How to get started on Polygon
In this guide we'll explain everything you need to know in order to start using the different DApps that Polygon has on its blockchain.
Polygon network is a network that is built on top of the Ethereum Blockchain, but it has been designed to address the scalability issues that the Ethereum Mainnet has. On average, a transaction on the Polygon network takes between 3 and 5 seconds, and costs fractions of a penny, allowing one to make several dozens of transactions every day, with a very small wallet.
Polygon is also one of the first “side chain” that launched, and with the little advance it has over the other available chains, Polygon managed to collect:
- An ever increasing user base
- An ever increasing number of applications
- A solid TVL that is currently stabilizing around 4 billions USD
Polygon also managed to build trust and proved to be a reliable alternative to the Ethereum network, opening the DeFi world to small investors willing to try decentralized finance without having to spend hundreds of dollars in transaction fees. With this trust and ease of use, many companies turned to Polygon to facilitate bridging assets from one network to another, increasing security and anonymity, eventually making the network stronger.
Before using the Polygon Blockchain, you need to create a wallet address, there are different wallet types , software (Metamask, TrustWallet...) and hardware (Trezor or Ledger). However, in this guide we'll use Metamask to explain how to access the Polygon Blockchain.
The first step you need to complete to use the Polygon Blockchain is downloading the Metamask extension in your web browser. You can download it on their webpage. Metamask can also be used on iOs and Android devices.
Once you do that, you should have an extension on your browser with the logo of Metamask. When you open the Metamask extension for the first time, it'll ask you if you have a Metamask account, if do, you need to write the **seed phrase (**we'll get to the importance of the seed phrase later) _**_of the account you want to load. If you don't have an account, you'll have to create a new account. These are the steps that you need to follow:
- 1.First of all, you'll need to select a password to your Metamask account.
- 2.Then you should watch the video about how to protect your wallet and the importance of the seed phrase.
- 3.You'll see you seed phrase. Your seed phrase is the most important thing when creating a new wallet, because if you loose your seed phrase and your computer breaks, you won't be able to access your Metamask account. So please, be careful with your seed phrase and don't share it with anyone.
When you are done, you should see this on your browser:
As you can see on the picture above, we are using the Ethereum Mainnet, however if we click on there to change to a different network, you'll see that the Polygon Mainnet isn't there. Don't worry, what we need to do is adding manually the Polygon Mainnet, to do so, you need to do click on Custom RPC and write this:
Once you're done, you are almost ready to use the Metamask wallet on the Polygon Blockchain, the only step left is switching the Ethereum Mainnet to Polygon Mainnet, to do so you need to click on the dropdown menu at the top of the Metamask extension.
Now you have everything set up to use the Polygon Blockchain, however you don't have any MATIC on your wallet, so you can't do any transactions on the Polygon Blockchain. A transaction is basically an exchange between 2 addresses, that require some time to be processed (this is done by the different validators that Polygon has) and has a fee (this fee is also known as gas and is paid with MATIC tokens).
Luckily, this page gives you free MATIC to do your first transactions on the Polygon network (those types of pages can be called faucet). The only thing you need to do is connect your wallet to that page and complete a captcha. These 0.002 MATIC (~0,00223$) will allow us to do a few transactions using the Polygon Network.
Getting FREE MATIC
Sometimes due to network congestion, you may have some problems using that page, so just wait a little and you'll be able to claim some free MATIC. Also, you can try using this one in case the other doesn't work.
Before we get to the next part of the article, you need to be aware that these faucet are not done for people to drain it, it won't deliver anything if your wallet has too much MATIC, or if you try to claim more than a few times within 24h. So please, be careful and don't be selfish.
Now that you have some free MATIC in your Metamask, you are ready to use the different DApps and tokens that Polygon has. You can copy the address of the token that you want to use using PolygonScan. Once you are there, you only need to write the name of the token that you'll like to add. For example, if we search QiDAO on Polygon, we'll get this:
Results of writing QiDAO on PolygonScan
Now, you'll need to copy the address of the contract and click in add token on Metamask.
Adding Qi on Metamask
Once you decide which DEX you want to use, you can start buying your favourites tokens on the Polygon Blockchain.
Buying Qi tokens using Quickswap
Another interesting DApp to use when you want to buy tokens is Zapper. Zapper theoretically searches for the cheapest platform to perform the swap of the two tokens, so it's a good way to save up some MATIC.
It's important to know how to check your wallet's history, to do so, you can use DeBank. Debank will allow you to check the different transactions that you have made in your Metamask account, as well as checking your portfolio in all the blockchains that you use or the NFTs that you own. This will be useful if you want to compare, for example, the different Qi airdrops that you receive while staking some Qi.
All the transactions made in our new Metamask address
As you can see, I have in my wallet 800,000 DxDex.io but I haven't done anything to have those tokens on my wallet. You need to be aware of these types of scam, and never interact with any coins that you don't know. In case you grant them access, Debank will allow you to revoke it. Please be careful and if you don't know that token don't touch it.
Here are some links that you may found useful when using the Polygon Blockchain:
This guide is definitely not financial advice, it was made with an educational goal in mind.
Keep in mind that a strategy that works well at a given time may perform poorly (or make you lose money) at another time. Please stay informed, monitor the markets, keep an eye on your investments, and as always, do your own research.