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AMA with Polygon’s Head of DeFi Hamzah Khan

AMA with Polygon’s Head of DeFi Hamzah Khan

This AMA session with Hamzah Khan, Polygon’s Head of DeFi, occurred on May 28th, 2021. The following is a transcription of the live from DeFi Pulse’s AMA Discord channel. To participate in future AMAs, please join our Discord and follow us on Twitter.


Chaz Schmidt: Hello @Hamzah and welcome everyone! Thanks for joining us today.

Hamzah will be answering the questions we’ve collected from the community throughout the week. Shout out to all of you who submitted questions!

How are you today Hamzah?

Hamzah Khan: I am good, thanks for having me guys, Real pleasure being with one of the most respected communities across all of DeFi. 🙂

CS: The pleasure is all ours. Hamzah is Head of DeFi at Polygon for those who may be unfamiliar.

Let’s dive right into the questions: Can you give a brief intro to Polygon (formerly Matic Network) for the audience?

Hamzah: Polygon is an Ethereum scaling solution with a suite of projects including the Plasma and PoS chain. Ton of DeFi, NFT and Gaming activites happening on all and we are happy to scale ETH with our unique, battle tested and production ready chains.

CS: Polygon has become very popular indeed. 

Community members wanted to know: What’s the difference between Proof of Stake (PoS) Bridge and the Plasma Bridge?

Hamzah: Definitely – PoS and Plasma are different security standards that support different assets right now. PoS – Proof of Stake validated by our 100 validators currently on ETH mainnet which share (not completely) its security. Plasma is another L2 scaling solution popular back in 2018, also supports MATIC tokens (because they were the first ones on the chain) and has 7 days withdrawl time (trx finality) – inherits completely from ETH’s security.

CS: Thanks for that thorough answer. You actually touched on a question we received on Twitter this week: Why might a DApp prefer a sidechain over a standalone rollup solution?

Hamzah:  Definitely happy to provide more clarity on this, I have multiple reasons –

1. Battle tested – Polygon PoS and Plasma chains have been production ready for more than a year with increasing decentralization and optimizations in checkpointing to ETH whilst maintaining a decent UX in exit times. Gratefully we havent seen any malcious activity or failure of the network till now. The community completely understands the EVM friendly nature of the chain and can quickly deploy (unlike porting period of months on some other solutons).

2. Spectrum of decentralization – Our PoS commit chain is not the most decentralized solution out there and we are aware of it. To improve on this front we have increased validators from 80 to 100 in less than 2 months and continuing to do so more in the future. On the decntrlzn spectrum, we are in between rollups and pure sidechains, but this solution is live and moving closely towards gradual decentralization like addition of multisigs and eventual timelock governance

3. gas fees – Community IMO is overestimating the gas fees reduction on some of these rollups. They are significantly centralized on the L2 side as some of them will start with a single operator and no clear roadmap to decentralize. On the gas fees because they send all trxs to ETH mainnet and pushing proofs on-chain will congest ETH more and the gas fees on these L2s will atleast be single digit dollars if not more. 

This is fine for “whales” and “shrimps” but not the retail that #DeFiForAll Polygon is trying to include. So we are very well positioned in that sense not just for DeFi but others too.

I hope that answers a few of the doubts. 🙂

CS: You make excellent points regarding Matic Network, its history, and more importantly where it is headed.

I for one was excited to see the Polygon SDK announcement earlier this week. 

Speaking of the future…. What will the competitive landscape for scaling solution protocols look like in the future – let’s say 5 years (e.g. consolidation or growth)? Though feel free to adjust the time frame as you see fit.

Hamzah: I think it’s super growth time for L2s as that’s the way DeFi scales to a million users. We believe it won’t be a winner takes all market – Ethereum hosts a vast variety of applications and application specific L2 solutions might also come up, and that would be very interesting. As a matter of fact, SDK caters exactly that avenue.

CS: Can you elaborate a bit on what the SDK means for Polygon and the wider ecosystem?

Hamzah: It means Ethereum can finally be a multi-chain system – in an increasingly fragmented space it will become hard to scale on specific L2s. Polygon with the suite of shared security and standalone chains brings a modularity that we have seen by AWS in Web2. Projects can use OR, ZK, Standalone or even Enterprise solution chains as per their use case.

CS: That’s really cool sounding. We’re running a bit short on time, but I believe we have time for one more question.

What area or solution that is not currently being worked on do you Hamzah think is the most important for the Ethereum ecosystem?

Hamzah: Learning from other L1s and incorporating some of their best practices. Ethereum became what it is today by challenging the status quo of Bitcoin community. But if we remain maximalists in this sense and not willing to adapt it will become difficult for us to compete with other L1s in the not-so-distant future.

Not sure if the community will hate me for saying this or not, but yeah my 2 cents. 😛

CS: I think anyone can appreciate honesty. Especially if it comes with good intentions.

Thank you for making time in your busy schedule to be with us. Do you have any else you’d like to share before we wrap things up?

Hamzah: Nope, thanks a ton for having me. 🙂

CS: Well thanks again for coming Hamzah. We know you have to go, but we appreciate you coming today

And thank you all for attending today!

See you next time for another intriguing AMA.


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Disclosure: This post is paid promotion; We’ve partnered with Polygon to help educate and inform the community about Polygon’s scaling technology. As always, we’re committed to providing the entire community with quality, objective information, and any opinions we express are our own.