SX Network is the first stand-alone chain built with Polygon Edge, a modular framework for bootstrapping Ethereum-compatible networks. Here is how the team behind the largest blockchain betting platform is using Polygon’s tools to create a blockchain designed for prediction markets and DeFi.
Why build a network from scratch in a world where multiple blockchains compete for your business? The answer, in one word, is customization. An Ethereum-compatible network is a universal computer, but like any generalist it’s not optimized for specific use cases. That means that projects running on it use the same architecture, whether they are processing a few whale-sized DeFi trades or a flurry of in-game microtransactions.
Polygon Edge was announced in May 2021 to solve that very problem. Edge is a customizable blockchain stack developers can use to build and launch networks tailored specifically to their needs. Last week, Polygon unveiled Supernets to even further abstract the process of building application-specific blockchains.
Ever since SX launched its SX.bet prediction market dApp in March 2018, it has been haunted by the specter of rising gas prices. The team covers all gas costs for its users, which are substantial considering SX Bet has facilitated $170 million in transactions across well over a million bets. With so many transactions running through the dApp, even a $0.25 gas fee can add up quickly.
In August 2020, with DeFi Summer activity driving up gas costs on Ethereum, SX was forced to pause new betting markets. In October of the same year, it became one of the first dApps to launch on Polygon, taking advantage of low fees offered by Ethereum’s new scaling solution. But gas costs on Polygon PoS have also started to creep up as its popularity exploded, attracting over 7,000 dApps ranging from OpenSea to Aave.
“We needed to find a home for ourselves,” said Julian Wilson, Chief Technology Officer at SX Network. “Our own blockchain, one that we could customize for an ecosystem of prediction markets, betting and DeFi applications.”
SX Network is designed from the ground-up to have low transaction costs. It is compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine, which means it can run any code written for Ethereum or Polygon as is. It uses Polygon as the host chain, but can also connect to other EVM-compatible blockchains, making transferring assets from other networks easy. The chain intends to share security with Polygon, where SX Network and Polygon validators will work together to provide a scalable yet secure experience for users.
The SX token is the lifeblood of the network and can be used to pay for transaction fees, to power governance and as the staking bond by validators. The team has also created an on-chain treasury that is set to receive over half of all SX supply over the next four years. This $35 million treasury is governed by SX and can be used to fund community growth and technical innovations.
Last month, SX Network raised $9.5 million in a funding round and grant led by Polygon and Hack VC with participation from CMCC Global, Nascent, FJ Labs and prominent investors like Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal. With this fresh capital, the team plans to strengthen its position as the market leader in blockchain based betting and invest in pioneering work on decentralized prediction market governance called futurachy.
The Polygon team has anticipated early on the demand for standalone blockchains. Even before the current explosion of NFT and DeFi activity, it was clear that a dApp on a popular chain always faces a danger of being priced out by another application that’s sucking up all the gas.
Projects can issue their own tokens using Supernets, which allows them to dictate gas prices or set them to zero. For dApps that already have tokens, Supernets gives a way of achieving higher utility by making use of them on their own networks.
Polygon Supernets is licensed with an Apache 2.0 license, which gives projects the freedom to do anything short of patent trolling. Forking Geth is one of the few alternatives, but it comes with a LGPL-3.0 which doesn’t allow teams to make changes without also making them open source, an unacceptable tradeoff for many enterprises.
Polygon began development of Edge about two years ago, working closely with Trapesys team. SX was the first project to take a deep dive into the codebase in July 2021, helping iron out some of the early bugs. There are now over 35 teams ranging from government organizations to gaming companies using Supernets. Polygon also announced plans to invest $500 million in projects interested in building on the Supernets chain.
“Polygon Edge is going to succeed because it’s the most customizable solution for building a chain,” Wilson said.
The Polygon Supernets team is hiring, so be sure to check our careers page for the latest openings. Dig into Edge documentation, apply for the Supernets program and keep up with the latest on the Polygon ecosystem on our blog.
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