The year 2022 in crypto has been eventful in many ways. However, the negative effects of the bear market dampened the excitement around blockchain upgrades that brought crypto ecosystems closer to the future of finance.
For Bitcoin, it was a Taproot soft fork upgrade, which aims to improve the scripting capabilities and privacy of the Bitcoin network. Ethereum underwent a consolidation upgrade to move from a Proof of Work mechanism to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
Polygon, the leading platform for scaling decentralized Ethereum this year, started mainnet upgrades based on the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-1559, also known as the London hard fork. The upgrade was accompanied by Polygon token burning (MATIC) and better graphics visibility.
On January 25, Ryan Wyatt joined Polygon Studios as CEO after resigning from YouTube as Global Head of Games. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Wyatt discussed the importance of timely blockchain upgrades and his vision for Polygon.
Cointelegraph: What’s your take on blockchain upgrades when it comes to Polygon? What are some key points to keep in mind when discussing changes to the network?
Ryan White: As with everything we do, Polygon takes a holistic approach to promotions. There are always many different solutions to every problem, so it is best to explore as many of them as possible. There are many paths to explore when it comes to scaling Ethereum, and bringing multiple solutions together represents the most promising strategic approach.
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For example, our latest upgrade, zkEVM – the first fully zero-based dataset compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) – is primarily designed to handle high transaction fees and latency in Ethereum. Whereas Polygon Avail, which we announced shortly before zkEVM, addresses the problem of data availability by taking a modular approach (separating transaction execution from data availability).
It is already clear that there can be no “one solution to rule them all,” a full suite of scaling products must be developed to bring mass adoption to Ethereum and Web3 in general.
CT: How do you think the general public perceives blockchain upgrades? And what is its impact on developers’ decision-making, if any?
RW: Decentralization, usability and user focus are among the core principles of Web3, so network upgrades often reflect those ideals. We believe that people usually appreciate promotions that aim to increase the public benefit and ease of use of the blockchain. Likewise, developers tend to prioritize the needs of their communities when discussing and implementing upgrades, so this is a mutually beneficial relationship.
CT: What are the implications of blockchain upgrades such as consolidation on other ecosystems that are directly or indirectly linked to the Ethereum ecosystem?
RW: Prior to the merger, nearly all of Polygon’s carbon emissions – around 99.9% – originated from smart contracts and properties on the Ethereum network. Later, since the merger has now significantly reduced Ethereum’s energy consumption and ensuing carbon emissions, this positive impact has also been reflected in Polygon and related platforms, making them more sustainable as well.
However, the problem of scaling remains. While the move to PoS laid the foundation for hashing and other scaling technologies, it did little to address issues with high fees and slow transaction speeds. As such, layer 2 solutions like Polygon still hold an invaluable benefit. As Ethereum becomes more scalable and efficient, so does Polygon; Every improvement made to Ethereum reinforces Polygon’s existing strengths.
CT: What is Polygon’s secret to becoming one of the biggest names in the crypto space. Also, how do you intend to maintain a dominant position in the future?
RW: Polygon’s primary mission is to help build collaboratively toward a fairer Internet, where anyone can find opportunities, anywhere. We provide the infrastructure for a new world where people and technology collaborate and share value globally and freely, without guards or middlemen.
To this end, Polygon is grooming new world-class talent from Web2 and Web3 to provide both the technology stack and infrastructure needed to ensure the long-term success of projects. Polygon’s recruitment drive includes top-tier talent from leading companies such as EA, Amazon, and Google.
Meanwhile, the Polygon developer network is constantly expanding and now exceeds 37,000 decentralized applications (DApps), while supporting more than 60 Polygon metaverse platforms, including Sandbox, Decentraland and Somnium Space.
Polygon also helps several Web2 companies, including Starbucks, Adobe, Clinique, and Stripe, integrate Web3 functionality and raised $450 million in February to advance its Web3-focused initiatives.
CT: Does the recent Ethereum upgrade help Polygon?
RW: All DApps in the Polygon ecosystem benefit from significantly lower energy consumption/carbon emissions thanks to inclusion. Combined with our own sustainability efforts, which made the network carbon neutral this year – benefiting thousands of Polygon DApps with a negligible carbon footprint.
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By the end of the year, Polygon aims to be carbon neutral while continuing to implement projects that meet the needs of Web3. Companies in the crypto space have taken the lead in building Web3 solutions and blockchain networks like Polygon that are ready to operate on board, enabling cross-compatibility with other ecosystems and improving the overall performance of such offerings.