With polygon, any project can easily spin-up a dedicated blockchain network which combines the best features of stand-alone blockchains (sovereignty, scalability and flexibility) and Ethereum (security, interoperability and developer experience). Additionally, these blockchains are compatible with all the existing Ethereum tools (Metamask, MyCrypto, Remix etc), and can exchange messages among themselves and with Ethereum.
Polygon technology is materialized through two major components: Polygon framework and Polygon protocol.
Polygon supports two major types of Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks: stand-alone networks and networks that leverage “security as a service”
Blockchain networks that use “security as a service” instead of establishing their own validator pool. The service can be provided either by Ethereum directly (via fraud proofs or validity proofs) or by a pool of professional validators (similar to Polkadot’s “shared security”). Secured chains offer high level of security, with the tradeoff of sacrificing a portion of independence and flexibility.
Fully sovereign Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. These networks are fully in charge of their own security, i.e. have their own pool of validators. Stand-alone chains offer the highest level of independence and flexibility, with the tradeoff of sometimes challenging validator pool establishing.
Polygon architecture consists of four abstract, composable layers
Polygon chains can use Ethereum, the most secure programmable blockchain in the world, to host and execute any mission-critical component of their logic. This layer is implemented as a set of Ethereum smart contracts, in charge of functions like:
A specialized, non-mandatory layer managing a set of validators that can periodically check the validity of any Polygon chain for a fee. This layer can be implemented as a meta-blockchain that runs in parallel to Ethereum, in charge of functions like:
Validator management(registration/deregistration, rewards, shuffling etc)
Polygon chains validation
Security layer is fully abstract and can have multiple instances, implemented by different entities and with different characteristics. It can also be implemented directly on Ethereum, in which case the Ethereum miners perform the validation.
A constellation of sovereign blockchain networks. Each of the networks serves its respective community, maintaining functions like:
The networks can utilize Polygon protocol to connect with each other and exchange arbitrary messages.
This layer interprets and executes transactions that are agreed upon and included in Polygon networks’ blockchains. It consists of two sublayers:
Execution environment(pluggable virtual machine implementation)
Execution logic(state transition function of a specific Polygon network, normally written as Ethereum smart contracts)