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Guide to Polygon DeFi
DeFi
Table of Contents:

Polygon is a layer 2 sidechain scaling solution for the Ethereum network, and the Polygon DeFi space is quickly growing as more users are onboarded into Web3. Spritz allows DeFi users to pay their real-world bills straight from their crypto wallets, so choosing a network with a robust dApp ecosystem like the Polygon DeFi space was important to us.

Ethereum is one of the most promising open-source blockchains of our time—but it’s not without its own issues. One of its core problems is scalability; as of 2022, Ethereum’s network is only capable of supporting around 10 transactions per second. In an ecosystem that prides itself on an ever-rising number of DApps (decentralized apps) and accompanying transactions, this is an obvious issue that made us look for other solutions on different networks.

With each bull cycle, Ethereum gas fees skyrocket—potentially dashing the hopes for an affordable, mainstream network that Ethereum was designed to be. Luckily, this problem isn’t unsolvable thanks to solutions like Polygon. This layer 2 “sidechain” is a scaling solution for Ethereum, ushering in lower user costs and faster transactions.

Think of Polygon as a speedy highway running parallel to the primary Ethereum blockchain; you can “bridge” your crypto to Polygon, and then use it to interact with various crypto apps that would otherwise be exclusive to the (costly and slow) Ethereum main network. Considering Polygon’s increasingly important role in the Ethereum ecosystem, we decided it would be a good network to launch on to offer bill payment solutions with real-world finance.

How does Polygon work?

The network congestion on Ethereum’s main blockchain makes interacting with smart contracts, transferring tokens, using other DeFi protocols and apps, or buying and selling non fungible tokens (NFTs) slower and more expensive. Polygon makes all of these types of transactions cheaper by processing transactions on its sidechain. The results are clear: while Ethereum is only capable of processing between 15 and 30 transactions per second, Polygon can potentially process an astounding 65,000 transactions per second!

And Polygon isn’t just faster — it’s also cheaper. Even after the recent price hike, Polygon’s gas fees are still in the range of mere pennies. In comparison, the average Ethereum transaction costs users around $15, with some transaction fees going as high as hundreds of dollars during high traffic periods of time. Polygon also offers a variety of layer 2 scaling solutions for project teams, allowing DApp developers to choose optimistic rollups, zk rollups, a PoS blockchain bridge, plasma sidechains, and others.

One of Polygon’s greatest strengths is its acknowledgment of a simple fact—there’s no universal scaling solution that equally fits all applications. Each one has its own tradeoffs between transaction speed, fees, and security—Polygon believes developers should be able to choose the one best suited for their app. For developers, this is the main selling point of Polygon compared to other layer-2 scaling solutions. The abundance of different solutions that are available on Polygon’s blockchain gives developers a significantly higher level of customization and control over their applications.

Should you invest in Polygon?

The success of Polygon is largely dependent on the success of Ethereum—and thanks to the popularity of Ethereum-based DeFi apps, NFT transactions, smart contracts, and various other exciting blockchain technologies, the future prospects of Ethereum are likely to remain bright.

Consequently, projects that improve Ethereum in meaningful ways—like Polygon—are also likely to enjoy significant success.

Polygon has a reasonable chance of becoming the primary layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, solving some of the main issues that Ethereum users have been bringing up for years. The current (July 2022) market cap of MATIC is over $4.5 billion, making MATIC one of the world’s top 20 cryptocurrencies. We’re not giving investment advice, but we do believe in the future of Polygon just like we believe in the future of Ethereum.

How to connect to Polygon:

Right now there are plenty of popular DeFi protocols that you can use via Polygon—from Aave and similar lending protocols to decentralized exchanges such as SushiSwap and QuickSwap.

However, before you can connect to the Polygon network, you’ll have to send some crypto to a wallet like MetaMask. Then you’ll be able to bridge this crypto to the Polygon blockchain. Naturally, you’ll also need to have some MATIC in your wallet for transaction fees to use dApps like Spritz to pay your bills with crypto—though Polygon gas fees are low enough that a few dollar’s worth will probably suffice.

Here are the steps for using Polygon via MetaMask:

  • If you’re already using MetaMask with Ethereum, you’ll need to connect to Polygon’s network as well — if not, download MetaMask to your computer or mobile device.
  • At the top of the MetaMask interface, find the dropdown menu with your networks — by default, this will probably be set to “Ethereum Mainnet.”
  • Choose the “Custom RPC” option.
  • For the network name, type “Polygon Mainnet”.
  • For the RPC URL, enter rpc-mainnet.maticvigil.com
  • For the Chain ID, enter 137
  • The currency symbol is an optional field, but you can enter “MATIC”.
  • In the “Block Explorer URL” field, enter: https://explorer.matic.network.
  • That’s it! After clicking “Save”, you’ll be connected to Polygon’s blockchain! You can now use all the DApps you want — after transferring some tokens to the Polygon network, of course.

How to bridge assets to Polygon:

If you own Ethereum assets, you can bridge them to Polygon instead of buying more there thanks to Polygon’s PoS token bridge. All compatible DApps can use this proof-of-stake bridge to move tokens from Matic to Ethereum and vice versa.

