DraftKings, a sports-betting company with a market capitalization of $20 billion, announced this past Monday, October 18th, that it will become a full validator for the Polygon Network, an Ethereum-based scaling platform, effective immediately.
Polygon, formerly known as Matic, provides sidechain services that run parallel to the main Ethereum blockchain, allowing applications to run faster.
This month, DraftKings Marketplace, an ecosystem that focuses specifically on non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will launch a node on the Polygon Network to authenticate transactions using a proof-of-stake consensus protocol, thereby lowering the carbon and monetary costs of each transaction.
The Challenges: Scalability and Sustainability
According to Paul Liberman, co-founder and president of global product and technology at DraftKings, “Scalability and sustainability continue to be among the most challenging aspects of blockchain technology.”
“As we lay the groundwork today for the vision of DraftKings Marketplace tomorrow, the vast insights and proven products from Polygon around scalable solutions are invaluable,” Liberman further elaborated.
DraftKings collaborated with the Tom Brady-backed NFT marketplace Autograph to launch Preseason Access Collection, a marketplace for NFT collectibles from famous athletes such as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, which launched in late August of this year.
According to data from industry sources, Ethereum’s transaction fees have been high since September of 2021, adding between $20 and $40 to each transaction.
With the high fees, combined with the negative environmental impact of each transaction, some users have opted to abandon the Ethereum blockchain in favor of other, more affordable blockchains, such as Solana and now Polygon.
Ethereum hopes to address these issues when it transitions to proof-of-stake with the release of Ethereum 2.0, scheduled for June, 2022.
Meanwhile the appetite for NFTs, both artistic and sports-related, is expected to continue unabated well into 2022 and beyond.
I write about blockchain, crypto, NFTs and other disruptive technologies and innovations.