Polygon Ecosystem Update Q3 2022: Starbucks, Robinhood, zkEVM and the Merge
Over the past few months, Polygon Technology teams have been busy helping ship products, sign partnerships, grow the community, and improve the network. Even as macroeconomic headwinds buffet the world of Web3, Polygon Technology remains focused on building the fundamentals that will help enable the next round of growth.
A lot can happen in three months and an ecosystem as large as Polygon’s can be particularly difficult to track. That’s why we will be publishing broad-spectrum quarterly reports on all the most important developments, from partnerships and community to protocol and sustainability. Let’s get started with the quarter through September 2022.
A New Take on Loyalty Program
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and customer rewards are a match made in heaven. In July, British consumer tech start-up Nothing partnered with Polygon Technology for the launch of its NFT loyalty program that will allow members access to exclusive community content, unlock special perks such as discounts on merchandise, and gain entry into unique offline events, and more.
In September, Starbucks chose to build its recently announced Web3 experience, Starbucks Odyssey, on Polygon. Our partnership with Starbucks will allow Starbucks Rewards loyalty program members and Starbucks partners (employees) in the United States to earn and purchase digital collectible stamps in the form of NFTs.
Robinhood delivered a one-two punch in the fight to make wealth-building tools accessible to everyone. In August, the popular stock and crypto investing app launched support for deposits and withdrawals of the $MATIC token to and from the Polygon network. In September, Robinhood announced it chose Polygon as the first blockchain network to support its newly launched Web3 wallet, opening access to decentralized finance (DeFi) for millions of U.S. users.
Juno, which allows its users to earn, invest and spend their cash and crypto from one checking account, scored a win for usability of DeFi tools when it turned on support for instant on-ramps to USDC stablecoin on Polygon. Juno App users can now instantly convert their fiat funds to USDC without paying transaction fees. The new functionality adds another bridge connecting Web3 and DeFi with the broader economy.
Acentrik, a decentralized data marketplace developed by Mercedes-Benz, is leading the charge in blockchain adoption by enterprises by deploying on Polygon in August. Acentrik is using tokenization of data assets to facilitate data sharing and monetization for enterprises across domains.
Polygon Technology also partnered with enterprise-grade Web3 infrastructure platform Kaleido to give businesses the power to build custom blockchains tailored to their needs. Kaleido will leverage Polygon Edge, a modular framework for bootstrapping Ethereum-compatible networks, to meet surging demand from enterprises looking to launch services in Web3.
The combined follower count for our three main Twitter channels topped 1.75 million, about 7% more than at the start of the quarter. Most of the growth came from the flagship 0xpolygon handle which added 105,300 followers for a total of 1.6 million. Polygonstudios grew its audience by 12,783 followers for a total of 138,700 while developer-focus 0xpolygondevs added 2,955 new followers to top 17,000 in total.
Our developer community continues to build and we continue to support them. In the past quarter alone, Polygon Technology distributed over $850,000 through hackathon prizes and accelerators, including:
- $500,000 for BUIDL IT winners;
- $250,000 for Leap accelerator;
- $80,000 for Alliance DAO accelerator;
- $16,000+ for hackathon prizes at ETHMexcio and others.
Our three biggest initiatives in the quarter -- the Polygon Fellowship, BUIDL IT hackathon, and Polygon Bootcamp Africa -- attracted over 20,000 developer registrations. The team was on the ground reaching thousands of developers through more than 35 workshops, hackathon side events, panels, fireside chats, and university appearances.
Tens of thousands of decentralized apps (dApps) have been built on Polygon as of the end of September, according to latest data from Alchemy, the world's leading Web3 development platform. That’s more than 60% growth from the start of the quarter and almost triple the number at the end March.
Polygon continues to attract a diverse spectrum of new Web3 projects. To name a few, TagSpace is leveraging the power of blockchain for augmented reality; New Canvas is minting NFTs and a social token for its award-winning animated VR series; ITSBLOC is exploring the frontier of play-to-earn games; Partisia is tackling the challenge of data confidentiality and privacy on public blockchains.
Benji Bananas, a new play-to-earn game from Animoca Brands, topped the dApp user charts in the quarter with 423,000 unique addresses. QuickSwap ranked second with 242,000 followed by Arc8 and 1Inch with 186,000 and 159,000 respectively.
The total number of unique addresses rose 9% to 5.82 million in the quarter. The network participants produced 256 million transactions (10% down QoQ), generating $4.19 million in network revenue (26% down QoQ). The fall in transaction volume, and the resulting revenue decline, comes against the backdrop of an overall market slump with some of the rival chains operating at even lower utilization levels.
