- Polygon runs on the popular Ethereum network and is designed to ease some of Ethereum’s functionality issues, which have come due to its rapid success and broad adoption.
- Launched in 2017, Polygon has a market cap of US$6.76 billion as of August 2021. Polygon’s native token is called MATIC.
- NFT gaming involves collecting NFTs, which can then be traded with other users. A good comparison is the Pokémon game craze which captured the world’s imagination in 2015.
2021 has seen a mass expansion of cryptocurrency development as more and more people have become inspired to dip their toes into the world of digital currency.
Of particular interest has been a branch of crypto known as non-fungible tokens – or simply NFTs.
Within the sub-world of NFTs is crypto gaming, which has taken off in 2021.
One of the projects which is receiving particular attention in that field is Polygon.
What is Polygon?
Polygon runs on the popular Ethereum network and is designed to ease some of Ethereum’s functionality issues, which have come due to its rapid success and broad adoption.
Ethereum is the second-largest crypto network after Bitcoin and runs on smart contracts, which, unlike Bitcoin, allow for the blockchain to be programmed.
Due to Ethereum’s popularity over the years, transaction speeds have suffered. That’s where Polygon comes in – a platform designed to deal with Ethereum’s scalability issues.
Launched in 2017, Polygon has a market cap of US$6.685 billion as of 6 August 2021. Polygon’s native token is called MATIC.
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MATIC is a governance token, meaning that holders of MATIC can have a say on how the network is run.
Polygon was founded by software developers Sandeep Nailwal, Jaynti Kanani, and Anurag Arjun in India. They were later joined by Mihailo Bjelic, who helps manage the company along with the three founders.
Polygon is backed by major crypto exchanges – Binance and Coinbase.
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NFTs and Crypto Gaming
The worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns have forced people to delve into home entertainment increasingly. While streaming services, like Netflix, have become as popular as ever, gaming has also been a popular way for people to entertain themselves without leaving home.
NFT gaming involves collecting NFTs, which can then be traded with other users. A good comparison is the Pokémon game craze which captured the world’s imagination in 2015. While in that game, users were required to collect different Pokémon, users in NFT games must collect NFTs in the form of digital representations.
NFTs are unique digital files which cannot be replaced with something else.
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NFTs have recently seen the purchasing and trading of art and music as well as video files.
Earlier this year, the popular YouTube video “Charlie Bit My Finger” sold as an NFT at auction for nearly US$1 million.
Polygon’s Move into Gaming
Polygon is currently spending $10 million on a studio to develop decentralised games in what’s known as “plug and play”.
Over half of the games seen on the Ethereum network are on Polygon.
Polygon Studios aims to provide support, tooling, and gaming in the blockchain space.
An example of a crypto game that has taken off in 2021 is Axie Infinity, where users are required to purchase, breed, and capture little creatures called Axies.
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The game has seen increased popularity amongst millennials in Asia, particularly throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Although Axie Infinity has gained some notoriety, there hasn’t yet been a crypto game that has hit mainstream popularity. But that is expected to change.
Once a major studio, like Electronic Arts, gets onboard the crypto gaming space, the entire crypto gaming space is likely to move mainstream.
In fact, there have been reports that Facebook is talking about creating a “metaverse” – the virtual world imagined by science-fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel, Snow Crash.
This could well be an opportunity for crypto game designers to include NFTs and blockchain technology.