Usually deposits to Matic take up to 8 minutes, while withdrawals take around 30 minutes. Just remember that you’ll need a small amount of MATIC for the low, but still existent gas fees.

When you’re ready to move assets from Ethereum to Polygon, here’s the procedure for the bridge:

  • Access your Polygon web wallet here.
  • Set your MetaMask network to “Ethereum Mainnet” before connecting.
  • Click on the “Move funds to Matic Mainnet” option.
  • Choose the cryptocurrency and the quantity you want to bridge to Polygon.
  • Confirm the transaction after clicking “Continue.”
  • At this point, the Ethereum gas fees will be deducted, and the asset transfer will take up to 8 minutes. You’ll be able to track the progress of your transaction on the next screen.
  • When it’s done, you’ll see your updated balance sheet on the main page of your web wallet.

If you don’t have any Matic for your gas fees, turn to a crypto faucet like https://matic.supply/. It will provide you with a small amount of MATIC so you can fund your first Polygon transaction.

How to use Polygon DApps

There’s a large number of Polygon-compatible DApps, including a few major Ethereum DeFi protocols. You can easily use all of them with Polygon—all you have to do is to access the Polygon network through MetaMask and connect to the DeFi protocol of your choice. Right now, some of the most popular ones are used for yield farming—allowing users to increase the liquidity of DEX (decentralized exchanges) in return for rewards, or borrow crypto through them.

These are just some of the many practical applications of smart contracts that are quickly democratizing the global financial system. And here are some of the most popular DApps you can use if you want to get started on yield farming as well:

Aave

Aave is one of the most popular protocols for decentralized lending on the Ethereum blockchain — which you can access through Polygon as well. Its current TVL is around $8 billion. You can use Aave to put your digital assets into decentralized liquidity pools and earn interest in the form of Aave’s native token, aToken. You can also borrow digital assets, or even take out short-term “Flash Loans” without any collateral.

So, how do you get started with Aave? After creating an account and logging in, you’ll need to make a deposit that will either act as collateral for your next loan, or as the stake on which you’ll start earning interest. Aave’s deposit screen lets you see all of the current interest rates for various tokens, calculated in APY—their annual percentage yields.

These change all the time, but there’s something Aave and all other DeFi protocols have in common when it comes to APY—the interest rates on stablecoins are highest by far, despite changes in the market.

SushiSwap

SushiSwap is another popular DEX, with a respectable TVL of around $580 million as of July 2022. The platform has been busy helping smaller new tokens get off the ground, and it’s also launched Bento Box—its own decentralized liquidity pool that’s compatible with other DeFi apps.

It’s both an exchange and a lending facility, which gives users a lot of options for creative trades. And while it was initially deployed on Ethereum, it’s now present on some of the bigger layer-2 networks—including Polygon.

SushiSwap is quickly turning out to be one of the most promising DeFi ecosystems, with plenty of innovations and exciting additions underway. Just last year, the folks behind SushiSwap unveiled their latest project—an NFT (non-fungible token) platform called Shoyu. The goal of this platform is to deal with some of the shortcomings of the most popular NFT platforms that exist today, like high Ethereum gas fees, limited image sizes, and a small number of file format options.

QuickSwap

Essentially, QuickSwap is a DEX designed to be an Uniswap clone—but one completely devoted to the layer-2 infrastructure. It’s based on Ethereum, but it was built entirely on Polygon, putting it ahead of its older brother Uniswap in a few key ways. QuickSwap users can trade in any ERC-20 token with near-zero gas fees and at breakneck speed. Its current TVL is $463.5m, but it’s growing rapidly, and its prospects are bright.

The huge boom of decentralized finance in 2021 put enormous strain on the main Ethereum network, creating demand for a quicker, cheaper Polygon-based alternative to the slow and expensive DEX based on the Ethereum mainchain—and that’s exactly what QuickSwap is.

If you want to start farming on QuickSwap, you’ll find that the process is quite similar to SUSHI farming on SushiSwap. The most important part of the process is choosing the right liquidity pool to place your assets in.

Before doing this, we suggest carefully analyzing your personal financial situation and doing plenty of research into different crypto assets. Not all liquidity pools on QuickSwap are QUICK token recipients—and their APY also varies. Of course, the reward isn’t the only thing that’s unevenly distributed between liquidity pools—there’s also the question of risk. And in this case, stablecoin pools (especially USDC-maUSDC) are also the safest bet—they’ve got the best chance of staying at their dollar value, as long as the stablecoin stays pegged to the US dollar.

On the other hand, pools made with two more volatile tokens come with higher risks of price depreciation as well as impermanent loss — so don’t just look at APY values when choosing liquidity pools.

Polygon has a decent chance of becoming the go-to layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum. This sidechain’s token already has one of the biggest market caps compared to all cryptocurrencies, and a robust set of DeFi apps have set up shop on the Polygon network. Right now, there’s no reason to think it won’t enjoy even more growth and success in the future. And that’s why Spritz has launched its private beta on Polygon, making crypto bill payments easier than ever for DeFi users!

Disclaimer: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be financial advice.

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