This guide will walk you through using the Matic token and Polygon Network. Polygon is very similar to Ethereum but cheaper. Due to it being so similar, basically being an ETH L2 or sidechain depending on how you look at it, a lot of tokens and apps found on Ethereum can be found on Polygon, and transferring (AKA bridging) between the two networks is easy.
So for example I can have Dai, ETH, and wBTC on Ethereum, and then easily swap them to my Matic wallet for a fee, and they all use the same address. And I can lend on Aave regardless of which network I use. This isn’t so different from Binance Chain, Fantom, Avalanche, or any other EVM-based chain, but Pologyon Network is particularly ETH-y let’s say.
TIP: Depending on current ETH gas costs, you could be looking at between $50 – $150 to bridge to Polygon. So keep that in mind when considering getting started with Matic.
Getting Started With Polygon
The short version of how to use the Polygon Network (formerly known as Matic) is this:
- Download the Metamask extension (keep your password and seed somewhere safe, this is how you access your wallet). https://metamask.io/download
- Once in Metamask, click the network dropdown menu and change it from Ethereum to “Custom RPC.” Configure Metamask for Polygon by entering the following settings in the corresponding fields (TIP: you can edit these in settings -> networks at any time).Network Name: Polygon Mainnet New RPC URL: https://rpc-mainnet.maticvigil.com/Chain ID: 137 Currency Symbol (optional): MATIC Block Explorer URL (optional): https://explorer.matic.network/
- Send Matic to your ETH/Matic address (your ETH address and Matic address are the same). In MetaMask, switch to the Etehreum network to see your Matic on the Ethereum Network so you know the transaction worked. Next, use a bridge to bridge your Matic over from the Ethereum Network to the Polygon Network (it takes time and costs money). Remember, you can swap between networks in MetaMask at any time to see balances in each wallet. A simple solution for buying Matic is Coinbase. For a bridge, I recommend the official bridge found at https://wallet.polygon.technology/. When you bridge, you need ETH on the Etehreum network for gas. Once you are on Polygon, you’ll need Matic to pay for gas. So keep this in mind.
- Swap, trade, DeFi, or whatever you want to do. For swaps and trades, I suggest https://quickswap.exchange/#/swap. For leverage, https://gains.trade is great. For DeFi, it is a solid move to start with a https://app.aave.com/#/.
Simple as that. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below.
TIP: After you are on the Polygon Network you can swap Polygon assets between Polygon addresses without paying the extra fees for bridging. You only have to bridge when sending assets between networks.