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Polygon supernets vs. Avalanche subnets: Key differences

Supernets have an advanced technical architecture powered by Polygon Edge, trustless operation via Merkle trees, Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility and custom token support.

Supernet architecture is closely tied to that of Polygon Edge. The six modules in Polygon Edge’s architecture that are relevant to supernets include the following:

  • TX Pool: Acting as a repository for pending transactions, this module is the key to Polygon Edge’s event-driven architecture. Transactions can be added easily from multiple sources, and it seamlessly links up with other modules of the platform.
  • Blockchain: This refers to the state database, and it holds information on accounts, smart contract code, world state and more.
  • JSON-RPC: The supernet’s API layer complies with Ethereum client standards, enabling tools such as MetaMask, Web3.js, Ethers.js, Remix and Hardhat to run seamlessly on its network.
  • Consensus: Supernet uses proof-of-authority and proof-of-stake consensus algorithms.
  • Libp2p: This is supernet’s updated peer-to-peer networking stack that facilitates block syncing, consensus messages, transaction pool gossiping and SAM pool gossiping.
  • gRPC: With its powerful communication protocol, privileged operator commands on a supernet can only be locally executed on validator nodes. Validated operators can perform online backups, obtain information from validator systems, and query and clear data stored in the transaction pool.

Supernets also operate trustlessly, meaning that each node validates every transaction independently by executing the smart contract. For the blockchain ledger to function properly, all nodes must hold an identical copy of it, consisting of a Merkle tree of blocks and extensive lists of transactions. 

An effort by malicious actors attempting to alter the ledger will be swiftly identified due to discrepancies in hash values from the different states incompatible with those within the Merkle tree.

Supernets also have built-in EVM support, meaning that developers can write and deploy smart contracts using EVM bytecode, which is compiled from high-level languages, such as Solidity.

Developers with Ethereum building experience can easily transfer their Solidity contracts to supernets without any modifications thanks to the suite of tools available, including Truffle, MetaMask, Remix and block explorers. This allows for a seamless transition from one platform to another.

Lastly, supernets allow developers to create custom tokens consistent with universally recognized token interfaces, such as ERC-20. This is in line with Polygon’s goal of promoting interoperability via supernets.

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