Autor Cointelegraph By Zhiyuan Sun

Here's how Polygon is challenging the limitations of Ethereum, as told by co-founder Sandeep Nailwal

Polygon (MATIC), a layer-two network designed for scaling and application infrastructure development on Ethereum (ETH), has been making the rounds among blockchain enthusiasts as of late. From its $1 billion investment into zero-knowledge technology to co-launching a $200 million Web 3.0 social media initiative up to integrating with Opera’s web browser to make its decentralized apps accessible to 80 million Android mobile users, the network’s momentum is going strong. But partnerships and business aside, the technological capacities of the network, especially when compared to Ethereum, are also attracting the attention of many blockchain developers. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal talked about the extent of the network’s adoption.Cointelegraph: What are the current gas prices and transaction speeds for Polygon? And how does that compare to Ethereum?Sandeep Nailwal (SN): From the Polygon Scan Explorer, you can see that the average block time is around 2.3 seconds. As for Ethereum, that is 15 seconds. And then the gas fees, you can see 0.001 MATIC tokens; this is a point fraction of a penny.CT: Have there been any notable nonfungible token (NFT) drops on the Polygon network recently?SN: None of them have become like CryptoPunks or anything, but I think Polygon’s biggest kind of support is from the gaming companies […] They all added to NFT. If you go to market, talk to any random 10 different gaming teams, they will tell you six to seven are building on Polygon.But the notable drops on NFT, the biggest, have been Dolce and Gabbana, the brand. They made a $7 million sale recently. There are other big luxury premium watch brands, and these guys are coming in. Apart from that […] Elon Musk minted an NFT. Jack Dorsey minted NFT of his first-ever tweet, and […] Mark Cuban — all those were on Polygon networks only.#NFT sales have seen astronomical growth since 2020.2020 total sales: $340 million2021 total sales: $9 billion (so far)Let’s see what happens in 2022, with NFTs in sports, gaming, and #metaverses now gaining traction. https://t.co/VDD8v2YwVo via @cointelegraph— Waz (@DaveWaslen) November 30, 2021CT: What are some popular decentralized apps built on the Polygon blockchain? And what does their total value locked (TVL) look like?SN: Polygon is now used by all the decentralized finance applications in Ethereum. The only one remaining was Uniswap. And the community signaled a week back that they are also launching on Polygon now. So as for the popular DApps, I would say Uniswap, Aave, Decentraland, etc. I think the TVL across the bridges is around $5 billion or $6 billion.CT: What is your objective for investing in zero-knowledge technology?SN: We had committed $1 billion for zero-knowledge technology, which we believe is the holy grail of blockchain scaling. And privacy is the second element — that’s one thing where everybody gets confused. So you use ZK to verify computations back on Ethereum without sending back the entire data. Instead, you simply provide proof that everything was correctly computed on layer two and put a […] succinct proof back to Ethereum.CT: In your opinion, would further Ethereum upgrades empower the network’s capacity to match that of layer-two solutions?SN: Even if 2.0 comes in here, that will not provide enough scalability. Next year, the proof-of-stake [PoS] upgrade will keep everything the same; like Ethereum has 13 transactions per second [TPS] right now, maybe it will go to 20 TPS [after PoS], but not more than that. So that does not add anything to scalability. And let’s say in three to five years, even if the sharding comes, we’ll have a projection of 64 shards. And with each acting at 20 transactions per second, but that’s still 1,280 transactions per second overall, right? That’s still not enough for the entire world.Related: Uniswap v3 contracts deployment on Polygon approved with 99.3% consensusCT: What does Polygon’s adoption currently look like?SN: There are 3,000 plus active development teams on it. This was posted by Alchemy some time back. It should actually be up to 5,000. The daily active users on Polygon have become 50% more than Ethereum, and with gaming NFTs, we are seeing so much happening on Polygon. 

