The Polygon Upgrade Goes Live Despite Low Governance Vote Participation

Polygon’s Ethereum-compatible proof-of-stake sidechain had a hard fork on January 17 in an effort to alleviate network-wide gas spikes and chain rearrangement concerns.

According to Blockworks Research, the hard fork will reduce transaction costs and improve block security. It went online at about 4:00 a.m. ET, with a block height of 38,189,056.

The hard fork was initially formally revealed by Polygon on January 12, in a blog post that also mentioned longer-term network enhancements. The proposal for the fork was prompted by a forum debate and community input.

Polygon explained on its blog why the change was necessary. As a result of Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559, the network was subject to “gas spikes,” an unwelcome exponential price increase that occurred at peaks in network demand. The fork is anticipated to mitigate swings in gas prices.

Regarding on-chain restructuring, Polygon said that it wished to lower “sprint length” — the number of blocks created by a validator — in order to improve validation time. This leads to “fewer reorgs overall,” which, according to Polygon, affects the finality of transactions.

Blockworks Research observed a minimal degree of engagement in this governance proposal since the most recent fork was approved with just 15 votes, with each Polygon validator team having one vote.

“While validators must still adopt the new software for the new chain to be authoritative, Polygon governance talks leave much to be desired,” the study team said.

Hendo Verbeek, head of a risk at Spool Finance, a DeFi liquidity aggregator formed as a DAO, asserts that governance issues should anticipate fewer participation during bad markets.

“By no means should we classify this lack of engagement as negative, since the remaining players are typically very high-level and highly motivated to deliver the greatest result for all stakeholders,” Verbeek told Blockworks.

Since the announcement of the hard fork, the price of the native token MATIC has increased by about 20%, in line with the current market rise, and is largely flat against ether.

MATIC has drastically underperformed ETH since November FTX’s bankruptcy filing on November 11, 2022, with a 24% decline.

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