Major questions are being asked today about the effectiveness of the Layer 2 solution, Polygon.
According to the block explorer, PolygonScan, the fees for using Polygon have skyrocketed to 800 GWEI for fast transactions. A little digging has revealed that one small gaming dApp has caused the congestion which has been going on for more than a day.
The dApp behind all the madness is Sunflower Farmers, a small game which uses transactions on Polygon to upgrade items and farm sunflowers. The game rewards its players with Sunflower Tokens which can be traded into other cryptocurrencies.
Sunflower Farmers is currently utilizing 30-60% of the transactions on the network and is said to be heavily dominated by bots.
For most of 2021, the average gas fee for Polygon was around 20 GWEI. The quick and cheap transactions made Polygon the go-to blockchain solution to avoid the outrageous Ethereum gas fees.
This caused Polygon to grow in fame and its native token, MATIC, saw incredible gains which put it into the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
In early December the layer 2 solution had one day in which the fees reached 250 GWEI but recovered within a few hours. Now, for the past 36 hours, the network is reporting 600-800 GWEI transactions as Sunflower Farmers transactions have skyrocketed.
These types of games were common in the early days of Ethereum when the cost to send a transaction was less than a penny. Many of these games ran concurrently but never caused the congestion we are seeing on Polygon today.
This has many critics wondering about the effectiveness of the Layer 2 solution and how capable it would be to run real world applications.
Polygon enthusiasts are hopeful that the latest acquisition by the company to introduce zero knowledge proof will help reduce this congestion.
However, at this time there is no release date for this upgrade which could take an entire year to deploy. In that time, we are likely to see other games pop-up to be as successful as Sunflower Farmers has been.
800 GWEI transactions on Polygon are still cheaper than a standard Ethereum fee but if this trend continues it will not be long before Polygon is unusable.
With the competitiveness in the crypto industry, it would not be unlikely to see Polygon competitors launching more games on Polygon in an attempt to push the blockchain solution over the edge.