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Architecture Overview

Active development

The Supernets documentation is a work in progress. Currently, this Hub only extends the original Polygon Edge documentation to provide material for the functionality in the v0.7.0-alpha release.

The code is undergoing an audit and should not yet be used in production environments. Please get in touch with the Polygon team if you would like to use it in production or have any questions.

The following diagram offers an architectural overview for Polygon Supernets.

Polygon Supernets Architecture


libp2p serves as the networking layer for Supernets. Libp2p fits with the designing philosophies of Supernets as it is designed for peer-to-peer network architectures while being modular, extensible, and fast. Most importantly, it provides a great foundation for more advanced features, which we'll cover later on.


With the help of PolyBFT, Polygon Edge supports an in-built bridging mechanism (a two-way bridge), which enables arbitrary message passing between a Supernet (childchain) and another proof-of-stake blockchain (rootchain). Transfers can occur without mapping.

Message passing between a rootchain to a given childchain is accomplished by continuously syncing the state of the rootchain with the childchain, known as StateSync. These transfers of state happen between system calls. The mechanics of StateSync are explained here.

When passing messages from a childchain to a rootchain, the validator set will commit checkpoints, a snapshot of the childchain state. The mechanics of checkpoints are explained here.

Message Pool

The Message Pool is a means that allows multiple validators to aggregate their signatures to create a single, aggregated signature that represents the signatures of all validators in the pool. The pool is used as a way to get an asynchronous agreement for some data for the StateSyncs as each node might have a different event state from the rootchain, a process that is not synchronous.

The pool is implemented using a variant of the BLS signature scheme. Validators must join a Message Pool and agree to follow a set of rules and procedures for generating and aggregating their signatures. Once a group of validators has joined a Message Pool, they can use the Message Pool feature to create aggregated signatures on messages or transactions, which can then be verified by the network using the Message Pool's public key.


PolyBFT is the consensus mechanism of Polygon Edge. It is composed of two core parts, a consensus engine, PBFT, and a consensus protocol, which includes the bridge, staking, and other utilities. PolyBFT uses an adaptation of PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) consensus, known as IBFT (Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance), in combination with the Tendermint-based re-locking mechanism. More is explained in the PolyBFT overview.


The Blockchain layer is the central layer that coordinates everything in the Polygon Edge system. The blockchain curates state transitions and is responsible for state changes when a new block is added to the chain. It is covered in depth in the corresponding Module documents.

Runtime (EVM)

Supernets use the EVM as their runtime environment for executing smart contracts. The runtime environment is designed to be highly scalable and fast, with the ability to process transactions and execute smart contracts at speeds that are significantly faster than those of the Ethereum mainnet.


The TxPool layer represents the transaction pool, and it is closely linked with other modules in the system, as transactions can be added from multiple entry points.


The JSON RPC layer is an API layer that dApp developers use to interact with the blockchain. It is covered in depth in the Module documents.


The gRPC layer is vital for operator interactions. Through it, node operators can easily interact with the client, providing an enjoyable UX.

The gRPC layer helps abstract all the request/reply protocols and simplifies the streaming protocols needed for the client to function. Protocol buffers are used to define services and message structures. It is covered in depth in the Module documents.