Polygon (MATIC) – originally started as an Ethereum (ETH-USD) scaling solution – has gradually evolved into an enormous ecosystem favored by hundreds of mainstream brands and companies entering Web3 and the metaverse.
Led by co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, the Polygon ecosystem has made significant strides toward onboarding users, developers, and projects through its focus on scalability. This availability of options for developers and projects looking to build decentralized applications (dApps) with the potential to go mainstream is a primary reason why hundreds of well-known brands and projects like Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Reddit, and Instagram have joined the Polygon chain.
Besides multinational brands, Indian Web3 and blockchain startups proactively leverage Polygon’s broad reach and carefully laid footsteps, using it as a launchpad to realize their development aspirations. As they reach for similar outcomes, Indian Web3 startups are following Polygon’s lead to grow their international presence and avoid missing the Web3 train after falling short of capitalizing on Web2 opportunities.
Polygon’s Growth Sets New Benchmarks for Crypto
According to the most recent numbers, Polygon is now home to more than 135 million unique wallet addresses, 13,000 delegators, and upwards of 145,000 smart contract creators. Per figures reported by the company, over 37,000 dApps have used Polygon’s infrastructure for scaling purposes.
“Thanks to its vast and composable ecosystem, initiatives launched on Polygon can reach a large and diverse audience of users, investors, and partners worldwide,” explains Sandeep Nailwal. “We place a strong emphasis on fostering innovation and community involvement — creating opportunities for local initiatives to engage with and contribute to the Polygon ecosystem and gain visibility on a global scale.”
Nailwal is looking at the bigger picture of “Web3 adoption” and is involved in initiatives to promote the growth and development of the industry in India and globally. He recently launched the Beacon accelerator, ran hackathons like Encode, and founded Symbolic Capital; Symbolic Capital recently raised $450 million to help accelerate ecosystem growth and support Web3 builders. $100 million has already been allocated towards an “ecosystem fund” to assist early-stage projects and developers with entering the Web3 market.
Commenting on the Indian blockchain landscape, Hashed Emergent, a fund supporting Web3 builders in emerging markets, notes, “The Indian Web3 ecosystem is growing in terms of talent and funding, with an evolving regulatory landscape. Funding is not only flowing to exchanges but also startups building for real-world Web3 use cases. We are focusing on Web2.5 solutions, i.e., businesses at the crossroads of Web2 and Web3. These include existing business models that leverage blockchain to build sustainable businesses; and Web3 projects that adopt tried and tested Web2 methods to generate scalability.”
Recent figures underline Hashed Emergent’s perspective. India commands over 11% of the Web3 global talent pool, making it the third-largest Web3 talent pool globally. Moreover, India currently ranks among the top five countries globally in crypto adoption, and when it comes to new-age technologies like blockchain and Web3, India has positioned itself as a formidable force as a home to over 450 active Web3 startups, including four unicorns (private companies worth over $1 billion).
As international investor confidence and interest continues to surge, investments across Indian Web3 startups are on the rise. More than 60% of the Indian Web3 startups have expanded their footprints globally, with most of their talent base located in India.
The Scalable Springboard to the Global Stage
Taking a page out of Polygon’s playbook, the Indian Web3 startup community is lining up to take on international growth opportunities, with Polygon serving as the launchpad for Web3 initiatives covering social media, decentralized finance, gaming, and NFTs.
Social media initiative Taki is one such company building atop Solana to market its approach to the creator economy to wider audiences. Through its decentralized and token-based model, whereby creators and influencers have a stake in the network and monetize by creating their own “user coins,” the platform has already attracted over 800,000 users.
Glip, an internationally-focused Web3 startup, is similarly employing Indian Web3 talent and Polygon to grow its global footprint. The game discovery platform and wallet solution are already widespread across Asia-Pacific, with over seven million downloads and two million active users. The platform plans to expand its offerings within the gaming vertical, eventually becoming an end-to-end solution for gaming services, including content monetization.
In addition to the gaming and social media segments, another local company making inroads atop Polygon is Chennai-based GuardianLink. The company’s suite of no-code NFT solutions delivers the tools to support multinational brands, artists, and celebrities’ efforts to enter the space in a decentralized manner. Through its branded marketplace offering, minting, publishing, auction functionality, and web monitoring that contribute to its launchpad, GuardianLink’s drag-and-drop functionalities aim to improve users’ engagement with fans, customers, and other key stakeholders.
Decentralized finance is another area Indian startups are pursuing, and while Ethereum is home to the lion’s share of protocols, Polygon is not far behind, with over 60 protocols. To help DeFi users access the various protocols across different networks from one interface, Kana Labs, operating out of Chennai, offers a Polygon-connected wallet and dApp aggregator. From this wallet, multiple products and services provide access to different lending, borrowing, staking, and yield-farming opportunities.
Harnessing the Polygon Wave
With infrastructure solutions like Polygon, India’s homegrown dApps and protocols have entered a new era where the country is producing more consumer-facing solutions in segments like DeFi, NFTs, blockchain gaming, and the metaverse. This progress is noteworthy due to the unclear regulatory landscape.
Although the country taxes crypto profits and engages in tax deductions at the source (TDS), the government continues to waffle on regulations with no official framework. Nevertheless, this hasn’t dissuaded venture capital funds and angel investors from embracing the Indian Web3 ecosystem.
While Web3 is still evolving worldwide, startups like Polygon are spearheading the Indian Web3 revolution. At the same time, Polygon is also providing builders with all the necessary resources to ensure India (and Asia) doesn’t miss out on untapped opportunities. Thanks to these efforts, dozens of other homegrown Web3 startups are actively positioning India as a top market for Web3 in the foreseeable future.
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