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Matic is the digital token used on Polygon, a protocol built on Ethereum. The organization behind it claims it can process transactions about 467 times faster than Ethereum at a fraction of the cost and that about 2.7 million people use it every month. As of Aug. 1, 2022, Matic was the 13th largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $7.2 billion.
Matic is a Layer-2 scaling system, a technology built on top of another blockchain — in this case, Ethereum — for faster transactions. Matic’s initial exchange offering was in 2019. There are about 8 billion coins in circulation with a maximum supply of 10 billion.
Decide whether to invest in Matic
The developers of Polygon, called Matic Network until it was rebranded in 2021, say the network they’re building addresses the problems currently preventing decentralized apps, or dApps, from becoming more widespread. The network uses staking, a process in which Matic owners can use their tokens to help validate new transactions in return for Matic tokens. The developers say that, compared to proof-of-work alternatives, Polygon’s proof-of-stake blockchain has much higher speeds and throughput — the number of transactions that can be confirmed in a set amount of time. Proof-of-work validation relies on powerful computers to solve difficult cryptography problems, which is an energy-intensive process. Theoretically, the company states Matic should be capable of handling millions of transactions per second in the future. Currently, about 19,000 dApps run on the network.
Polygon is not the only proof-of-stake technology advertising scalability as its primary advantage. Solana, for example, also touts high speeds and low cost and, as of July 2022, has a market cap nearly double that of Matic.
Cryptocurrency is a new and quickly growing type of technology and investment. Prices can quickly rise and fall. While it can be helpful to look for signals of value, like technical features or the number of people using a given platform, ongoing disruption in this field means the long-term value is still challenging to predict.
» New to buying cryptocurrency? Start here.
Find a place to buy Matic
You can buy Matic on centralized exchanges, including Coinbase, Kraken, Binance.US and FTX. While cryptocurrency was designed with peer-to-peer transactions in mind, centralized exchanges are easier to set up and give quick access to many coins and tokens. However, you’ll likely pay a fee when you buy or sell.
Decentralized exchanges let you buy directly from others. While this route can be more technical, you won’t pay as much in fees.
» Lean more: Best cryptocurrency exchanges.
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Decide how to pay for Matic
Both centralized and decentralized exchanges typically allow payments using a bank transfer and, sometimes, a credit card. Many also allow you to pay in cryptocurrency. In addition, some exchanges accept mobile-friendly payment methods like Apple Pay or PayPal.
You’ll also pay transaction costs to users who verify transactions. These fees are in addition to fees you pay to an exchange, and you can’t avoid them on a decentralized exchange. Matic says its transaction fees are about $0.002.
Purchase and store your Matic
Matic can be stored in web-based wallets, including Coinbase and Bitski. These wallets, also called hot wallets, are convenient and easy to use. They’re generally safe but can be exposed to hacks or other security breaches because they are accessed online through third parties.
A method that’s a bit clunkier but more secure is cold storage, which usually consists of a USB device that connects to the internet only when transacting. Cold storage also gives you more control, or custody, of your holdings than hot wallets, where a third-party company technically stores your crypto.
Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.