At Polygon companies, we are on a relentless pursuit of mass adoption for public blockchains, creating an infrastructure so essential that access to it will be considered a basic human right. In 2022, our grit, humility and constant focus on building are showing traction.
We owe that in large part to the Polygon community: the creators, builders, partners and fans. Everyone who has participated in helping the Polygon ecosystem succeed. What we collectively accomplished in 2022 can be summarized in a single word: “impact”.
In 2022, we saw:
- 778,000 smart contracts deployed on the Polygon network (+152% YoY)1
- 234,000 contract creators (+637% YoY)1
- 200,000,000 total unique addresses (+54% YoY)1
- 960,000,000 successful transactions processed1
- 60,953 tonnes of carbon eliminated from the Polygon network’s annual CO2 footprint by Ethereum’s Merge2
- 1 ultimate scaling solution in a testnet phase, Polygon zkEVM
A Look Back:
Adoption Flywheel Gains Speed: This year, the Polygon network pulled off what no protocol has done to date -- start to drive mainstream adoption of Web3. The team at Polygon companies forged partnerships for some of the world's biggest companies to build on Polygon. That list includes Adobe, Disney, Meta, NFL, NuBank, Reddit, Robinhood, and Starbucks.
- Reddit’s introduction of digital collectibles powered by Polygon in August was a major adoption event by a mainstream audience. Reddit users minted more than 5 million of the Collectible Avatars, generating over $10 million in revenue. In the process, Redditors have created more than 4 million of its Vault blockchain-based wallets which can be used to explore the rest of Web3.
- Meta also began testing a digital collectibles feature on Instagram in May, allowing select U.S. creators to share NFTs that they have created or bought. Last month, the company said that soon all Instagram users will be able to use the site to mint, showcase and sell digital collections powered by NFTs on Polygon, giving creators a new way to engage with and monetize their fan communities.
- In September, Robinhood selected Polygon as the network of choice for launching their Web3 wallet Beta. This means that Robinhood Wallet users can swap tokens, get rewards and connect to decentralized apps (dApps) immediately upon downloading the beta of the app. All of this while paying no network fees.
- Starbucks announced it has partnered with Polygon to build a Web3-powered experience. Starbucks Odyssey will allow Starbucks Rewards loyalty program members and Starbucks partners (employees) in the U.S. to earn and purchase digital collectible stamps in the form of NFTs. A beta of the experience is already live on Polygon.
The Innovation Keeps Coming: The Polygon network got its start as a free Ethereum scaling solution at a time when demand for NFTs and DeFi overloaded the Ethereum mainnet. Ever since then, the team at Polygon companies has been working on developing a suite of technologies to address the next set of challenges. Many of those efforts bore fruit this year. Here’s the rundown.
- March: Polygon ID, a self-sovereign, decentralized and private identity worthy of Web3, is released.
- April: Polygon Supernets, a technology that allows for the creation of application-specific, scalable, and customizable blockchain networks, is announced.
- June: Polygon Avail data availability solution reaches the testnet stage.
- July: Polygon zkEVM, a solution that offers scalability benefits of zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs and compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), is announced and, in October, a public testnet becomes available.
Trends we’re spotting for 2023: We’ve come a long way from the time when cryptographic tokens were only used for payments and fundraising. Developers in the Polygon ecosystem are on the front lines of developing new use cases for blockchain technology. Here are just a few:
- Bringing the FUN - The focus for gaming will continue to be on compelling experiences, better onboarding and UX, rather than tokenomics. The friction to onboard in Web3 space will continue to erode through better infrastructure, tooling and player UX. Speaking of games, some of this year’s announcements from established game development studios will become a reality next year and we can’t wait to game with everyone in 2023!
- Digital identity in Web3 will be portable instead of app specific, controlled by the user instead of a corporation, and live on the blockchain instead of a private database. That’s what Polygon ID is looking to accomplish.
- Lens Protocol is an open, programmable and decentralized social graph that promises to empower users over platforms. That means social networks where people have control over their data, connections and content.
- Acentrik, a strategic initiative by Mercedes-Benz, is building a decentralized data marketplace that will make it easy for enterprises to share and monetize data across domains.
- There is a renewed appreciation for the resilience of decentralized finance protocols like Aave, Curve and Uniswap to financial shocks that have taken down a number of more centralized players. New entrants to the Polygon ecosystem exploring novel applications of DeFi include Lemon Cash, Gains Trade, Teller, Ovix, Timeswap, Atlendis, Clearpool, Quickswap V3, and Synquote’s unique RFQ engine.
- Weeding out fraud and corruption - MSP Recovery and Tokenology are tackling health care fraud with a claims tokenization platform that offers access to medical history, life-saving resources for patients, efficiency for providers and fraud prevention for insurers. Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state are putting public complaints on a blockchain to ensure transparency and root out corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency.
A Look Forward
2023 is all about building. We can’t wait to see how ZK technology changes the game and are working on constantly leveling up how we show up for our ecosystem.
- Delivering Future-Proof Innovation: 2023 will be the year of ZK technology. As we prepare to bring zkEVM to mainnet release in Q1, the Polygon Zero and Miden teams are quickly developing their ZK solutions for debut next year. We believe ZK is for everyone and that's why we've invested in three teams to bring ZK technology for use cases across all industries and developers.
- We anticipate a massive year for DeFi in 2023: “Not your keys, not your crypto!!” - 2022 was the brutal reminder to this core ethos of our industry. DeFi empowers users to be their own banks, control their assets and much more. 2023 could emerge as the most important year in DeFi history. Innovation and awareness of non-custodial wallets, ZK scaling, on-chain credit, stablecoin adoption (LATAM, Africa) are critical building blocks that will propel DeFi to new heights.
- Supporting our Builders: We look forward to continuing to support and nurture developers of all sizes, at all parts of their Web3 journey. We are ready to usher in the exponential growth of the Polygon ecosystem in 2023.
2022 was Polygon’s breakout year. Polygon brought some of the largest Fortune 500 companies to Web3 and laid the technical foundations for future growth. That trajectory will remain unchanged over the next 12 months.
We will have more to share about our ambition for the community in 2023 and beyond over the coming weeks and months. So check out our blog and tune in to our social channels for the latest from the Polygon ecosystem.
Together, we can build an equitable future for all through mass adoption of Web3.
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1 Polygon data, Dec. 2022
2 Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute, https://carbon-ratings.com/polygon-report-2022, Sept. 2022