Decentraland, the decentralized virtual world, has added usability with Ethereum layer 2 project Polygon to address gas fees that are currently plaguing Ethereum’s blockchain, according to a blog post Thursday.
The move comes a day after decentralized finance (DeFi) firm Aave also said it was exploring scalable sidechains with Polygon. The Ethereum ecosystem continues to look for methods to avoid the congested network, where fees can sometimes be higher than the transactions themselves.
“As of today, the Decentraland dapps suite now features an account portal where you can move your [Decentraland token] MANA from the Ethereum blockchain to Polygon’s Matic Network (and back),” the post states.
The idea behind a layer 2 solution is that users can transfer their tokens to a sidechain link to the Ethereum blockchain, where they can transact more quickly and with much lower fees than on Ethereum itself.
"Ethereum’s popularity and usage is increasing at an incredible rate, but this added demand on the network means users are forced to pay higher and higher gas fees in order to make sure their transactions are successful," said Samuel Hamilton, Community and Events lead at Decentraland, in an email. "This is unsustainable for any dapp that makes use of thousands of microtransactions."
Hamilton said users cannot be expected to pay tens of dollars (or more) for common, everyday actions, so dapp providers are looking for ways to scale their services. While this isn’t a new problem, he said, scalability solutions like Polygon’s are now able to provide the speed, affordability and usability (both for developers and end-users) to make a real difference.
A more holistic experience
The account portal is part of a more holistic effort to integrate all Decentraland dapps with Polygon. with the goal of letting users claim, buy, sell and trade wearables for their avatars entirely on Polygon without transaction fees.
“While today’s release adds the ability to transfer assets in Decentraland from Etherum to Polygon, we won’t see the full effects until Decentraland’s Builder and Marketplace have been updated to support transactions on Polygon, which we can expect to see this coming May,” continues the post.
“At that point, the wearables marketplace will be open to all creators with new wearables being minted on Polygon’s Matic network.”
Hamilton said the use of sophisticated L2 solutions like those provided by Polygon are a key component of providing applications with a true use-value, and their adoption is a trend we will see continue.
"Games and virtual worlds especially benefit from the higher throughput of sidechains," he said. "Yes, the Ethereum developer community is taking steps toward more sustainable and manageable gas fees, and yes, we are on the way toward PoS, but [layer 2] solutions still have a role to play."
(Note: Digital Currency Group, parent of CoinDesk, is an investor in Decentraland.)