Solana Vs. Polygon Vs. Ethereum – The Ultimate Comparison
Blockchain technology is one of the most talked-about technologies in the world right now. It has entered almost every segment, bringing its decentralized system for improvements over the existing technologies. With the entry of Blockchain, many different kinds of applications were also developed for these segments. It also gave birth to things like NFTs, decentralized finance, cryptocurrency, and a lot more. However, the demand for Blockchain platform apps has been increasing day by day, and due to this, the solutions for the same have been growing at a much faster pace.
These applications are based on a particular Blockchain platform, out of which the most prominent are Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon. This article will not only provide detailed information about these three Blockchain platforms. Still, it will also list the major differences that set them apart and make them apt for different segments. While Ethereum has been one of the oldest and most used Blockchain platforms, Polygon and Solana have been the new players in the market, providing faster and better transactions for the users. While Ethereum has been a major leader in terms of Blockchain platforms, based on which most of the applications are made, its competitors have been trying to offer even more.
The article will allow you to understand the major difference between the three Blockchain platforms and which one you should opt for based on the type of application you want to develop. Architecture, Consensus, scalability, and transaction speeds are the main criteria based on which the Blockchain platforms will be differentiated. While the Ethereum platform is more about the features and security, Solana and Polygon are more about affordable rates, faster speeds, and scalability. Before looking into the difference between the three, let’s have a look at what the three Blockchain platforms actually are.
The platforms’ work irrespective of their value
One of the major misconceptions that people have, especially those who are new to this, is that the Blockchain platform’s performance is represented by the value it has while trading. First of all, the information is completely false. Before you pick up a Blockchain platform to create your apps on, be assured that the value does not affect it. Values of the cryptocurrency are just meant for trading alone. Ethereum is one of the most diversified platforms in terms of Blockchain application development. With Ethereum 2.0, it has more features and improvements than any other competitor.
Ethereum started a market where Blockchain platforms were used for NFTs and smart contracts. It led to further expansion of the market and led to the birth of competitors like Polygon and Solana. While Solana provides major competition to the Ethereum platform, Polygon is just behind it. Solana provides much faster transactions at a reduced cost when compared to Ethereum and Polygon, while Polygon provides faster transaction speeds. However, Ethereum still stands as the most diverse and transparent landscape of decentralized applications.
Why Should You Care About Solana vs. Polygon vs. Ethereum?
The emergence of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has ushered in a new era of finance, challenging conventional value exchange methods. The importance of Blockchain technology in the market is growing as the market changes. Blockchain technology is the backbone of the cryptocurrency industry, allowing users to perform transactions without a central authority. The technology revolves around smart contracts, which automate the contract execution, enforcement, and verification processes. Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum are all Blockchain technologies that handle smart contracts effectively, making them ideally suited for the development of decentralized apps (dApps).
Ethereum is a pioneer in smart contract technology, since its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) enables programmers to write smart contracts in a number of programming languages. However, because of network congestion, transaction costs have increased, making the platform less accessible for minor transactions. This is something that Solana and Polygon excel at.
Solana and Polygon have been developed with high throughput and quick transaction speeds, making them appropriate for applications requiring inexpensive and quick transactions. Solana can process up to 65,000 transactions per second, whereas Ethereum can only handle approximately 30 transactions per second. Polygon (formerly Matic Network) is a Layer 2 scaling solution that enables rapid, low-cost transactions and allows developers to build decentralized applications on top of it.
All three Blockchain systems use Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithms to ensure security, which requires users to stake tokens in order to participate in the validation process. Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithms consume less energy than Proof of Work (PoW) algorithms, making them a more environmentally friendly choice for Blockchain technologies. On the other hand, Solana’s PoS consensus process is meant to be more secure than Ethereum’s, giving protection from a range of threats.
The interoperability of Solana and Polygon across chains is an additional advantage. Solana was built with interoperability in mind, allowing it to connect with other Blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin. Polygon, on the other hand, is a Layer 2 scaling solution that can be easily integrated with Ethereum, enabling decentralized applications to access the Ethereum network while benefiting from Polygon’s faster and cheaper transactions.
