Polygon, previously MATIC, was launched in 2017, mainly to tackle Ethereum’s scaling problem. Polygon is a layer 2 commit chain to the Ethereum network, and acts as an add-on layer to Ethereum. It does not seek to change the original Ethereum blockchain layer, but solves pain points associated with it, like high gas fees and slow speeds, without sacrificing on security. Polygon supports all the existing Ethereum tooling, along with faster and cheaper transactions.
Polygon allows developers to easily launch Ethereum-compatible scaling solutions and stand-alone blockchains as part of a network of interconnecting blockchains. Polygon is often referred to as “Ethereum’s internet of blockchains”, and has gained wide adoption within the Web3 community. It has gained popularity because of the great throughput and low gas expenses, and as a consequence the Polygon ecosystem is growing fast.
Polygon has its own cryptocurrency, called MATIC.
Mainnet and Testnet
SettleMint supports both the Polygon Mainnet and the Mumbai Testnet.
The Mainnet is the primary public Polygon production blockchain, where actual-value transactions take place. Each transaction requires payment of a transaction fee, payable in the native coin MATIC. The Testnet is an instance of the blockchain to be used for testing and experimentation. There are also coins used in the Testnet but they have no value, so there is no risk of real fund.
You can consider the Testnet as a prototype and the Mainnet as the official production blockchain. Or think of this as an analog to production versus staging servers.
A consensus mechanism defines the rules for the nodes in a blockchain network to reach agreement on the current state of the blockchain ledger.
Polygon uses a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, giving power to validate transactions and create new blocks within the network to any actor who stakes his MATIC token.
More information can be found on the official Polygon website.