Polygon (MATIC) Takes Aim at Optimistic Rollups in Scathing Ad

Polygon takes no prisoners in its AggLayer campaign.

Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal not feeling very Optimistic about this.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Polygon has taken a shot at popular Optimistic rollups in an ad.
  • The commercial has received mixed reviews.
  • The shot is the latest salvo in the fight for Ethereum Layer 2 dominance.

Driven by a desire to tap into Ethereum‘s deep liquidity, interest in launching Layer 2 chains shows no signs of slowing. Amid this high demand, competition is heating up among Ethereum scaling solution providers offering tech stacks, the proverbial shovels in this gold rush, that projects can use to spin off Layer 2 chains. So far, the leading contenders in this battle for dominance appear to be Polygon and Optimism.

In the latest salvo in the growing rivalry, Polygon has taken shots at popular rollups built with Optimism’s OP Stack in a commercial to promote its zero-knowledge approach and interoperability layer.

“Hardship Builds Character, But It Doesn’t Have to Be that Way”

Polygon is taking no prisoners in its AggLayer campaign. In a 90s-style commercial shared on Thursday, June 20, the project’s team swiped at the Optimistic rollup experience, specifically name-dropping Blast and Base.


The 1-minute 14-second clip starts with a satirical jab at Ethereum maximalists.

“As Ethereum maxi’s, we don’t like to do things the easy way. Because we know hardship builds character,” the video’s narrator quipped before walking a character called Timmy through what was depicted as the costly and time-wasting process of bridging from the Ethereum mainnet to Blast and then to Base.

"Take little Timmy here. He's bridging from mainnet to Blast to buy a cute NFT. Sure, it will cost him $150 and take 25 minutes. But that's a small price to pay for the warm feeling of decentralization. Oh, did I say Blast? I meant Base. Sorry, Timmy. Time to bridge again. Don't frown. It's good for you," the narrator chides.

After purchasing the NFT on Base, Timmy is informed that he is qualified for an airdrop on a Layer 3 chain, which Polygon tries to paint as redundant.


"That's one beautiful NFT looks like it qualifies you for an airdrop on that hot new L3 that just launched? What's an L3 you ask? Well, it's like an L2 on an L2. Make sense?"

As the video highlights, Timmy must bridge again to claim the airdrop.

"Now come Timmy. It's time to bridge again. You don't want to? Where's your Cypherpunk ethos, son? You don't want the other kids to think you're an alt L1 user, do you?" The narrator chides again in the face of Timmy's reluctance to bridge again.

The narrator closes out with the lines, “remember, if it’s not difficult, it’s not real crypto,” before a closing shot that promotes Polygon’s interoperability protocol, the AggLayer, which promises near-instant and atomic transactions between connected chains as “the easy way” to unify Ethereum.

Unsurprisingly, the clip has sparked a flurry of reactions online.

“Wildly Tone Deaf” or Genius?

The Polygon commercial has received mixed reviews. Reacting to the clip, Cinneamhain Ventures partner Adam Cochran bashed the Polygon AggLayer ad as “wildly tone deaf.”

"Polygon spends years pretending to be an ETH L2, then in a commercial shits on L2s, and reduces decentralization to 'a warm fuzzy feeling.' If that's all you think of decentralization, you could run a really fast SQL server," he retorted.

Cochran was not the only one to appear perplexed about the Polygon ad. BetHog CEO Nigel Eccles wrote, “Polygon crapping on Ethereum in a strange development.”

Still, not all the reactions were negative, as many shared their favorite quotes from the commercial, the most prominent being, “if it’s not difficult, it’s not real crypto.”

“Polygon is so amazing. Whoever made this deserves a medal,” one user gushed.

On the Flipside

  • Most of the AggLayer’s highly promoted features are not yet in production but are slated to roll out with the second version of the protocol, expected later in 2024.
  • Base, Optimism, and Blast occupy the second, third, and fourth spots in L2Beat‘s ranking of Layer 2 chains by TVL, behind only Arbitrum. In contrast, Polygon zkEVM ranks a distant seventeenth.

Why This Matters

Polygon and Optimism are among the frontrunners in the Ethereum Layer 2 tech stack battle. The recent Polygon ad highlights the growing intensity of the rivalry, echoing similar tactics employed by big tech competitors like Apple and Samsung.

Read this for more on the rivalry in the ETH Layer 2 space:
Polygon (MATIC), Others Beaten as Optimism Wins Celo’s L2 Bid

Has the crypto culture changed? See Vitalik Buterin’s thoughts:
Vitalik on Crypto’s “Idealist Hippies”: “We’re Still Here!”

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.