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3 embroidery artists weave NFT charity drop to help victims of human trafficking

Three embroidery artists — Russia’s Katerina Marchenko, Brazil’s Aline Brant and Ninni Luhtasaari of Finland — announced Thursday that they will be auctioning their nonfungible token (NFT) art pieces to support Hope for the Future (HFTF), a registered charity based in Austria. Proceeds from the auction will help victims of human trafficking find entry-level work positions after their harrowing experiences.Katerina Marchenko embroidering. Source: Katerina MarchenkoThe NFT sale will take place on Orica between Dec. 27–30, with each piece having a floor price of $500. The auction’s goal is to raise $10,000 for the employment program. “Even when one offers survivors the possibility to get out, they are mostly very traumatized by their experiences, they have little knowledge of the local language, and they must first become integrated step-by-step into normal life,” said Hope For the Future founder Andrea Staudenherz, adding:”Incredibly, these renowned embroidery artists can now support our charity’s work via Orica at different sides of the world. These NFTs are giving us the hope that we could fund five days a week of training in 2022. Our current budget only stretches to four.”Marchenko, who has over 400,000 followers on Instagram, added: “I’d followed this year’s excitement about NFTs but needed a reason bigger than being in it for the money. When Orica told me about Hope for the Future’s campaign, it became that bigger reason for me. I’m excited to auction my artwork for such an important cause.””Obra 6.” Source: Aline Brant Related: Moon Landing initiative brings neurodiversity to NFTs and supports art nonprofitsThe intersection between philanthropic ventures and NFTs has been developing rapidly this year. In one example, Orica partnered with registered Austrian charity Bbanga Project and German digital artist Mellowmann to host an NFT drop, with proceeds going to the construction of a school in Uganda. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service permits good Samaritans to write off their crypto or NFT proceed donations against their ordinary income, thereby saving ample tax dollars while simultaneously donating to good causes.”Hold me tight.” Source: Ninni Luhtasaari 

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Global search interest for 'NFT' surpasses 'crypto' for the first time ever

For the week ending on Christmas, global searches for the term “NFT,” which refers to nonfungible tokens, have surpassed “crypto,” according to Google Trends. The sharp increase in search traffic for NFTs offers a clear indication that digital collectibles have entered mainstream consciousness, with transactions on OpenSea, the most popular decentralized platform for NFT auctions and drops, surpassing $10 billion.”NFT” versus “crypto” search trends. Source: Google TrendsThe huge increase in the demand for NFTs is evident across nearly all aspects of society. First, consumer brands such as Nike and Adidas are making their own entry into the realm of metaverse NFTs. Then, celebrities such as Snoop Dog, Grimes, Steve Aoki, Mila Kunis and Melania Trump are promoting their own NFT collections to the public. Thirdly, NFT games such as Axie Infinity and Sorare make it possible for players to learn about crypto and NFTs, as well as earn a small amount of money as a side hustle while playing video games.Related: Biggest NFT drops and sales in 2021Moreover, the proceeds from NFT auctions could also go to nonprofits or charities, such as building a school for children in Uganda. Not only can crypto holders obtain fine pieces of art but in the United States, they can also deduct their donations against their ordinary income to save on taxes, resulting in a win-win for all. Lastly, NFTs make it possible for artists worldwide to broadcast their talents without the need for physical exhibits. One such example is Mongol NFT, which brings tales of nomadic horse riders and the history of the steppes to the blockchain.

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Hong Kong NFT project Monkey Kingdom loses $1.3M in phishing hack, launches compensation fund