Solana and Polygon offer scaling solutions for Layer 2 that enable developers to create dApps with cheap transaction fees, making them more accessible to the general public. Ethereum 2.0 will be more scalable and energy-efficient than its predecessor. However, the shift to the new PoS consensus algorithm and sharding technology is still happening, and it may take some time to get the full benefits of Ethereum 2.0.
DeFi and NFTs are two of the most common use cases for Blockchain technology, and they are completely supported by all three Blockchain systems. With Solana and Polygon’s faster and cheaper transactions, developers may build DeFi applications and NFT marketplaces that are more accessible to a larger audience.
Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum are all advanced Blockchain technologies that offer a unique set of characteristics. Solana and Polygon feature faster and cheaper transactions, cross-chain interoperability, more secure PoS consensus methods, and robust support for DeFi and NFT use cases, whereas Ethereum was the first to provide smart contracts. As the cryptocurrency market evolves, it is vital to comprehend the pros and cons of each technology in order to make well-informed decisions regarding their application.
Solana vs Polygon vs Ethereum
Year of Foundation
|Proof of Work||Proof of Stake and Proof of History||Proof of Stake Plasma-based sidechain|
|Stateful architecture||Stateless architecture||Multichain architecture|
|Limited Scalability||High-Performance protocol for scalability||Multichain solutions offer better scalability|
Transaction Fees and Gas Prices
|High||Low (few cents)||Low|
Smart Contract Languages and Tooling
|Solidity||Rust, C, C++||Golang, Solidity, Vyper|
Ecosystem and Developer Community
|Highest number of developers||Comparatively lower||Comparatively lower|
We mentioned the major details of all the three Blockchain platforms above, however, as a Blockchain application developer, which one should you go for.
Now we will discuss the major difference between all the three Blockchain platforms which makes them suitable for multiple Blockchain applications.
Consensus mechanisms and block confirmation times
It is one mandatory procedure that you will find among all the decentralized Blockchain platforms. It is what helps to reach an agreement on the present state of the network. What Ethereum follows is PoW or Proof of Work mechanism of consensus. The problem with Ethereum is the requirement of high processing power. Due to this, it does not allow the scope for multiple users to participate in this, although it allows miners globally to participate in the consensus. Since processing power requirement is high, it also takes a toll on the performance but ensures better security.
With Polygon, you can get a consensus-based on PoS or Proof of Stake. If a user takes on the Polygon network, they can earn rewards in the form of Matic taken. Since it offers a combination of technologies, the consensus can be achieved faster. Solana on the other hand has a unique approach to consensus mechanism. Since it provides one of the fastest transaction speeds, the mechanism offers efficient operation. It uses an array of computations to know the ideal verification method of the time gap between two events. It can be called a Hybrid form of consensus with the best features of PoW, PoS, and PoH, which is Proof of History. It allows for more flexibility in sorting transactions. It is why Solana can process up to 65,000 transactions in a second.
The speed of transactions on a Blockchain platform is one of the major factors that helps the developer decide the platform they need to work on. When it comes to transaction speeds, the slowest among them is Ethereum. Now every participant in Ethereum has a copy of the digital ledger, and the holder takes care of the operation and management of the network. Now Ethereum is one of the most used and popular Blockchain platforms, due to which it has a lot of crowd waiting to verify their transactions. Therefore, the participant will either have to wait for a long time or pay a huge fee for verification. Due to this, only a limited number of transactions are processed every second, which can range between 27-30.
When it comes to Solana and Polygon, they are way ahead in terms of transaction speeds and offer 50,000-65,000 transactions per second which are a lot faster. Solana depends on Tower Byzantine Fault Tolerance of TBFT which prevents real-time communication among nodes and reduces the time taken, increasing efficiency overall. Polygon on the other hand has the fastest speed. Since it provides a hybrid environment, it has the fastest transaction speed of 65,000 transactions a second.
