Polygon Avail is a solution developed by the teams of the Polygon project (formerly MATIC). This tackles a major problem, namely that of data availability . 

Avail comes in the form of a data availability layer. This allows sidechains, layer 1 (L1) blockchains and second layer (L2) solutions to significantly improve their performance.

All about Polygon Avail
  1. What is Polygon (MATIC)
  2. Polygon Avail: the latest addition to the Polygon family
  3. Conclusion on Polygon Avail

What is Polygon (MATIC)

Before going into the details of Polygon Avail, it is worth briefly reviewing Polygon Technology, the company behind the project, and Polygon (MATIC), their historic project. 

Polygon is a solution aimed at improving the scalability of the Ethereum (ETH) network . It was launched in 2017 by its four co-founders, Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun and Mihailo Bjelic. 

Logo Polygon

Initially launched as Matic Network, the project was renamed Polygon in February 2021. 

Under the hood, Polygon takes the form of a plasma chain of the Ethereum network. This means that Polygon has its own proof of stake blockchain, which evolves alongside Ethereum. 

This is closely related to Ethereum, as Polygon will publish the root of each of its blocks on the Ethereum blockchain. This inherits some of the security intrinsic to Ethereum. 

Since its creation, Polygon has become an essential DeFi blockchain. Indeed, it brings together nearly 4 billion dollars of TVL, distributed among more than 240 protocols. 

Polygon Avail: the latest addition to the Polygon family

In June 2021, Polygon Technology unveiled a new solution in development: Polygon Avail . 

Polygon Avail Perks Trio

“Avail is a versatile and scalable blockchain focused on data availability for standalone chains, sidechains, and off-chain scaling solutions.”

Explains the official announcement.

This aims to solve the problem of data availability encountered by many blockchains.

The problem of data availability

Before going into the details of Polygon Avail, let’s come back together to this problem of data availability. 

Let’s take the example of second layer Rollup type solutions. Thus, in the case of a ZK-Rollup, the validator (commonly called operator) submits a zero-knowledge proof on Ethereum attesting to the validity of a given block. 

The validator can submit the proof, without publishing the entire transactional data. Although this proof proves that the status of the rollup is valid, network users have no way to double-check it or get the current status of accounts on the rollup.

To circumvent this problem, the operators publish the entire transactional data on Ethereum in the form of calldata. While this has the effect of circumventing the transactional data availability problem, it introduces a scalability problem . 

Indeed, as the number of transactions increases on the rollup, the amount of data to be published on Ethereum increases proportionally. Therefore, this increasing amount significantly reduces the performance that these second layer solutions can offer. 

Thus, most second layer or side chain solutions face a dilemma. Or, they decide to make all the data available, which leads to a loss of performance. Or, they decide not to publish them to improve performance, but expose themselves to the risk that a malicious operator has integrated a malicious transaction into the block. 

The Polygon Avail Solution

With its Avail solution , Polygon achieves a master trick by removing this dilemma between data availability and performance . 

To do this, Polygon Avail proposes to segment the network into different layers, each with their own specificity. This makes it possible to create a modular architecture.

Therefore, Avail is an additional layer that can plug into the architecture of any other blockchain. 

Polygon Avail modularity

“Avail is a blockchain that records blockchain transactions and proves that the data is available. It focuses on data availability and scheduling for modular chain design.”

Subsequently, the other layers of the architecture, namely the consensus layer or the execution layer, can connect to Avail to obtain the data and process it if necessary. It is these layers that will ensure the validity of the data. 

Thus, by integrating Avail, second-layer solutions would no longer have to choose between availability and security. The data would be fully available on the Avail layer. At the same time, performance would no longer be limited by this data. Indeed, they would no longer be published via calldata on Ethereum, which represents the main current limit. 

Conclusion on Polygon Avail

For the moment, the Polygon Avail solution is still in the development phase. 

However, a first testnet should arrive in the coming weeks or months, knowing that it has been announced for the second quarter of 2022. 

If this were to be a success, the solution could be more widely deployed in the following months and then adopted by a good number of networks.

Indeed, Avail is designed to be entirely agnostic of the blockchain that uses it. Thus, this solution could be used by the Substrate blockchains of the Polkadot (DOT) ecosystem as well as by the Ethereum Rollups or even the blockchains of the Cosmos (ATOM) ecosystem . 

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