How to Bootstrap a Blockchain With Polygon Supernets

There are a number of reasons why a Web3 project might choose to build on a network other than Ethereum. Whether it’s experimenting with innovative features not available on the mainnet, tailoring the network to a specific use case or simply having more control over its fees, the answer in one word is customization.

Polygon Edge was announced in May 2021 to anticipate that very demand. Edge is a customizable blockchain stack written in Golang that developers can use to build and launch networks fine-tuned specifically for their needs. Last month, Polygon unveiled Supernets to even further abstract the process of building application-specific blockchains. 

This is how to bootstrap Ethereum-compatible blockchains with Polygon Supernets.

Having custom blockchain networks allows teams to configure essential parameters, such as which consensus is used, what is the block limit for transactions, who are the trusted participants in the network (validators), and much more.

Answering these questions is the easy part. Implementing the actual blockchain logic is where it becomes tricky. Diving into building a blockchain layer from scratch involves focusing on several key aspects:

This sounds like a lot of work - and it is. Polygon Supernets makes the process straightforward, so that teams can focus on what’s really important – their actual product.

Architecture of Polygon Supernets

By now it’s clear that blockchain clients have a lot of moving parts – Polygon Supernets is no different – it additionally offers modularity when it comes to all major components of the stack.

It all starts at the base networking layer, which utilizes libp2p – a modular, extensible, and fast networking framework that provides a great foundation for some of the advanced features of Polygon Supernets. Nodes discover and interact with each other through the networking layer, which allows them to participate in complicated processes such as block syncing and consensus.

The blockchain layer is in charge of coordinating block additions and state transitions with other modules of Polygon Supernets to make sure the data is verified and committed to the chain.

Local to each node, the TxPool module is the central place for handling transactions. Any transaction that gets added manually to the node, or gets received from other nodes in the network will be processed and handled accordingly here.

Finally, dApp developers and node operators have front-row seats when interacting with a Polygon Supernets blockchain. By utilizing the standardized JSON-RPC layer, Web3 frameworks can easily interact with the underlying blockchain. Node operators can use simple commands to interact with the Polygon Supernets node, which relies on gRPC under the hood, making the UX fast and enjoyable.

Blockchain Deployment 101

It’s easy to get up and running with a custom blockchain network using Polygon Supernets. There are 3 steps:

1. Generate the secrets data

Each node has pairs of keys it needs to successfully communicate and participate with other nodes. These include the node’s validator private key and the networking private key. Private keys need to be generated on each node.

2. Genesis configuration

The genesis block is where all chains start. Users need to generate a genesis configuration that their blockchain will use. This is the point where they specify which consensus mechanism is used, what is the block limit, which accounts have pre-mined balances, and more. The full list of available options can be found in the documentation.

3. Start the node

Now that everything is configured, all systems are ready for launch. When starting the node, users can specify additional runtime parameters. The full list of supported parameters can be found in the documentation.

That’s it! 

After all of the nodes are started, they will attempt to form a fully-meshed network and start producing blocks.

Additional Features

Here are some interesting features offered by Polygon Supernets, that are out of the scope for this article:

IBFT PoA / PoS switching

Polygon Supernets offers chains the ability to seamlessly switch between PoA and PoS IBFT consensus modes, without needing to reset the chain beforehand.

Backup / Restore functionality

Backing up and restoring chain data is a must. Lengthy chains can take a long time to sync on new nodes, so having a backup ready for restore just exponentially speeds up this process – all without having to turn off a single node, as this is offered on the fly.

Integration with Hashicorp Vault / Amazon SecretsManager

Sometimes sensitive data such as private keys shouldn’t be kept on disk. Polygon Supernets offers the ability to store and manage private keys on Hashicorp Vault or Amazon SecretsManager.

Stress Testing

When trying to figure out the throughput of a custom blockchain, it can be difficult to pick the right tools for stress testing the network. Polygon Supernets offers a baked-in load bot feature that spams transactions to the blockchain and reports back with the performance results.

Future Plans

Upcoming development efforts are focused on implementing a cross-chain bridge solution, which would allow custom blockchains to interact between each other. Another area of focus will be Proof of Stake, with new features and improvements such as governance and delegated staking underway. Additionally, the Polygon Supernets team is considering adding support for additional runtimes in the future, as the current EVM implementation is plug and play.

Read more: How SX Network is Launching Its Own Chain Using Polygon Supernets

Polygon began development of Supernets about two years ago, working closely with the  Trapesys team. 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 Supernet chain.

For more information regarding Polygon Supernets, dig into the documentation, check out the GitHub repository and join the Polygon Supernets Discord. Keep up with the latest on the Polygon ecosystem on our blog.

Let’s bring the world to Ethereum!

Website | Twitter | Ecosystem Twitter | Developer Twitter | Studios Twitter | Telegram | Reddit | Discord | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

More from the Polygon Blog
The Business Case for Blockchains Going Green

Nothing says “you have arrived” like people caring about your carbon footprint. Polygon has recently marked that milestone with a commitment to becoming carbon negative by the end of the year. Below is the case for why other projects should follow our lead and how to go about doing it. Ethereum’s smart contract blockchain has […]

Read More
Announcing Polygon Pod, a Podcast From the Epicenter of Web3

What’s the future of DeFi? How can blockchain projects shake the reputation for being bad for the environment? What in the world are zero knowledge proofs? How can Web3 attract and accommodate the next billion users? When Flippening? You want to know the answers and so do we. That’s why Polygon is launching Polygon Pod […]

Read More
Introducing Polygon Nightfall Mainnet: Decentralized Private Transactions for Enterprise

We’re in the early innings when it comes to enterprise needs for blockchains. Whether it’s supply chain management or marketplaces, the potential for secure business transactions on a public ledger has enormous implications. That’s why we’re pleased to announce Polygon Nightfall, a blockchain solution that leverages cutting edge Optimistic-Zero Knowledge technology to give businesses an […]

Read More
Introducing Polygon ID, Zero-Knowledge Identity for Web3

At Polygon, we believe that putting people firmly in control of their digital identities is at the core of Web3’s promise to empower users over networks. We have been working behind the scenes to fulfill this promise and today are proud to introduce Polygon ID, the self-sovereign, decentralized and private identity for the next iteration […]

Read More
Polygon Is Going Carbon Negative in 2022 With a $20 Million Pledge

Today marks the start of a new, sustainable era for the Polygon ecosystem -- the core team has committed to eliminating all of the network’s carbon debt going back to inception and making the chain climate positive into the future. Polygon’s Green Manifesto announced today is part of a broader vision for sustainable development that […]

Read More
Getting Started With MetaMask on Polygon

MetaMask is the most popular cryptocurrency wallet app and browser extension used to access the Web3 universe. In just a few simple steps, you can unlock this powerful tool and begin exploring the Polygon ecosystem.  There are more than 19,000 decentralized applications (dApps) running on Polygon. That list includes DeFi protocols like Aave and Uniswap […]

Read More