Another important factor that the developers consider is the architecture. The architecture defines the state of the Blockchain network and if it can modify variable values. Ethereum has undoubtedly one of the best stateful architectures among the competition due to which it is widely used for making apps on the Blockchain platform. The platform records all the transactions in the existing state and copies of the latest transactions are immediately coined to mirror the recent transactions. It is an effective network but is slower when compared to stateless networks.
Polygon comes with the idea of a borderless society and economy where it works like POS Blockchain and exchanges are present in the form of clusters. Solana on the other hand is based on a cluster architecture that works on Solana clusters. It is basically a collection of validators that together address the client transactions with ledger maintenance. Every cluster has its own validator and the roles of each validator continue to rotate among them. The leader of the cluster will build and timestamp the transaction with PoH consensus. It is a stateless architecture and due to this, the whole state of Solana architecture does not need to update every time. It is why both Solana and Polygon are very efficient and provide faster transactions.
It is one of the most critical factors that the developer should look after before selecting a platform for Blockchain app development. It shows if the network is scalable to ensure the completion of the transaction. With Ethereum, the transaction speed is 15 transactions per second, which is less when compared to the competitors. However, the layer 2 scaling with multichain network support resolves the scalability issue. Solana can process 65,000 transactions a second, due to which scalability issues do not exist in it. The users have access to faster transaction speeds, a better consensus model, and efficient architecture. Polygon offers a similar kind of scalability as Solana with even improved transaction speeds.
Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum are now home to some of the most innovative and successful Blockchain ventures to date. Let’s take a closer look at some of the well-known projects built on these three platforms.
- One of the most well-known Ethereum initiatives is Uniswap. It is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows users to trade ERC-20 tokens without the need for intermediaries. With a daily trade volume of more than $1 billion, Uniswap has become one of the most popular DEXs. Another noteworthy initiative is Aave, a DeFi lending technology that allows users to borrow and lend cryptocurrency. Aave has amassed billions in total value locked (TVL) and has established itself as a pillar in the DeFi industry.
- The Solana-based DEX Serum has gained significant traction. It was designed for efficient and low-cost trading, and its order book structure allows it to handle massive transaction volumes. Serum has attracted several prominent partnerships, including Bonfida and Raydium. Raydium, a liquidity provider and DEX aggregator on Solana, has grown in popularity due to the speed and low cost of its transactions.
- Other notable projects have also been created on Polygon’s platform. The NFT-based gaming platform Aavegotchi has quickly become one of Polygon’s most popular decentralized applications. Users can purchase and sell ghost-themed non-fungible tokens for use in games and events. QuickSwap, a Polygon-based DEX, has also gained popularity due to its low transaction costs and speed. It has become a popular alternative to Ethereum-based DEXs.
In each second, 30 Ethereum transactions can be done. Solana allows up to 65,000 worth of transactions per second. Polygon allows up to 65,000 transactions per second.
Transaction fees and gas prices
- The gas fees on Ethereum are notoriously high, particularly during times of high network congestion. As the Ethereum network has grown in popularity, so have gas prices, with fees frequently reaching several hundred dollars per transaction during peak usage periods. As a result, smaller transactions on the network have become increasingly difficult, leading to the rise of layer 2 scaling solutions.
- In comparison to Ethereum, Polygon has much lower gas prices and transaction fees. This is due in part to the network’s Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, which reduces network energy consumption and costs. Polygon also offers a number of layer 2 scaling solutions that enable quick and low-cost transactions.
- Solana also has extremely low transaction fees, with only a few cents charged per transaction. Because of the network’s high throughput and efficient consensus algorithm, transactions are quick and inexpensive, making it an appealing option for users looking for a more affordable Blockchain solution.
Smart contract languages and tooling
Smart contracts on Ethereum are written in Solidity. It is a programming language built exclusively for the Ethereum ecosystem. Solidity is a high-level programming language that compiles to EVM bytecode. It enables developers to construct bespoke logic for decentralized applications. However, Solidity has a steep learning curve, and building safe smart contracts might be difficult for inexperienced programmers.
