Ethereum has been a victim of its own success. It’s the most used decentralized application blockchain, with the largest developer community. It is frequently the source of some of crypto’s most innovative and popular trends. But the project can’t scale. In order to disrupt legacy finance, crypto developers have become obsessed with hacking Ethereum — with layer 2s, sidechains and, the most ambitious blockchain upgrade to date, Ethereum 2.0.
Plasma is a proposed framework for incentivized and enforced execution of smart contracts which is scalable to a significant amount of state updates per second (potentially billions) enabling the blockchain to be able to represent a significant amount of decentralized financial applications worldwide. These smart contracts are incentivized to continue operation autonomously via network transaction fees, which is ultimately reliant upon the underlying blockchain (e.g. Ethereum) to enforce transactional state transitions.
Sharding is the process of splitting a database horizontally to spread the load — it’s a common concept in computer science. In an Ethereum context, sharding will reduce network congestion and increase transactions per second by creating new chains, known as “shards”.
Sidechains are Ethereum-compatible, independent blockchains which employ their own consensus models and block parameters to efficiently process transactions. Public EVM Sidechains are designed for interoperability with Ethereum. Contracts are typically portable and assets and data may be transferred cross-chain. Public sidechains are useful in many different contexts including micro-transactions, stable transactions, and application-specific transactions (NFT-based art, DAO voting, community currencies, etc).
Matic was started in 2017 by 3 founders who were active participants in the cryptocurrency community in India and decided to band together and tackle Ethereum’s scaling problems.
The team worked on 2 main solutions: Plasma Chains — a layer 2 scaling solution based on Matic’s implementation of Plasma and a PoS Chain — a Proof-Of-Stake Ethereum sidechain.