maybe not as much. You may feel that a blockchain’s popularity is irrelevant if it’s decentralized, secure, and cost-friendly. However, when it comes to decentralized marketplaces, your customer base can either make you or break you.
The reasoning behind Ethereum’s gas fees is directly linked to its user population. A high network population means higher gas costs and vice versa. Most metaverse applications and NFT marketplaces are almost always based on Ethereum. And it makes perfect sense because it paved the way for it all to happen. However, that also means most customers are based on Ethereum.
Polygon’s no transaction fee on Opensea is a reflection of its popularity. You may be saving a fraction of your money using the blockchain. However, if you’re interested in operating your own marketplace, the percentage of customers who will have access to it is significantly lower than on Ethereum.
Nonetheless, this could come as an advantage since the competition is also less. In addition, most users may already have a sufficient crypto background as it may be complicated for novice users to access Polygon.
Polygon Vs. Ethereum: Which is more scalable?
It’s widely known that Ethereum has suffered from scalability issues since the beginning of its time. Its underlying technology receives constant backlash from the public. Yet it’s been said that Ethereum will move to a Proof-of-stake consensus to improve its scalability by the end of summer.
Until then, the blockchain validates only a handful of transactions per second. The process may take up to 10 seconds or days to complete. Therefore, you either have to pay extra for a fast transaction, or you can wait in line until your transaction is accepted.
Meanwhile, Polygon can accept up to 65,000 transactions per second. A huge difference when compared to Ethereum. In addition, it can achieve transaction finality in only 2.3 seconds!
Both blockchains contribute to the crypto community to a great extent. With Ethereum, you can easily access a world of NFTs, dApps, metaverses, and more. Whereas Polygon provides quick and cost-friendly transactions. Yet, both networks have received their fair share of complaints. One lacks in popularity, and the other is too popular.
Nonetheless, selecting only one of the networks could be overwhelming. Since it’s been proven enough already that the crypto world is unpredictable. Therefore, always do your own research before investing in any crypto asset.
Sally is a student of International Business Management and is interested in topics related to blockchain technology. She is an author for gBlogo’s “Crypto World” column and provides insight on topics related to cryptocurrencies and NFTs.