In contrast, Solana and Polygon have picked Rust as their primary smart contract development language. Rust is a secure and fast programming language that has gained popularity in recent years due to its memory safety and speed. It provides a more accessible and streamlined development environment. This makes it easier for developers to construct secure smart contracts.
Moreover, both Solana and Polygon provide considerable developer toolings support, such as Solana Studio and Truffle Suite, respectively. These tools simplify the development process, including debugging, deployment, and testing, making it easier for developers to construct and deploy decentralized applications on their respective platforms.
Ecosystem and developer community
Ethereum is unquestionably the reigning champion in this category, as its ecosystem has been expanding and maturing for years. With a large developer community, robust development tools, and frameworks, Ethereum provides developers with a vast array of options for building decentralized applications and smart contracts. It is home to some of the most innovative and successful Blockchain projects, including Uniswap, Compound, and MakerDAO.
Solana, on the other hand, has focused on luring programmers who wish to create high-throughput and high-speed applications, such as DeFi and NFTs. It has already established partnerships with a number of DeFi and NFT projects, including Serum, Mango Markets, and Degenerate Ape Academy, which are attracting developers and users to its platform. Developers are beginning to take notice of Solana’s unique features, such as its lightning-fast transaction speed and scalability.
Polygon, formerly known as Matic Network, has carved out a distinct market niche by providing Layer 2 scaling solutions for Ethereum’s current scalability and high gas fees problems. Polygon has partnered with leading Blockchain projects, such as Aave, SushiSwap, and Curve Finance, to build an ecosystem of growing applications on its platform. Its Layer 2 solutions have made it easier and less expensive for developers to build on the Ethereum network, attracting developers and investors seeking an alternative to Ethereum’s current problems.
Ethereum has the advantage of being the first and most prominent platform for decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts, but Solana and Polygon are rapidly growing and attracting developers with their distinctive features and benefits. Competition between these platforms ultimately benefits the entire Blockchain ecosystem because it drives innovation and encourages the creation of new applications and use cases.
Use Cases and Applications
Each of Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum has an increasing number of use cases and applications that demonstrate their distinct characteristics and benefits. The following are the most promising use cases for each platform:
NFT marketplaces and gaming
- Ethereum has dominated the NFT sector, with OpenSea and Rarible being two of the most prominent NFT marketplaces. This platform has seen the rise of Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained.
- Solana is gaining traction as a platform for NFT marketplaces and games. It has collaborated with a number of NFT initiatives, such as Degenerate Ape Academy, and gaming projects, such as Star Atlas, to provide consumers with unique gaming experiences.
- Several NFT marketplaces, including Nifty Gateway and SuperFarm, have implemented Polygon to address Ethereum’s scalability issues. Polygon has also collaborated with Aavegotchi and Cometh to provide users with an immersive gaming experience.
DeFi applications and yield farming
- Popular protocols such as Aave, Compound, and Uniswap have been developed on Ethereum’s platform, making it the undisputed leader in the DeFi market. It has also become the platform of choice for yield farming and liquidity mining.
- Other innovative protocols, such as Serum, Mango Markets, and Raydium, are gaining traction among users and developers, establishing Solana as a formidable competitor in the DeFi market.
- Polygon has also become a popular platform for DeFi apps and yield farming due to its Layer 2 scaling solutions. These solutions address Ethereum’s high gas fees and network congestion issues. Aave and SushiSwap are two successful DeFi projects at Polygon.
Decentralized exchanges (DEXs)
- Uniswap and SushiSwap are two popular DEXs that use Ethereum. Because of its smart contract capabilities and established ecosystem, it has become the platform of choice for the creation of DEXs.
- Solana is quickly gaining popularity as a DEX platform, with Serum being one of the most promising regimens. Serum’s distinct features, such as cross-chain interoperability and high-speed trading, make it an appealing option for traders and investors.
- Polygon’s platform has been used to develop several DEXs, most notably QuickSwap and Cometh. Its Layer 2 scaling solutions have made it easier and less expensive for developers to create DEXs, enticing investors and traders looking for an alternative to Ethereum’s exorbitant gas fees.
