Polygon and Metamask

How to get started on Polygon

In this guide, we'll explain everything you need to know to start using the different DApps (decentralized applications) that Polygon has on its blockchain.

What is Polygon?

Polygon is a network built on top of the Ethereum blockchain (Layer 2) and designed to solve the scalability issues of the Ethereum mainnet. On average, a transaction on the Polygon network takes between 3 and 5 seconds and costs fractions of a penny, which allows a user to make several dozen transactions with a very small amount of tokens in their wallet every day.
Polygon is also one of the first "side chains" to launch and has managed to garner its first mover advantage:
  • An ever-increasing user base
  • An ever-increasing number of applications
  • A solid TVL that is currently stabilizing around 4 billion USD
Polygon also managed to build trust and proved to be a reliable alternative to the Ethereum network, which opened up the DeFi world to retail investors willing to try decentralized finance without having to spend hundreds of dollars in transaction fees.
With this level of trust and ease of use, many organizations have turned to Polygon to facilitate bridging assets from one network to another, increase security and anonymity, and ultimately strengthen the network.

Creating a wallet

Before using the Polygon network, you will need to create a wallet address. There are different wallet types, software (Metamask, TrustWallet...), and hardware (Trezor or Ledger). In this guide, we'll use Metamask to explain how to access the Polygon network.
Metamask is a crypto wallet implemented as a browser extension. Created with the Ethereum blockchain in mind, it is flexible and customizable to access several blockchains.
It can be installed on PC, and mobile (IOs and Android)

Downloading Metamask

The first step you need to do to use the Polygon network is to install the Metamask extension on your browser by downloading it from the Metamask Website.
Once downloaded and installed, you should see it in your browser extensions area.
When you open it for the first time, Metamask will ask if you have a Metamask account. if yes, you need to write the ** seed phrase (**we'll get to the importance of the seed phrase later) _**_of the account you want to import.
If you don't have an account, you'll have to create a new one.
These are the steps that you need to follow:
  1. 1.
    First you need to choose a password for your Metamask account.
  2. 2.
    Then you should watch the video on how to protect your wallet and the importance of the seed phrase.
  3. 3.
    You will see your source phrase. Your seed phrase is the most important thing when creating a new wallet because it allows you to access and restore your account (and therefore access your tokens) even on a different device!
  4. 4.
    If you lose your seed phrase and your computer breaks, you will no longer be able to access your Metamask account!!
  5. 5.
    So please be careful with your seed phrase, save it in a safe place (*) and don't share it with anyone. (*) could be also a sheet of paper
When you are done, you should see something like this on your browser:

Adding the Polygon network to Metamask

As you can see in the image above, Metamask creates a wallet on the Ethereum mainnet by default (see the red ellipsis in the figure above).
Clicking on the network name opens a drop-down menu that allows you to switch to a different network. You will see that Polygon mainnet is not there. Don't worry, we just have to add the polygon mainnet manually.
You have to
  1. 1.
    Open the Network dropdown
  2. 2.
    Click Add Network
  3. 3.
    Click Custom RPC and write the following:
(*) depending on the Metamask version the screen may be a little different
Once you're done, you are almost ready to use the Metamask wallet on the Polygon network. Now switch from Ethereum Mainnet to Polygon Mainnet.
To do so you need to click on the dropdown menu at the top of the Metamask extension.\

Getting free MATIC

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 network
A transaction is 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, there are the so-called faucets that can help us to have a minimal amount of tokens for our first transactions. We have developed our own faucet, too! The Sphere Faucet gives you free MATIC. The only thing you need to do is connect your wallet to that page and complete a captcha. You will receive a little bit of MATIC which will allow you to do a few transactions using the Polygon Network.
Sometimes due to network congestion, you may have some problems using that page, so you’ll need to wait for a little while and try again.
Be aware that our faucets are not done for people to drain it, we won't deliver anything if your wallet has too much MATIC, or if you try to claim more than a few times within a 24 hour period, so please, be careful and don't be selfish.

Importing Tokens in Metamask

Now that you have some free MATIC in your Metamask, you are ready to use the different DApps and tokens in Polygon.
Bridging to Polygon
A blockchain bridge is a connection that allows the transfer of tokens and/or any data from one chain to another chain or layer. Both chains may have different protocols, rules and governance models, but the bridge offers a compatible one Possibility to interact safely on both sides.
So with a bridge you can send your tokens from other chains to Polygon.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some popular bridges that you can use.
The Polygon Bridge: https://wallet.polygon.technology/bridge allows the transfer of tokens (ETH and others) from the Ethereum Chain to Polygon.
Umbria Bridge: https://bridge.umbria.network/bridge/ethereum-polygon/eth allows the transfer of tokens from the Ethereum Chain and BSC to Polygon (ETH, USDC, USDT, WBTC, others) with low fees.
Multichain (formerly Anyswap): https://app.multichain.exchange/#/router. It allows the transfer of tokens from several chains to Polygon (WETH and several stablecoins). There are flat transfer fees (but they may vary per coin). There’s a minimum amount to send.
EvoDefi: https://bridge.evodefi.com/. It allows the transfer of tokens from several chains to Polygon (ETH, USDC, USDT, and others). It has the nice feature of providing a minimum amount of MATIC in your wallet to perform a transaction. It applies a 0.5% commission. Minimum amount to transfer: 50$
CBridge: https://cbridge.celer.network/#/transfer . It allows the transfer of tokens from several chains to Polygon (ETH, USDC, USDT, and others) with a small commission.
Before transferring your token via a Bridge always check the commissions applied (gas + bridging commission). Remember that a transfer via a Bridge can take more time than a normal, on-chain, transfer.

Checking your wallet history

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 check your portfolio in all the blockchains that you use or the NFTs that you own.\

Useful Links

Here are some links that you may find useful when using the Polygon Blockchain:
Bogged: a DEX where you can buy tokens from!
Sushi Swap: a DEX where you can buy most stables
MaiFinance: a DAO providing borrowing of stablecoins (MAI) with zero fees
PolygonScan: the Polygon Chain Explorer. It May be useful for seeing your wallet info, contracts info, and the gas prices on the Polygon Network