What’s the Deal With Polygon?

The SEC Chairman once referred to crypto as the wild west. While he’s not wrong, there are a lot of exciting projects with practical innovations that are “shaping” up for groovy applications!

Originally known as the Matic Network, Polygon initially launched back in 2017 as a scaling solution that runs in conjunction with the Ethereum blockchain. But what does that even mean? I thought cryptocurrencies were just supposed to be digital money.

What’s the Point?

Polygon is based on the Ethereum blockchain, which hosts a ton of activity, ranging from DeFi (decentralized finance) applications to NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) Exchanges. Ethereum’s ability to support smart contracts are what make all these crazy functions possible on the blockchain. 

However, it’s not all kittens and rainbows. Because the Ethereum blockchain has grown so much in popularity, it has become congested. Transactions that take too long to process and rising gas fees have become a problem.

Here’s where Polygon comes in: Polygon is a layer-2 network, which means it’s like an add on to the Ethereum network that doesn’t change the original blockchain. As a layer-2 network, Polygon’s goal is to be a scaling solution for Ethereum that provides quicker transactions and lower gas fees for users. What’s so cool about this is that even though Polygon is its own network and because it is an Ethereum sidechain, it allows for the integration of all of the same functions that the Ethereum network offers such as DeFi apps, NFT marketplaces, and so much more. It’s like an extension of the universe!

All of this “layer-2 network” and “sidechain” stuff may seem a little confusing, and the actual technology that Polygon runs on is even more complex, but all you need to remember is this; Simply put, the Polygon network works alongside the Ethereum blockchain and does everything that Ethereum does, but better. It’s faster, cheaper and easier to use. 

The MATIC Token

The Polygon network has its own native utility token known as MATIC. Here are the main uses of the MATIC coin:

  • Fees: Transaction fees, also known as gas fees, are paid for with MATIC on the Polygon network
  • Staking: In the crypto world, staking is a way to earn rewards for holding cryptocurrencies. On the Polygon network, you can earn more MATIC by staking your coins.
  • Governance: Those who own MATIC, influence the direction of the Polygon network. This means that holders get to vote on changes to Polygon.

Many crypto enthusiasts also buy and sell MATIC in hopes of turning a profit as is the case with numerous other digital tokens.

The Downside

While Polygon’s purpose as a scaling solution is great and has worked so far, there are other crypto projects with the same goal. Avalanche, Solana, and Cosmos are other blockchains that offer similar solutions to Polygon. The other potential threat is Ethereum itself. At some point, Ethereum will be coming to its own rescue when the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade finally arrives. This upgrade will aim to fix Ethereum’s network speed and transaction cost problems internally and many are worried it could render networks like Polygon obsolete, or at the very least make it a little less important than it is right now.

The lagging is typical with crypto applications and it has been known to trigger depreciation of the price.  Slowness is a bear-market factor in the crypto world.

Wrapping it up

So now that we have a better understanding of this very intriguing network and its token MATIC, let’s lay out some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Polygon has proven itself as a scaling solution for Ethereum with its transaction speeds and low costs.
  • Polygon leverages Ethereum’s wide variety of applications.
  • Polygon’s MATIC token has a number of uses.

Cons

  • Competition from other networks.
  • The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade could make Polygon less important.

Ethereum, in a way, has become its own programming language in the crypto space with a lot of room for product expansion, which makes Polygon a fascinating alternative.

References

https://www.coinbase.com/learn/crypto-basics/what-is-polygon

https://www.coindesk.com/learn/polygon-and-matic-whats-the-difference/

https://www.kraken.com/en-gb/learn/what-is-polygon-matic

https://polygon.technology


Dogecoin vs. Shiba Inu

Written by Horizon (The Diplomat)

As a Diplomat, getting into the stock market already felt like a leap of faith. What’s a Diplomat? Why, it’s my Faction that I discovered through the Finliti platform that lets you discover your investor personality type. Somebody recently asked me, which is better, Dogecoin or Shiba Inu? My first thought was: Why does it matter? They’re both super risky investments that I want nothing to do with… But much like with the stock market, I decided I didn’t want to be afraid anymore. Knowledge is power.

Even if I don’t dabble in these new investments, I figured that I’d be better off for understanding them. Plus, who knows, maybe one day I’ll change my mind and decide to get in all the fun. (Although, highly doubtful. ;))

So here we go: Dogecoin vs. Shiba Inu. Which dog themed digital coin has the most bark for its bite?

Both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are based on the incredibly cute breed of Japanese dogs and are memes in the world of crypto. At a glance you might think they are very similar, but the two digital coins are fundamentally different and they have different applications.

Dogecoin

Dogecoin is the OG meme coin. OG tokens were intended to allow fans to interact with sports betting. Back in 2013 when crypto was an even more far fetched and foreign concept, software engineers Billy Marcus and Jackson Palmer created Dogecoin as a joke. At the time, the idea of Dogecoin was just to poke some fun at other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but it turned out to be one of the biggest “jokes” of all time, and not in a bad way.

