Polygon Blockchain Receives Criticism as it Completes Hard Fork With Only 13 Validators

Fork and spoon wrapped in tape measure on table.

MarianVejcik/Getty Images

Matic, the Polygon blockchain network's native token, jumped 17% in the week after the blockchain executed a so-called hard fork to radically upgrade its infrastructure, although the move also drew criticism about whether it's actually a decentralized network because it was approved by just 13 validators.

Key Takeaways

  • Polygon executed a hard fork on January 17 at 10:45 UTC with the help of only 15 validators.
  • The crypto community is casting doubt on the decentralized nature of Polygon, as 13 of 15 validators voted in favor of the change.
  • The hard fork will reduce spikes in gas fees during periods of high activity and chain reorganizations by reducing the time taken to complete a data block.

Only 15 Validators Overhauled the Network

Polygon, which enhances the performance of Ethereum, overhauled its network on Jan. 17., aiming to boost the performance of the blockchain by reducing gas fees and the time taken to complete the transactions.

Initially discussed in December 2022, the fork was supposed to be voted on by 100 validators and infrastructure providers to upgrade the network.However, in the voting process, only 15 validator teams participated, and 13 of them voted in favor of the proposal, which is extremely low as the hard fork needs a supermajority to conduct any change.  

How Decentralized is DeFi?

The hard fork is hailed as a technological advancement. However, the way Polygon did it raised questions about the network's decentralization stance and its organizational structure. There has already been some debate in the Polygon community about whether the hard fork was necessary. On Twitter, the crypto community criticized Polygon, calling it a centralized network and asking questions– how decentralized is decentralized finance, DeFi?

The Bottom Line

It's not the first time a decentralized network has come under fire for its centralized nature. In 2021, Uniswap, the popular Ethereum-based decentralized exchange, was criticized for delisting tokens without voting or consulting its members, raising questions about how much control creators can have in crypto.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. CoinMarketCap. "Polygon Price."

  2. Polygonscan. "Block# 38189056."

  3. Polygon. ''Pre-PIP Discussion: Addressing Reorgs and Gas Spikes''

  4. Polygon Forum. "Pre-PIP Discussion: Addressing Reorgs and Gas Spikes."

  5. Twitter. ''@KEMOS4BE.11:40 AM · Jan 14, 2023''

  6. Decrypt. ''$11 Billion in ‘Fake’ Uniswap Volume Causes DeFi Project and DEX to Clash''

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.