Two Matics, Two Blockchains, One Major Difference

Matic is the native cryptocurrency on the Polygon network. Matic also happens to be a cryptocurrency on the Ethereum network. The difference is all about the blockchain. Despite being related projects--Polygon is built on the Ethereum network--failing to keep track of the blockchain on which a token is minted can create headaches for unwary token holders.

What is Polygon?

Polygon is a secondary scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain. It was designed to improve the Ethereum network’s transaction processing speed and reduce transaction costs, also known as gas fees.

What is the difference between MATIC on Polygon and Matic on Ethereum?

The short Matic (Eth) is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. Matic (Polygon/Matic) is Matic on the Polygon blockchain (the secondary scaling solution mentioned above). NFTs can be minted on either of the two networks. Beyond the fact that Polygon runs as a second layer of Ethereum and the similar names, the two networks are very different.

Knowing the blockchain on which your NFT was minted is incredibly important in one key area--movement of your NFT between different wallets. Get this wrong and you could lose your token forever.

Why does it matter?

A Matic token on the Ethereum network and a native Matic token on the Polygon network can't be sent to the same wallet address, as they are on different blockchains. If you send a token minted on the Matic network on Ethereum to your Matic address on the Polygon network you will likely loose your coin/token.

Sending a token minted on Matic on the Ethereum network to an Ethereum address (Metamask) will be successful. But sending a token minted on Matic on the Ethereum network to a Polygon address on the Polygon network (on Metamask) will result in lost funds. The reverse is also the same. Sending a token minted on Matic on the Polygon network to a Polygon address is fine.

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