DraftKings, a digital sports entertainment and gaming company, joins the Polygon ecosystem as a validator and node operator marking the first time a major publicly-traded firm has taken an active role in blockchain governance.
Polygon validators are responsible for verifying the authenticity and validity of transactions on the network and earn rewards in return in a mechanism called Proof of Stake. All validators pledge Polygon’s native MATIC tokens as collateral for the right to run nodes, a fundamental part of blockchain infrastructure.
DraftKings has teamed up with a B2B digital assets infrastructure provider Zero Hash to become one of Polygon’s 100 validators whose job includes producing blocks, validating consensus and commiting checkpoints to the Ethereum mainnet. More than 2.67 billion MATIC worth over $4 billion are currently staked by Polygon validators who have earned close to $770 million in rewards to date.
“DraftKings will take its place among existing validators as an equal community member, solidifying our desire to achieve a decentralized, community-run consensus network,” said Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon.
Polygon has emerged as an indispensable part of Web3 infrastructure by providing high transaction speeds and low fees without compromising on security. It is home to some of the biggest projects in this space, from decentralized finance protocols such as lending platform Aave to luxury brands company Dolce & Gabbana and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces including OpenSea and Mark Cuban’s Lazy.com. More than 7,000 decentralized apps are currently building on Polygon, making it the main destination for Web3 projects.
To keep the growth flywheel going, Polygon is making major investments into zero knowledge cryptography, a technology widely seen as the end game for blockchain scaling. The core development team made it a centerpiece of its strategic vision in the Zero Knowledge Thesis published in August. As part of that mission, the team has committed $1 billion, a significant portion of the treasury, to ZK-related efforts.
While large corporations have shown increasing interest in the nascent Web3 economy, most participation until now has been limited to investments and promotional campaigns. The decision by DraftKings, a NASDAQ-listed company, to take an active role in day-to-day operations of a major network is an important adoption milestone for the blockchain industry.
DraftKings has announced several Web3 initiatives in the past year, including launching its mainstream accessible NFT Marketplace featuring collections from Autograph, a strategic relationship with the Polygon blockchain, and an upcoming NFT-based game alongside the NFL Players Association.
“Gaining exposure to staking technology supports DraftKings’ broader strategy of building out a robust, sustainable and decentralized infrastructure to help futureproof aspects of our business in the Web3 era,” said Paul Liberman, co-founder and president of global product and technology at DraftKings.
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