Stablecoins and payments
- Ethereum has been used to create other stablecoins such as USDC, DAI, and Tether. Because of its smart contract capabilities, it has also become a popular platform for Blockchain-based payment transactions.
- Solana is also seeing the development of other stablecoins on its platform, such as USDC and PAI. Its high speed and scalability make it an appealing option for developers looking to create stablecoins and payment solutions.
- Polygon has also seen the rise of stablecoins such as USDC and DAI on its platform. Its Layer 2 solutions have made it easier and less expensive to establish stablecoins and payment solutions, attracting developers and users looking for a scalable and cost-effective Ethereum alternative.
Features, Pros and Cons of Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum
Solana is undoubtedly a great competitor to Ethereum. The platform has been created to provide developers with a place to develop user-oriented applications. The most intriguing feature of the platform is its efficiency. Solana is known to process around 50,000 to 65,000 transactions every second, making it one of the fastest Blockchain platforms available. It is currently the quickest Blockchain platform available to developers for creating scalable applications and due to this, it has the most efficient ecosystem. The major focus of Solana is on scalability and user-friendly application, which makes it one of the best choices for developers if they are considering a new Blockchain platform apart from Ethereum. It currently has more than 400 Defi, Web3, and NFTs. It usually conducts up to 3,000 transactions a second to go up to 65,000 transactions in a second.
- The Blockchain model work on the consensus concept of PoH(Proof of History) for allowing and restricting entries in the database
- It uses the Gulfstream system for the transaction to wait in a memory pool until their turn for processing is up. It holds up to 1,00,00 transactions at one time.
- It can enable multiple smart contracts simultaneously, which helps in saving cost and time.
- Fast processing of data by using multiple hardware connected through networks.
- Uses different Blockchain nodes in smaller packets for a speedier speed of transactions.
- Follow a stateless architecture
- Increased speed of transaction processing of up to 50,000 transactions a second
- High-performance protocol for scalability
- The hardware support for Solana is costlier in comparison
- Not decentralized enough
Polygon is one of the most renowned digital Blockchain platforms available to users. The platform is responsible for providing digital assets and economies. The major functionality of Polygon is to enable the multichain Ethereum ecosystem. It provides a network that offers interoperability between previous and present infrastructure scenarios of Ethereum. Due to this, it offers great functionality and the fastest transaction speed of almost 65,000 transactions per second. It can be called a more hybrid form of Blockchain platform, which features the good features of both Ethereum and Solana.
- Interoperability of elements based on the previous and existing architecture of Ethereum
- It is completely compatible with Ethereum
- Higher performance with a transaction speed of up to 65,000 transactions per second
- Provides multi-chain architecture for better scalability
- More secure due to the results of the validation system
- Polygon is built to scale with the increasing volume of transactions
- Provides a similar experience to that of Ethereum
- With developments in Ethereum 2.0, Polygon might not be required as the second layer
We already know the most popular Blockchain platform in the world is Bitcoin. Ethereum comes in second place and is one of the most favored Blockchain platforms for creating decentralized applications. Ethereum has been responsible for creating an open economy by providing its own cryptocurrency and platform for developing decentralized applications. The platform can be accessed by anyone regardless of location and background. There is a dominance of Ethereum when it comes to the market of digital collectibles as it has been the first platform that provided a way for NFTs. Due to this, developers have been using it as the first preference for creating digital assets. The only flaw you can count on here is the platform’s intensive computing power.
- Development and Deployment of smart contracts. In fact, the Ethereum platform was the base of creating NFTs and Smart contracts.
- It uses the Ethereum Virtual machine that understands the contracts and allows users to interact with them.
- it allows the users to create consolidated apps, which are decentralized applications.
- Ether is the digital token of Ethereum, which can also be earned as a reward.
- It enables the users to create democratic decision-making with complete transparency, which is also known as Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), where there is no single leader governing everything
- Ethereum has more emphasis on features and improvements, which makes it one of the best Blockchain app development platforms.
