High gas prices can turn off even the most seasoned crypto user. Whether you’re a crypto native or a newcomer, one of the most efficient ways to utilize your assets is to bridge it to a Layer 2 network that inherits the security guarantees of Layer 1 Ethereum.
Why? Low transaction fees, higher throughput, and a better overall user experience. You may even get exposure to certain dapps that aren’t available on Mainnet.
To begin our bridging series, we’d like to start with the first well-structured, easy-to-use platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development: Polygon’s Proof of Stake network (previously Matic).
Solving The Scaling Trilemma
The blockchain trilemma refers to a widely held belief that decentralized networks can only provide two of three benefits at any given time with respect to decentralization, security, and scalability (Gemini).
Matic was started as a scaling solution to overcome these obstacles.
Ethereum’s gas fees are untenable for most users and Polygon serves as a solution for the novel crypto user to purchase NFTs, partake in DeFi, and immerse themselves in virtual worlds in an efficient, affordable manner.
Read on to learn how to bridge your assets to the platform using their native bridge and interact with a dapp that will make your environmentally friendly senses tingle. 🌲
Sending Assets To Polygon
First, you’ll want to make sure you have your funds handy in your wallet. MetaMask is your portal into the Web3 world and you can use it directly in your browser extension.
Remember to practice good security with your seed phrase—store it safely, in multiple places, and NEVER give it to anyone.
After you’re done, you can make your way over to Polygon’s bridge and approve the transaction to log into their wallet. It will look like this:
Click “Sign” and you will be directed to their bridging portal to transfer your assets from Ethereum Mainnet to Polygon.
Simply select which tokens you want to send, and click “Transfer”. It should take about 7-8 minutes to deposit your funds.
You will be prompted to sign and approve the transaction in your MetaMask wallet which is where the gas fee will also be quoted, and you will see a progress tab bar indicating when your transfer is complete.
Note that the Proof of Stake (PoS) bridge is secured by validators and will take approximately 3 hours when/if you want to move your funds back to Ethereum.
Completed? Your funds are now on Polygon and you’ll be able to interact with a slew of dapps and tools.🕺🏽
Check out the extensive list here.
Bridging Carbon Credits To Polygon
*this section originally appeared on James Beck’s article, How We Get To Negative Emissions With Web3
Web3 decentralizes financial primitives and protocols and makes it easier to collectively pool capital and increase liquidity. With smart contracts, rewards can be automated on-chain, in real time, which makes it easier to incentivize participation. Standardized, tradable carbon credits tokens increase liquidity, and because of open source software and the inherent composability of DeFi, projects can build upon other ideas and smart contracts.
One project that just began to standardize carbon credits as tokens is the Toucan Protocol, which built a “carbon bridge” to bring carbon credits to Polygon. Using the Toucan Protocol, anybody can tokenize their carbon offsets on the Verra registry and make them available to DeFi protocols. They plan on expanding to other carbon registries, like the Gold Standard in the future.
Users of the carbon bridge need to retire the carbon offsets in the "real world" before bringing them on-chain in order to guarantee that a carbon token is unique and that burning a token on-chain is equivalent to retiring an offset. Each of their Base Carbon Tonne (BCT) tokens is backed by 1 tonne of a retired CO2 credit.
Since launch on October 18th, already 10.8 million tons of CO2 have traversed the carbon bridge from the Verra registry and deposited in the Carbon Pool, BCT (Base Carbon Tonne). Incredibly, this is about 12% of NYC’s annual CO2 emissions.
What is driving this rapid retirement of carbon credits? One clue is that members of KlimaDAO are retiring Verra credits and turning it to BCT in order to start earning rewards in a separate DeFi protocol called KlimaDAO.
$KLIMA tokens are fungible and backed by at least 1 Verified Carbon Unit in the KlimaDAO treasury. People can acquire KLIMA by depositing liquidity tokens (KLIMA/BCT and BCT/USDC) to the treasury, or directly from SushiSwap trading pools using the Polygon network. Holders of KLIMA can earn compounding interest on their KLIMA by staking, will have the ability to vote on Klima DAO policy. Staking encourages long-term holding of KLIMA, and allows participants to benefit from the rising price of carbon.
BCT Tokens On Polygon
Told you they’d be tingling.🌲
If you want to harness the power of Web3 in climate servitude here’s how to get some BCT tokens on SushiSwap.
Once you’re on the Swap tab, make sure your network in the upper bar is selected to Polygon. If you’re on Mainnet, simply switch your network, and approve the transaction in MetaMask.
You can then select which token you would like to swap and click “Approve Transaction”. In this case, we selected WETH.
You will have to approve the transaction fee on MetaMask (which will likely be close to $0), and “Confirm Swap” on SushiSwap for the final step:
And done! You pay a modest amount in gas fees and contribute to improving voluntary carbon markets. Feel free to continue perusing dapps on Polygon without high transaction costs barring the fun.
New users and natives alike don’t enjoy paying an arm and a leg in high gas fees, and as more and more dapps get deployed on Polygon, people may conduct most of their Web3 activity in this ecosystem. Polygon’s Proof of Stake network is more environmentally-friendly than Ethererum’s current Proof of Work chain (soon to change) and allows Ethereum activity to scale in an efficient way. Once your assets are bridged, you can choose to swap and stake tokens, play games, purchase NFTs, and foray more into Web3 with ease.