Research
February 1, 2023

What are people doing on Polygon in 2023? 👀

We dive into what Polygon users are spending gas on.

Jon Ma
Co-Founder / CEO
Content

Thank you for the 519 new Artemists who signed up this past week 👏. We now have 4,174 Artemists who are interested in diving into crypto fundamentals to get to the truth in crypto 🏹

Hey Artemists 👋

Happy Wednesday. We’re doing a mini-dive on Polygon’s gas fee and economic activity!

🚨Product Update: Artemis L1 Composition Page - Polygon

We’re going to use our new product to help understand: What are people doing on Polygon $MATIC?

Polygon is a Proof of Stake chain and an Ethereum compatible scaling solution promising lower fees, scalability, and security.

Compared to other top L1s, MATIC is

  • #3 in Daily Transactions
  • #3 in Fees Generated
  • #4 in TVL (very close to Arbitrum)
  • #4 in Daily Active Addresses
  • #5 in Weekly Active Developers
If you want this table, it’s free here: https://docsend.com/view/yar3kc6ebqfs4qje

Polygon is a pretty sizable chain and had recent partnerships with Disney Accelerator, Reddit, Robinhood, Starbucks, and Worldpay.

In the last 3 years, Polygon has seen a steady amount of transactions and users.

So what are people doing on Polygon !?

We think the best way to figure out what folks are doing on a given L1 is by looking at gas fees paid. We think gas fees paid = demand for blockspace. Its the least game-able metric because actual tokens need to be paid to transact and participate.

Initially we had expected DEXs (Uniswap) and NFT Marketplaces (Opensea/Magic Eden) to be the predominant drivers of gas fees used but in reality the two biggest categories of consumption are:

  1. 👾 Gaming: On 1/31/2023, 32% of gas fees spent were from Polygon games (compared to 0.5% for Ethereum)
  2. 🎨ERC_721 or NFT mints: On 1/31/2023, 32% of gas fees spent were on NFT mints on Polygon (compared to 25% on Ethereum)

Gaming

The amount of gas used on gaming is growing a ton on Polygon.

7,180 in $MATIC was spent yesterday up 10x from early Nov '22 when 705 was spent.

So what games are people playing on Polygon?

The top game in January 2023 by far is Planet IX (NFT strategy game) @Planetix0. They claim to be the world's largest NFT strategy game.

Planet IX has 75k Daily Active Address and 118k Daily Transactions and both metrics are spiking.

More work needs to be done in investigating individual games though versus just looking at high level on chain metrics.

While fees, users, transactions are going up a lot, there's an open question if its driven by real humans or bots.

I took a quick look on Reddit and there were only 5 Reddit users online which was lower considering there are 90k+ active addresses on just Planet IX’s Mission Control.

There was an accusation from a Reddit user of Planet IX as a “scam” game

It was interesting to see in Discord an automated notification system when users reach a certain level. I counted 50 users who leveled up today — again its difficult to parse if they are real humans or just bots playing the game.

I signed up and tried to go through the tutorial and will report back as I dive in but my initial reaction was Planet IX wasn’t super straight forward to play.

ERC_721 or NFT Mints

The gas fees paid for NFT mints were a lot more straightforward and were driven by projects like Hunters on Chain created by gaming platform BoomLand. BoomLand had a mint yesterday on Magic Eden’s Polygon Marketplace and it led to 586.6 MATIC spent on the mint and 4.6k transactions and 3.5k DAU.

It’ll be interesting to track if users participate and play Hunt Royale and if this leads to more gaming use cases on Polygon.

It’s worth noting that the gas fees paid for ERC_721 and NFT mints has stayed relatively steady in the last year.

Caveat: Untagged Polygon Smart Contracts

The biggest drawback of analyzing Polygon gas consumption is that 67% of all fees activity is from untagged Polygon smart contracts. We’re working to tag these smart contracts so there’s a clearer view of what’s happening on Polygon but this will naturally introduce bias. Stay tuned as we work towards tackling these unlabeled contracts.

Conclusion

There are other categories driving gas usage on Polygon like oracles (Chainlink), DEX aggregators (1Inch). And you’re able to deep dive and investigate in Artemis’s L1 Composition Page.

Check it out 👉 https://app.artemis.xyz/protocols/composition/polygon

Any learnings or insights on what’s going on in Ethereum and Polygon? Share them over here or with us in our Telegram group and we’ll share top insights on our Twitter and our blog.

That’s it for us. Signing off! ✌️

- Artemis Team

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