What is Polygon?
Polygon is the infrastructure on which Rainforest Tokens (= RFT) are built on. Polygon is a blockchain, the digital home of our RFTs. This blockchain safely and reliably stores information that define our RFTs, including the ownership of tokens. It’s also the network where users buy, sell, and send RFTs.
To use the Polygon network aka. blockchain you also need to know what MATIC is. MATIC is the name of the Polygon blockchain’s own cryptocurrency, and it is used to pay the transaction fees.
Transaction fees? For tasks you want the Polygon network to do for you, such as buying or transferring an RFT, you have to pay the network a transaction fee in MATIC. That means: No MATIC, no service! But don’t worry, the transaction fees are less than 0.01 USD 😌 (but you still need MATIC! Important! Always have MATIC in your wallet!).
Fun fact: in the early years MATIC was also the name of the blockchain itself … and the project … and kind of the name of everything … sort of. Then the developers did a rebranding, that’s when the network got renamed to Polygon, which was a good idea in my opinion. Buuut, you will encounter some people and companies who are still confusing these names and by avoiding confusion they sometimes make it even more confusing.
However, you know now and that’s all you ever need to know to live a happy Polygon life!
Haha, just kidding! Let’s continue 😄
You might be wondering why we built RFTs on Polygon.
There are other networks/blockchains which are suitable as technical infrastructure for RFTs, such as Ethereum (I personally love Ethereum!), Solana, Tezos, Avalanche (❤ it too). We decided to use Polygon, because it’s built on Ethereum. Yes, RFTs built on Polygon built on Ethereum. And that’s great! Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency and one of the few blockchains to be extremely reliable and safe with years of strong track records. But Ethereum is slow and has transaction fees of above 100 USD. That is 10,000x more expensive than Polygon! So the trick is that Polygon works as a second layer on Ethereum and processes tasks outside the Ethereum network very fast and efficiently, and then it regularly saves the results on Ethereum. Which results in less tasks for the Ethereum network and less costs for all of us.
There are some alternatives to Polygon but they lack the track record, the safety of the Ethereum network and have specific disadvantages considering performance, usability and user adoption.
Today, Ethereum itself is still the most used Blockchain for NFTs. The reasons we decided against minting directly on Ethereum are twofold:
- Less transaction fees = lower costs = lower RFT sales price = more rainforest saved!
- Less CO2! Polygon and Ethereum run on servers. The difference here is: The Ethereum network consumes more than 1,000 times more energy than the Polygon network. Yes, Polygon uses the Ethereum infrastructure and has to be accountable for a share of this energy consumption and environmental impact. But with less than 1 in 100 transactions on Ethereum, Polygon has a very little share. Broken down to a single transaction, a Polygon transaction consumes 99.7% less energy, meaning it has a smaller environmental impact. This is indicated by the much lower transaction fees, too.
Overall, MATIC … ehm … Polygon is great! Give it a try!
How to use Polygon for RFTs?
In every case, all you need for RFTs are a Polygon-ready Wallet with a little bit of MATIC in it to pay the transaction fee and enough WETH(Wrapped Ethereum on Polygon, an Ethereum stable coin) or USDC(= USDC on Polygon, a USD stable coin for those who think cryptocurrencies are too volatile) for buying the RFT itself. 1 MATIC should be more than enough to cover multiple transaction fees. Here you can find a list of wallets which work well on OpenSea
What if I don’t have any WETH, USDC or MATIC?
The most cost efficient way for you to buy the RFT is actually buying enough MATIC from the exchange in the first place (see the available exchange below), and then swap them to WETH or USDC on Metaverse Wallet. Again! Don’t forget to leave a bit of MATIC for paying the transaction fee in your wallet. 1 MATIC should be more than enough.
The MATIC in your wallet can be swapped in to other Polygon cryptocurrencies, such as WETH or USDC
What a swap is and how it works explained with the Metamask wallet:
Why do I need to know about swaps? Well, only because you currently can’t buy or sell with MATIC on OpenSea (yet). That means you need to swap the MATIC in your wallet to WETH or USDC to buy or sell RFTs on OpenSea, here’s a detailed guide on how to do.
How do I get MATIC into my wallet?
Well, good that you kept reading, because this can be frustrating sometimes! But with this guide you are on the happy side and everything will be alright (Disclaimer: Things change quickly in the crypto world, but usually to the better 🙂).
You can buy MATIC on several cryptocurrency exchanges. You will find “MATIC” (or “Polygon” …) on almost every exchange, but BE CAREFUL! Like there is WETH — Wrapped Ethereum — on Polygon, there is a kind of “Wrapped MATIC” on Ethereum (the Ethereum network is called ERC-20 network). Don’t try to use the Ethereum network MATIC for RFTs. It won’t work and might cost you a lot of money, because you have to pay the Ethereum network transactions fees for using it.
As of 2021–12–22 I can tell that at the following places you can get the real MATIC:
– Moonpay (integrated in OpenSea)
– Binance (not Binance US)
But not on Coinbase, Bitstamp and Kraken for instance and they are sometimes misleading (shame on you Bitstamp!).