- The Blockchain rarely goes through any issue and is one of the most stable and efficient Blockchain platforms available.
- It comes with a Stateful architecture which makes it better for app development.
- Needs a lot of processing power; therefore, there is less scope of involvement of miners
- Due to the high requirement of resources, the performance takes the toll
- Less transaction processing speed
Adoption and Future Outlook
Current adoption and usage metrics
In terms of acceptability and usage metrics, Ethereum has been the industry leader due to its mature ecosystem and extensive adoption. It is the most popular platform for developing decentralized applications, with more than 2,700 dApps and a daily transaction volume of over $1.61 million. However, Solana and Polygon are gaining ground swiftly. Constantly rising, Solana’s transaction throughput has surpassed 100,000 transactions per second. Successful efforts such as Serum, Mango Markets, and Raydium have been established. Polygon has also enjoyed significant growth, with over 500 decentralized applications. Its Layer 2 scaling technologies make it an attractive option for developers and users seeking a cheaper and more scalable Ethereum alternative.
Partnerships and collaborations
Collaborations and partnerships are essential to the growth and adoption of Blockchain platforms. ConsenSys, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and the Ethereum Foundation are among Ethereum’s most prominent partnerships. Solana has also created key alliances, notably with FTX and USDC. These partnerships have helped Solana establish traction in the DeFi business and attract new developers and investors. In addition to its links with Aave, Curve Finance, and Sushiswap, Polygon is an appealing solution for DeFi producers and investors due to its extensive network of connections.
Roadmap and development updates
Future development plans and progress reports are available for all three platforms. Ethereum 2.0 will contain sharding and improved transaction performance after the transition to PoS took last year. Solana also intends to upgrade its network by introducing new features, such as Solana Wormhole, a cross-chain bridge, and by allowing more developers and projects to utilize its platform. In addition, Polygon is working on a variety of changes, including improving its Layer 2 scaling solutions and attracting more developers and users to its platform.
So here is the difference between the three most popular Blockchain platforms which Blockchain app developers around the world use. The usage of all three platforms would depend on the type of applications that will be created. These Blockchain platforms are fast gaining attention in the market due to the kind of application and usability it offers. Also, since the crypto space is continuously booming, we will be looking at a huge increase in the use of these platforms in the future. Using these platforms, the user can invest their time into Defi and NFTs, which are the biggest trend in the world of Blockchain right now. It would be completely the choice of the user as to which of the three platforms they want to use for Defi and NFT.
For now, Ethereum has a stronghold over the market of Defi and NFT as it was the base for the evolution of NFTs and the developers still prefer Ethereum for it. However, with an increase in crypto completion, platforms like Solana and Polygon are gaining a lot of popularity. If you are new to the crypto market or are recently entering the NFT and Defi market, this article would help you understand which platform is better for you to invest your time and resources. In total, if you are looking for the most dependable platform with security and features, it would be Ethereum. However, if you are looking for affordability and faster speeds, it would be better to opt for Solana or Polygon.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Solana, Polygon, and Ethereum are all Blockchain networks, but their consensus algorithms, scalability, security, transaction fees, and smart contract languages and tooling differ.
Although all three networks can support NFT marketplaces and gaming, Solana and Polygon stand out due to their high throughput and low transaction fees.
The gas fees for Ethereum are typically higher than those for Polygon, especially during times of high network congestion. This is due in part to Ethereum’s popularity and use, as well as its Proof of Work consensus algorithm, which uses more energy than Polygon’s Proof of Stake algorithm.
Solana’s projects include Serum, Raydium, and Mango Markets, while Polygon’s include Aave, Curve Finance, and Sushiswap. Uniswap, MakerDAO, and Compound are just a few of the Ethereum projects.
All three networks have aggressive growth plans and are actively working to scale and improve their networks. Solana and Polygon have seen significant adoption and usage growth, and are poised to compete with Ethereum as viable Blockchain solutions for a variety of use cases. However, Ethereum’s established developer community and network effects give it an advantage in terms of long-term adoption and usage.