Blockchains tend to become congested as more people use them. For example, Ethereum 1.0 is known for its congestion, as the activities on the network continued to expand. Scalability issues became common, as transaction fees increased, speed reduced and the network was sluggish. This birthed the need for scaling solutions that could help in increasing user experience. Polygon is one of the scaling solutions that work with Ethereum to make this happen.
Scalability means that the network size is increasing with the number of transactions that are being done on it. As more developers create their decentralized apps like Decentralized Finance platforms, NFT projects, and DAOs, a scalable network will increase in size. The heightened number of transactions will not affect it negatively.
Scaling solutions are designed to expand the network’s capacity, thereby improving its output and efficiency without affecting the operations of the chain. It may come in the form of second-layer solutions such as off-chain layers and side chains that work with the main chain to improve throughput.
State channel is a type of scaling solution, and it is also called a payment channel. It is designed to heighten the efficiency and output of the network by allowing transactions to be done off-chain, then they submit two on-chain transactions to the blockchain. Raiden network, Lightning Network,, and Trinity are common examples of state channels. It does not matter the number of transactions that occur on a state channel, it is the initiating and closing transactions that are shown in the blockchain.
Side chain is an external blockchain that is attached to the main blockchain to improve the transactions without compromising the functionality of the main chain. It is linked using a two-way peg. For example, side chains that work with Ethereum run parallel to the Ethereum network and possess independent consensus mechanisms.