Polygon has been one of the leading Layer-2 scaling solutions in the crypto space that offers a scalability platform and framework for connecting and building blockchain networks. Polygon has introduced a scalability solution for the ecosystem, called Supernet, enabling blockchains to come and interact within the network.
What is Supernet?
Supernet is Polygon’s scalability solution that allows developers to build their own blockchains with reduced server costs. Supernets provide developers access to a professional set of validators, third-party services for implementation, design, management, and tools for instant integration (block explorers, wallets, KYC providers, etc.). This allows blockchains and protocols to easily be deployed in the Polygon ecosystem.
Supernets rely on and solve challenges for Polygon Edge, a development framework for building Ethereum-compatible blockchains, with added security and decentralization.
Supernets have the following benefits:
- Specificity: Each Supernet is created for an application, project or use case.
- Security as a service: Supernets can be secured by validators from the Polygon PoS chain.
- Interoperability: Supernets can exchange value and messages with each other, as well as the Ethereum mainnet.
There are 3 Supernet modes that developers can deploy their projects on:
- Supernet Sovereign Chain: Managed by a single validator, therefore reduces maintenance costs.
- Supernet Shared Security Chain: Validated by a provided set of professional validators who stake at least 20,000 MATIC, offering better decentralization.
- L2 Chain: A work in progress. This solution aims to scale Supernets using ZK-rollups technology.
Benefits of Supernets
Supernets are created as a solution to challenges that Polygon Edge faces. Polygon Edge is a modular framework, allowing developers to run their blockchains with customizable features and adding Ethereum compatibility. These challenges are identified as:
- The complexity of bootstrapping a decentralized validator set with a coordinated mechanism, affecting the network’s security and bandwidth consumption.
- The complexity of choosing architecture: As Polygon Edge offers multiple infrastructure solutions, developers are sometimes required to choose between a wide variety of chain configurations.
Supernets help remove these complexities, allowing developers to build projects in a customizable environment without extensive costs. This enhances Polygon’s scalability while maintaining its security and decentralization.
Supernets’ special features
Supernets currently have the following features that enhance scalability for the Polygon network:
- The ability to create decentralized Proof-of-Stake networks without manual maintenance.
- Complete decentralization and high security by leveraging validators from the Polygon PoS network.
- High performance and scalability for networks running on the Polygon Edge infrastructure.
- Rewards for validators of Supernets.
Additionally, as said by the team, Supernets are still being developed and users may expect these features to come:
- Gas-efficient bridging to Polygon or Ethereum mainnets.
- Configurable checkpointing to Polygon or Ethereum mainnets for enhanced security.
- Mutual benefits for all Supernets: Block explorer, Alchemy-like RPC, cross-chain bridging between Supernets, etc.
- And so on.
How Supernets differ from Subnets
Subnet, or subnetwork, is the scalability solution on Avalanche that allows anyone to create their own L1 blockchain.
Both Subnets and Supernets allow application-dedicated blockchains to easily be created or deployed. However, there are some notable differences between the two scalability solutions as below:
- The consensus mechanism: While Avalanche uses the Snowman Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol, Polygon uses the IBFT (Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance) consensus protocol, supported in Proof of Authority and Proof of Stake.
- Number of validators: Avalanche Subnets have around 1,300 validators, while Polygon Supernets only have 100, due to the validator number limit of the IBFT consensus protocol.
- Throughput: Avalanche has a generally higher throughput, at 4,500 TPS, compared to 1,500 of Polygon.
- Validator staking requirement: The requirement to become validators for Subnets is staking 2,000 AVAX (approx. $36,000 at the time of writing), while Supernets require a lower amount: 20,000 MATIC (approx. $14,000 at the time of writing).
- Avalanche also requires validators to validate the primary network in addition to Subnets. This is not the case for Polygon Supernets, however, it does not affect the hardware requirements.
That is the basic information about Supernet and how it works within the Polygon ecosystem. With the development of Supernets, the Polygon ecosystem can expect stronger expansion, accelerating the growth of Web3 within the crypto space in the future.