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Polygon has launched a new kind of dedicated blockchain network dubbed Supernets and said it will invest $100 million in projects that use it.

The company will put money into projects that are interested in increasing their growth through a dedicated Polygon Supernet chain.

Polygon is an Ethereum-based blockchain that uses various techniques to scale to millions of transactions and lower environmental costs. It has more than 7,000 applications — including a lot of games — and it has processed a billion transactions.

A supernet is an internet network that is formed by combining multiple networks, or subnets, into a larger network.
The benefits include conservation of address space and efficiencies in routers in terms of memory storage and associated processing overhead.

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Green plans?

The push to become more efficient is a never-ending task for blockchain companies. Polygon said earlier this year that a transaction on its network uses the equivalent energy of two Google searches. But this analysis found flaws in Polygon’s assessment and the energy used could be 1,000 times more. I asked if that assessment were correct multiple times, and the company finally answered yesterday by pointing to an announcement. In April, Polygon announced it would be “carbon negative” in 2022 by donating $20 million for tree planting and other ways to offset energy usage.

Polygon recently raised $450 million for its blockchain protocol and hired YouTube Gaming chief Ryan Wyatt to build its blockchain gaming platform.

Polygon said the Polygon Supernets is a dedicated network that organizations and projects can run at no added hosting or operational costs. The tool will fast-track blockchain adoption in new private and public blockchain networks for decentralized apps (dApps) and enterprises alike, the company said.

With the complete absence of operational and hosting costs, Polygon Supernets brings the barrier of entry lower for developers who previously used Polygon Edge (previously Polygon software development kit, or SDK, announced in 2021) but want to have their own secure, decentralized, and highly performant blockchain network.

Polygon Edge is a customizable blockchain stack that enables devs to build and launch dedicated blockchain networks tailored to needs. It is a modular framework designed to support a variety of scaling and infrastructure solutions, from sovereign and enterprise EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) chains to full-blown Layer 2 solutions.

Scaling and throughput present the biggest challenges for developers with public networks. Polygon Edge offers solutions that allow fast and smooth scaling even in the case of extreme transaction load, enabling developers to build applications with millions of daily active users and manage tens of millions of transactions per day.

Polygon thinks of Supernets as Polygon Edge networks on steroids. Supernets are blockchain networks with several important characteristics that aim to mitigate the aforementioned challenges and enable mainstream adoption of Polygon and blockchain technology in general. Here are the most important of those characteristics. The Supernet is built and run for a specific application.

Polygon Technology incentivizes the professional validators — those that use their computer networks to validate blockchain transactions — by rewarding them an amount in Matic token, based on their amounts staked, which is more than enough to cover all operational and hosting expenses accrued by the validator.

On each supernet, validators verify all transactions. Formed by third-party staking companies, validators stake Matic tokens on the mainnet before validating the network. A high degree of security can be achieved because validators are vetted by Polygon, Polygon said.

Starting with the release of Polygon Supernets, developers will be able to apply for two types of chains — a Polygon Supernet Sovereign Chain or a Polygon Supernet Shared Security Chain. A Polygon Supernet Sovereign Chain is a network managed by a single professional validator, for cutting down deployment and maintenance costs. A Polygon Supernet Shared Security Chain is the easiest path towards decentralization and high-security of your network with professional validators who staked Matic tokens to validate the network.

Polygon Supernets uses Polygon Edge as the underlying infrastructure solution. All the features and characteristics of Polygon Edge are made to work in a highly secure and decentralized environment within supernets.

Polygon Edge is a development tool with configurable options that enable users to create networks tailored to specific needs. At the moment, scaling and throughput present the biggest challenges for developers with publicly available networks.

Polygon recently raised $450 million.

At the time of publication, over 20 dApp projects and enterprises are using Polygon Edge to achieve higher performance, constant and predictable throughput for their use case and customization by configuring every aspect of their blockchain network, the company said.

To understand the potential of Polygon Edge, the company said it pays to look at how the cloud transformed website performance. A shared hosting service was the most apparent option for publishing a new website more than a decade ago. That resulted in unpredictable loading speed due to the limited bandwidth of a shared server. The so-called cloud revolution has since made it easier for websites to perform consistently by having their own servers with the same level of security, and not be affected by other parties.

Like the cloud, Polygon Edge allows developers to deploy dApps on a blockchain network without risking security or performance, the company said.

Sandeep Naliwal, the cofounder at Polygon, said in a statement: “We are proud of the success Polygon Edge has had so far and we’re thrilled to have built on this success to give you supernets. The infrastructure tooling enables users to achieve desired outcomes easily and quickly. Polygon’s goal is to bring mass adoption to Web3 as the key to blockchain adoption is to provide a comprehensive range of options for enterprises. Empowering developers to build what they want has always been in our DNA — and we’re excited to be able to offer a tool that achieves just that.”

Using Polygon Supernets is in line with other scaling solutions already in Polygon’s offering. As Polygon Edge will continue pursuing the mission to bring the latest zero-knowledge, privacy, security features, and systems developed at Polygon to the public, supernets will allow developers to bring these to life on their own chains.

Supernets can be secured by Polygon’s Matic. For Edge users that want to use Proof of Stake as a security mechanism, we are introducing a “shared security” layer in the form of a Matic-staked validator marketplace. Projects that opt in for this service will instantly get access to a decentralized, reliable Proof of Stake validator set and skip the challenges of bootstrapping a validator network. Additionally, Polygon validators will stake Matic and receive rewards in Matic, so there is also no effort required from application/project teams when it comes to validator incentivization and sustainability. With this service, projects can enjoy all the benefits of Proof of Stake security, whilst not wasting any bandwidth or resources on it; they can fully focus on their core product and goals. This service is not mandatory; nonetheless, we expect it to be very popular given the advantages it offers, the company said.

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