On Tuesday, Solana nonfungible token (NFT) project Monkey Kingdom, which has received notable backing from American DJ Steve Aoki, announced via Twitter that hackers made off with $1.3 million of the community’s crypto funds through a security breach on Discord. According to its developers, the hack first occurred with the breach of Grape, a popular solution for verifying users on Solana. Hackers then used the exploit to take over an administrative account, which posted a phishing link in the Monkey Kingdom Discord’s announcement channel. Users who followed the link connected their wallets expecting they would receive an NFT but instead were drained of their SOL tokens by the scammer.Announcement on the discord hack pic.twitter.com/1r7svjlZcB— Monkey Kingdom (@MonkeyKingdom_) December 21, 2021Tragically, the hack took place when users were lining up for the project’s second drop. The Monkey Kingdom consists of 2,222 algorithmically generated NFTs centered around Sun Wukong, otherwise known as “The Monkey King” in Chinese folklore. All proceeds from the initial sale of the NFTs were to go to a charity of choice, with the intent of supporting Asian communities worldwide. It was one of the most successful NFT projects to have originated in Asia. Guys I got drained 650 $SOL.It is one my biggest mistake.I am always recommending people using burner but I was nervous and fomo the Monkey Kingdom Mint. Never thought it was not a legit mint link in official discord.It is important money to my family: my wife, my son. pic.twitter.com/rtWbCu81Ga— commenstar (@commenstar) December 21, 2021

Related: Beeple’s Discord compromised, timed to coincide with Christie’s auctionOne Twitter user, who goes by the name of “commenstar,” claims to have lost 650 SOL, worth roughly $120,400, due to the scam. But all was not lost. The staff at Monkey Kingdom has set aside a compensation fund for victims and is on track to fully reimburse those affected. The timeline and process for distributing the funds has not yet been disclosed.Phishing attacks are nothing new for the crypto industry. Over the past year, scammers have been repeatedly targeting Discord users and exploiting the platform itself to orchestrate such NFT hacks. Monkey Kingdom community, we have your back! We have begun processing compensation requests and will be contacting individuals starting today. Thank you for your patience! Once you receive your compensation, please kindly share the news with the community. For the Kingdom!! pic.twitter.com/TVbuSqdKtq— Monkey Kingdom (@MonkeyKingdom_) December 22, 2021

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Terabithia cross-chain protocol bridges Internet Computer and Ethereum

On Wednesday, Psychedelic, a Web 3.0 development studio building solutions for the Internet Computer, launched Terabithia, a cross-chain contract communication and asset mirroring protocol. Beginning with the Internet Computer (ICP) and Ethereum (ETH), users will have the ability to mirror and use any ETH tokens, fungible and nonfungible, on the Internet Computer blockchain and vice versa, effectively turning ICP into a layer-two scaling solution for ETH.The protocol attempts to tackle the problem of Ethereum network congestion and high gas fees. The Internet Computer, meanwhile, uses a “reverse gas model” where developers supply the funds needed to run the applications or contracts that use their gas, known as “cycles.”When asked about the technological capacities of the Internet Computer network, Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist of ICP developer Dfinity, told Cointelegraph:”The Internet Computer is pretty fast. For example, while Solana is the closest competitor in terms of speed, the IC is approximately 700% faster, boasting 250-millisecond reads and 2 second writes/updates.According to Williams, the Internet Computer is “far more effective at storing data than most other chains.” Whereas Ethereum currently costs $199 million to store a gigabyte worth of data annually, the same amount of storage costs just $5.52 per year on the Internet Computer. “This allows for decentralized apps that actually run at web speed, with unbounded capacity” in terms of data or cost, he said.Williams further added that “the unbounded capacity also means that NFTs can be stored entirely on-chain.” He claimed that the Internet Computer is the only blockchain to store nonfungible tokens completely on-chain “and the only one to enable zero-fee transactions.” He further added that “NFT metadata is regularly stored “off-chain” typically due to the cost of data and the inability of many blockchains to scale.”Related: Smart contracts are coming to Bitcoin through Dfinity’s Internet ComputerLast month, the total value locked on layer-two solutions on Ethereum reached an all-time high of $5.64 billion. Crypto enthusiasts have been migrating to such networks to escape soaring gas prices. While the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 upgrade may transition its consensus mechanism from proof-of-stake to proof-of-work, it does not solve the core problem of low transaction speeds, which currently only amounts to 30 transactions per second.

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