Bor Consensus Support on Erigon
Polygon PoS network has processed over 1.94 billion transactions since inception and the usage continues to grow. The growth has also resulted in the increase of the size of the historical data of the blockchain, pushing up against the limits of offerings by cloud providers which could result in difficulty accessing blockchain history in the future.
Polygon Technology’s team has anticipated this development and has been working closely on a solution. Erigon is a re-architected implementation of the Ethereum client written in Go that reduces the size of archive nodes. Bor consensus is now natively available on the Erigon client, the first of many steps in making Polygon PoS more robust.
Validators are key network participants who ensure the chain's stability by verifying the authenticity and validity of transactions. While Polygon PoS launched with a diverse validator set, the network is not entirely permissionless and pretty much the same set of validators has been in place since inception. Enter Polygon Improvement Proposal 4.
PIP-4 introduced steps to enhance the validators’ ability to self-regulate network participation, a significant step forward in the decentralization gradient. The proposal passed with 42 votes in support and only 2 votes against. Implementation will begin in mid to late November.
Zero knowledge (ZK) proofs are widely considered to be the ultimate solution for blockchain scaling. Polygon Technology made history when in July it unveiled Polygon zkEVM, the first step on making sure Ethereum can support the next billion users. The solution we developed leverages performant ZK proofs within an environment that was equivalent to the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
Our ZK teams have also given back to the broader zero knowledge community by open sourcing licensing key technology. Plonky 2, a zero-knowledge proving system that offers incredibly fast proofs and extremely efficient recursive proofs, was dual-licensed under the MIT license and Apache2 in August. Last month, it did the same for the PIL toolkit.
Green Blockchain Summit I & II
Polygon started the quarter as a carbon-neutral blockchain, having offset the entirety of the network’s CO2 debt since inception. Building on that momentum, on July 13 we hosted Green Blockchain Summit, first in a series of virtual forums for Web3 leaders to discuss solutions to the most urgent environmental problems facing the blockchain industry. The second installment of the event was held on Sept. 29, featuring speakers from Conservation International, Unilever, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Verra and more.
The Merge and Going Beyond
Ethereum’s successful shift to Proof of Stake consensus, known as the Merge, erased about 60,000 tonnes of Polygon’s CO2 emissions. That dramatic reduction of Polygon’s carbon footprint opened the path to going beyond being carbon negative and toward empowering others to do the same. As the conversation shifted from blockchain sustainability to blockchain as a sustainability solution, the team published its new impact commitment titled Going Beyond.
As global travel wakes from its pandemic slumber, our teams have been criss-crossing the world from Seoul and Singapore to Paris and New York to meet developers, users and prospective clients where they are.
We kicked off the quarter with one of the most impactful events for the Ethereum ecosystem in Paris. The team started out the week of events with our new developer program called Polygon Connect. Following Connect's success, the ZK team showed up in force to host talks, connect with the ecosystem and share our big reveal of the zkEVM. Polygon Technology also hosted a multi-day hackathon with EthCC Hack to cap off the week.
Korea Blockchain Week, Seoul
August took us to Asia and the Korea Blockchain Week. More than 15,000 people attended Polygon Technology’s events, including BUIDL: Asia, ETHSeoul, KBW, Polygon Connect and smaller side parties. We landed over 20 press articles and topped 600,000 mentions, with Korean language responses jumping 59% week-on-week. Our business development teams were able to connect with top tier local prospectives including Samsung, Bitthumb, Cyworld, FactBlock, UNOPND, Korea Mobile Game Association, Xangle (CrossAngle), Hana Bank, and Naver.
Token 2049 / Asia-Crypto Week, Singapore
The last week of September took us to Singapore. Polygon Technology participated in multiple events starting with a Polygon Buidlers Jam with Tencent and Builders Tribe & BTSE, provided speakers to for AsiaWeb3 Equality lounge and ABGA Blockchain Gaming 2022, and co-hosted networking events with partners Alphawave, Accel, Huobi, NFT Asia and C2 Ventures. Polygon Technology co-founder Jaynti Kanani took part in the main session panel discussion at Token 2049 titled “The Path Ahead, Onboarding a Billion Users”. Our press coverage and interviews included Tech In Asia, The Block, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal.
There will be many more exciting developments in the coming months, so make sure to tune into the Polygon Blog for the latest from our ecosystem.
Let’s bring the world to Ethereum!