The noticeable lack of Indian presence in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space always seemed relatively inappropriate. With India expected to host 5.2 million programmers over the next two years, the country is well on its way to having more software developers than the US in the near future.
India has been rapidly digitizing over the past decade, with government initiatives focused on digital identity, healthcare, agriculture and justice. In addition, the population is among the youngest in the world, with a median age below 30, compared to the mid-1940s in Western Europe and 37 in the United States.
Despite all of this, the trend in India didn’t seem to pick up as much as it did in many other Asian countries such as South Korea, Thailand and Singapore, when the blockchain scene picked up significantly from 2017.
The cryptocurrency ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India in 2018 is likely a major reason the subcontinent’s crypto scene has stalled as legal ramifications may have deterred many potential investors or developers.
Against this somewhat barren and hostile backdrop, however, a villainous group of developers came together to strengthen the blockchain. It was a multifaceted goal to improve the capabilities of Ethereum to the point where it would be an attractive platform for end users, but also to strengthen the reputation of blockchain in India and around the world.
Starting from the ground up
At the end of 2017 Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun and Mihailo Bjelic brought the Matic Network (now known as Polygon) to life. The team wanted to implement a scaling solution for Ethereum using plasma side chain processing technology. Matic was one of the first projects to build a working MVP for plasma.
The team worked on building the Matic network for over a year. Part of their efforts was to get visible in the broader cryptocurrency community. Their efforts paid off in early 2019, and Matic became one of the few select projects selected for a token sale on Binance’s prestigious LaunchPad IEO platform. It was also backed by Coinbase Ventures in the form of seed investments. The dual support of two of the largest crypto exchanges proved to be a stepping stone for the integration of a first set of applications for gaming and DeFi.
The project started in the mainnet in summer 2020. It was the culmination of two years of hard work. Around the same time, Matic announced the launch of a program for “Large Scale Developer Initiatives” to encourage the introduction of its main network. Fortunately, the project could hardly have planned the mainnet launch better. In the summer of 2020, the DeFi craze really began to rise, and Ethereum began to choke on the heavy traffic on its network.
An attractive platform for developers
For Ethereum users and developers, Ethereum compatibility is one of the biggest attractions of using Polygon (formerly known as Matic). Tokens issued in the polygon network are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine and vice versa. As Ethereum’s weaknesses began to manifest, many applications expanded beyond Ethereum to collectively rely on Polygon’s Layer 2 solutions for scalability and lower-cost transactions.
Large DeFi projects, including Aave, Curve Finance, Augur and UMA, are now working in the Polygon network. In February 2021 the project was renamed Polygon. The new name is intended to reflect the continuous expansion to other scalability solutions such as rollups and other blockchains.
In addition to a willing mass of dApps who want to expand from their original platforms to Polygon, the project is also proving to be attractive for new apps. QuickSwap is one of the projects leading the DeFi ecosystem on Polygon. QuickSwap is a decentralized exchange and an automated market maker that is set up as a branch of Uniswap on Polygon.
QuickSwap is proving to be a hit with merchants – it recently made 440,000 transactions per day, with a 24-hour volume of over $ 710 million and a Total Value Locked (TVL) of nearly $ 800 million, and sometimes that too referred to as liquidity. This is the highest volume and the lowest liquidity of any Layer 2 exchanges. In addition, QuickSwap pays generous APYs of up to 300% for poolstakers.
With the promise of lower entry fees, the platform is obviously geared towards the same success as BSC-based PancakeSwap, which overtook biggest rival Uniswap in trading volume in February.
QuickSwap is also another example of Indian innovation. The co-founder of the project, Sameep Singhania, is a blockchain and software engineer who has worked on other projects such as ParaSwap and Bonded Finance in addition to his own initiatives.
A meteoric rise and a bright future
The influx of newcomers like QuickSwap as well as the migration of flagship apps like Aave have contributed to Polygon’s meteoric rise in recent months. The project, which started as a simple idea from a group of developers in Mumbai, is now excellent. Polygon recently saw its users increase by 75,000 in a week, many of whom were drawn to one of the 93 apps running on the network.
The success is also reflected in the token price – MATIC has recorded growth of over 12,000% since January. The current market capitalization is over $ 13 billion, making it one of the top 20 tokens in the global ranking. In March of this year, the company was also listed on Coinbase. Sandeep Nailwal, one of the founders of Polygon, recently told the Economic Times of India that the platform would become the third most important blockchain after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The rise of Polygon is impressive, especially when you consider that this is a passionate project for a group of enthusiastic developers who are breaking new ground in their sector. Additionally, knowing that it is one of the few projects that sheds light on the touch paper of innovation in the Indian developer community makes the story all the sweeter.
The future of Indian blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation looks much better now. Following a 2020 decision by the Supreme Court of India to lift the cryptocurrency ban, the community has wasted no time making up for the lost years. The pool of developers interested in blockchain is growing rapidly, and recent reports suggest that the country is moving towards a more constructive regulatory framework. In the years to come, there is every chance that India will become the de facto blockchain hub of the world.