Polygon Is Launching a Web3 Mobile Initiative

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Polygon Is Launching a Web3 Mobile Initiative

Polygon Is Launching a Web3 Mobile Initiative
The Nothing Phone (1) will integrate Polygon technology. Image: Nothing
Source: Decrypt
1657104766 06 Jul / 10:52

Despite several attempts, tech firms' so-called blockchain phones never appeared to resonate with customers. However, crypto networks are now attempting to introduce Web3 to a potentially enormous mobile audience.

Recently, Solana introduced its Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) software venture and Saga phone, and now Polygon presented its mobile play. Polygon, an Ethereum scaling platform, announced a partnership with tech firm Nothing in which Polygon's technology would be integrated into the Nothing Phone (1).

Initially, the relationship will consist of an NFT membership club, with Polygon NFTs sent to individuals who helped crowdfund Nothing's debut and those who pre-ordered the Nothing Phone (1). As their name suggests, Nothing's Black Dot NFTs give holders with possible rewards, such as early access to items or entry into events.

However, this is only the first stage, according to Arjun Kalsy, vice president of growth at Polygon, who spoke with Decrypt.

Eventually, the Android-based Nothing Phone (1) will have simple access to applications and games on Polygon’s platform, as well as payments and future features like Polygon ID, the company’s zero-knowledge, proof-based identity system.

“How do we get even closer to the user? The largest distribution platform in the world is the mobile phone,” stated Kalsy. “The timing was right that now we can take this technology to the masses.”

Carl Pei, who co-created the smartphone and technology business OnePlus, founded Nothing. The company has recruited computer veterans such as iPod co-creator Tony Fadell, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman. It will unveil the Nothing Phone (1) on July 12.

Kalsy stated that Polygon was introduced to Nothing by one of its VC investors following the February 2018 announcement of its $450 million capital raising. He revealed that the Nothing team’s Web3 expertise and ambitious goals for the space astonished him.

“Right from the first conversation, I was like: ‘Well, these guys get it,'” he stated. “They understand how Web3 works, and that for me was a magic moment. Like, I want to work with these guys.”

According to Kalsy, Polygon and Nothing have spent the last four to five months establishing the partnership, including concepts such as how they want mobile users to access Polygon decentralized applications (dapps) and games and how the initiative may expand over time.

“If you look at any Android or Apple phone, you log in with either a Google ID or an Apple ID, and to an extent, Apple or Google owns the customer, right? That is where the value comes from,” stated Kalsy. “In a decentralized world, we need to help the user take back control.”

Kalsy did not provide many specifics about how Polygon’s Web3 integration will function on the Nothing Phone (1) before the launch ceremony. However, the company looks to have similar goals as Solana’s SMS initiative: to make Web3 access more straightforward and manageable on cellphones, helping promote crypto and NFTs to a broader audience.

However, there is a significant difference: Solana manufactures its smartphone in cooperation with OSOM Products, a business founded by former Essential Phone R&D leader Jason Keats. The phone of Nothing will utilize Polygon technology, but it is not a “Polygon Phone” in the same manner that the Solana Saga is a Solana-branded smartphone.

According to Kalsy, Polygon opted to ally with a company specializing in phone manufacturing, allowing each alliance member to focus on its area of expertise. He added that it was also important not to “boil the ocean” — that is, to prevent the project’s scope from becoming unmanageable and maybe beyond their ability to accomplish.

“Can we build a mobile phone? I’m sure we can,” he said. “But would we build the world’s best mobile phone? No. That is something which Carl [Pei] and HTC, and the Samsungs, LGs, or Apples of the world are the best at.”

This collaboration is not exclusive because Polygon is a decentralized blockchain platform. Other companies can add Polygon support to their devices, like HTC will do with its freshly released “metaverse phone” Desire 22 Pro, which also supports Ethereum. However, according to Kalsy, the Nothing cooperation benefits from the Polygon team’s expertise and understanding.

As with Solana and its mobile push, Polygon views the mobile market as essential for enrolling potentially large numbers of future users into the cryptocurrency space. Polygon’s technology enables quicker and less expensive transactions than Ethereum’s mainnet, and the network has just achieved carbon neutrality by purchasing offsets. The focus is now on widespread adoption.

“I believe it’s one of the single most important things which networks can do,” stated Kalsy. “You’ve solved for scalability and such, and now you can take this technology to the mobile phone and start onboarding the next hundreds of millions of users into Web3.”

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