Dogecoin branded itself a fun version of Bitcoin. This is actually somewhat true as Dogecoin is quite similar to Bitcoin on a fundamental level. Sorry to take you down the altcoin rabbit hole here, but Dogecoin is a fork of Lucky Coin, which is a fork of Litecoin, which is a fork of Bitcoin…See!?! (We got there eventually.) Essentially, what this means is that although Dogecoin is its own thing, it is just a different version of Bitcoin.

A key feature of Dogecoin is that it’s an inflationary coin, it was designed so that there would be A LOT of it. There are currently more than 129 billion Doge in circulation and with no mining cap — there’s more on the way. That’s a lot of doggos!

*Paw-don the inte-ruff-tion, but this should be noted as a potential red flag that resembles the making of a ponzi-scheme. Not to say that it is… but it’s important to be discerning of the structures of these new coins that are often not subject to regulatory scrutiny. This means buyer beware. If you keep increasing supply, the only way to keep the price up for current holders is to bring in new coin holders who in turn bring in more coin holders to support the price of their holdings. So in essence, this coin is being ‘whippet’ real good. Okay, rant warning done!*

So now that we’ve got all this jargony “fork” and “inflationary coin” nonsense out of the way, it’s time to get to the good stuff. What the heck is it that gives a dog themed cryptocurrency value? As is the case with any asset, Dogecoin’s value is based on supply and demand. We know that the supply of Doge is massive, so for it to go up in price there needs to be an overwhelming amount of demand. In 2021, that’s exactly what we saw. In meme stock fashion, Dogecoin took Reddit by storm with millions of Redditors buying the coin and raving about its greatness to anyone on the internet who would listen. Other than being used as an investment, Doge is used as a tipping currency for social media content.

At the end of the day, Doge was started as a joke and found its utility as a fractional currency for tipping and showing fan appreciation for content providers. It had its time in the spotlight and while it’s possible that could happen again, according to my conservative viewpoint, the coin doesn’t have any real value (despite what it’s loyal fans will tell you).

Shiba Inu Coin

Shiba Inu is the new kid on the block in terms of dog themed Altcoins. Created in August 2020 by an anonymous person or group named, Ryoshi; Shiba was created to be an alternative to Dogecoin and is often referred to by its followers as the “Dogecoin killer”.

Shiba’s technology differs from Doge in that it was created on the Ethereum blockchain. To be more specific, it is an ERC-20 Token. While that may not mean much to you, it basically means that Shiba is capable of leveraging smart contracts, which opens a lot of doors in terms of practical uses of the coin. While these smart contracts haven’t been used yet, many believe that Shiba will use them in the future.

The other key differentiator for Shiba is its supply. From the get go, Shiba’s supply was set at one quadrillion. Unlike Dogecoin, Shiba is a deflationary coin, meaning that there is a fixed supply of it. Oddly enough 50% of the tokens were sent as a gift to the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. However, Buterin destroyed 90% of the tokens and donated the remaining 10% to the Indian Covid Relief Fund. He wasn’t too keen on the unsolicited gift and didn’t want the association with Shiba as he questioned the true motives of the token, perhaps fearing it was a trojan horse of sorts. The remaining 50% was sent to crypto exchange, Uniswap, and is still in circulation.

Every dog has its day and much like Dogecoin, Shiba had its time in the spotlight after Elon Musk tweeted a picture of his Shiba Inu puppy named Floki. Musk has been a supporter of Dogecoin and many Shiba enthusiasts took this as a sign that Shiba was next on the ‘Doge Father’s’ radar. The coin has since tumbled from its high as believers in the coin wait for Elon’s next big tweet.

While Shiba Inu coin started as just another meme coin. Its technology and supply give it a little more utility over Dogecoin, IMO. Shiba has potential, but how far can it go?

Wrapping it up

So now that we have a better understanding of these two dog themed meme tokens, let’s lay out a list of pros and cons to get a better idea of how they stack up against each other.

Dogecoin

Pros

  • Has proven useful as a tipping currency
  • Has the support of Elon Musk
  • Has the potential to become more useful in the future as Tesla and other companies announce they will accept Dogecoin as payment

Cons

  • It is an inflationary coin with a near unlimited supply
  • It is highly volatile
  • Still has very limited utility in the real world

Shiba Inu Coin

Pros

  • Is capable of leveraging smart contracts
  • Is an inflationary coin with a finite supply

Cons

  • Many question the intentions of Shiba’s creators
  • It is highly volatile
  • It lacks utility in the real world

Which digital dog coin do you prefer?

Is Horizon your Faction Guide? Find out here!

References

https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/cryptocurrency/articles/your-guide-to-the-crypto-dog-fight-shiba-inu-vs-dogecoin/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6ciubnioqw

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/dogecoin.asp

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/what-is-dogecoin/

https://www.coinbase.com/learn/crypto-basics/what-is-dogecoin

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/shiba-inu-meme-coin-designed-083538749.html

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4465595-shiba-inu-vs-dogecoin-who-is-best-boy


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