Why We Chose Polygon Over Ethereum
We recently announced Codewrangrlz, an exploratory project in the web3 world. When we announced the project, we published a blog post detailing the project and what our goals were. However, one of the things that have been very clear to us since we began entering this space is that there are a lot of controversies surrounding blockchains, NFTs, and DeFi. In this post, we want to outline some more aspects of the project, including the reasons behind choosing to work on the Polygon chain.
Above all else, we love to learn, and all of us here at CodeCast love to learn by doing. While trying to absorb as much information as we could, we realized very quickly that building out an NFT project from scratch was going to be our best bet at understanding it. Our end goal is not only to be able to communicate effectively with members of our community who are learning web3 but to be able to create some teaching materials ourselves.
Despite the controversies, the web3 space is constantly growing. It’s hard to go on Twitter without seeing anything about it. It’s establishing its place in the developer community and appears to only be growing with time. So with all that being said, we want to discuss one of the major points of concern with the community as a whole.
Proof-of-work vs. Proof-of-stake
There has been a lot of conversation surrounding energy usage in the blockchain space. The concerns have reached far outside the community, highlighting the validity of the concern. Energy usage is a very important and real topic in our current world. Tech companies play an important role in changing the way we consume and spend energy, and this has rightfully become a very large topic.
Whether you’re familiar with blockchain technology or not, you have likely heard the phrase “mining”. Mining is how transactions are confirmed and added to the blockchain. This process is actually the ‘proof-of-work’ mechanism. “Miners” work to solve a mathematical problem as fast as possible, as the first one to solve the problem gets to update the blockchain, in return receiving an amount of crypto in return.
Since everyone on the chain can compete, this has led to large mining farms, which are using a ton of energy. Currently, the Ethereum blockchain (Ethereum 1.0) is proof-of-work. The goal is to transition to the proof-of-stake mechanism for Ethereum 2.0, which is hoped to be released by the end of the year.
Proof-of-stake operates differently. Instead of every node competing to solve a problem at once, nodes are “randomly” selected to validate a block. The randomness isn’t truly random though, as a “validator” (instead of a “miner”) has to add a “stake” (think of it as a security deposit). The larger the stake, the better chance you have of being chosen to validate the block. If you validate the block, you receive crypto in return.
There are of course a lot of other aspects that separate the proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mechanisms, and I highly recommend the video below if you want to learn a bit more without getting completely overwhelmed with information.
So, this is where Polygon comes in. Polygon is a side-chain on the Ethereum chain. It’s what’s called a Layer 2 Scaling Solution. I know, it sounds incredibly confusing, and if you want to learn more about it I recommend this video. In short form, all you need to understand is that the Polygon network runs parallel to the Ethereum network, and it has its own cryptocurrency called Matic.
Our decision to use Polygon instead of Ethereum was based on two main factors — mechanism and cost. Polygon use proof-of-stake, which is significantly better for the environment. When Ethereum switches to proof-of-stake and releases 2.0, they are stating they will be able to reduce their energy impact by 99%. That’s a mind-blowing decrease and really showcases how much less energy the proof-of-stake mechanism uses. Given that we are concerned about our own environmental impact, proof-of-stake felt like the only real choice.
Polygon has the proof-of-stake mechanism that we wanted, but it also has a significantly lower cost than Ethereum, which makes it a much more accessible chain for everyone in the community. It’s a great place for people to get started in the NFT world, and since we wanted to create a project that added some exciting utilities for our users, it needed to be accessible to the average user.
As a whole, the space is constantly evolving and we were looking to find somewhere for ourselves and our community in it. We’ll be announcing some of our NFT utilities soon, so if you’re as excited about this space as we are, definitely follow Codewranglrz to stay updated with everything we’re doing!