What is Polkadot, and why is it widely used blockchains today?
Polkadot’s third phase of distribution, which includes parachains, has just begun. You need to know everything about Polkadot and parachains, including why they’re significant.
Polkadot, which launched in May of last year, is quickly establishing itself as a next-generation blockchain in a market majorly captured by Bitcoin and Ethereum. Scaling and interoperability concern limited Bitcoin’s ability to permit value transfer without the assistance of a central authority. Ethereum and its more flexible network surged in popularity as a result.
Ethereum not only provided a decentralized system in which various programs could be constructed and run without the use of middlemen, but it also provided a more flexible environment in which money could be traded through smart contracts. The network’s congestion and gas fees, on the other hand, are putting a strain on an expanding number of applications. This is when new competitors such as Polkadot come into play.
Polkadot’s rise has been spectacular in the current ecosystem of over 4,000 cryptocurrencies. Polkadot’s native token, DOT, became a top 10 cryptocurrency within a few months after its launch. Polkadot’s deployment has reached the final stage, with founder Gavin Wood announcing the launch of parachains in a blog post today.
What is Polkadot, exactly?
Polkadot is a technology created by Wood, a British computer scientist who also co-founded Ethereum. It allows numerous blockchains to exchange currency in an inconsistent manner while sharing their unique features through a single secure channel. According to the Web3 Foundation, a Swiss organization that runs the network, Polkadot is a “next-generation blockchain.”
What was the origin of Polkadot?
Polkadot began in 2016 with a white paper written by Wood. Wood, a former CTO of the Ethereum Foundation, is reported to have invented Ethereum’s Solidity programming language during his time there. Wood was stated to be dissatisfied in 2015 when working closely with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin when the planned start date for Ethereum 2.0 development was pushed back.
Wood left Ethereum in 2016 to work on a blockchain that was sharded. Following that, he formed the Web3 Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to decentralized technology research and development, including Polkadot.
Wood co-founded Parity Technologies with Jutta Steiner, the former Ethereum’s head of security. Parity Technologies was tasked with continuing Polkadot’s development. Gavin Wood revealed today that the revised logic for parachain-hosting is now operational on the Kusama network, indicating that Polkadot’s parachain implementation is nearly complete. Polkadot began as an unaudited canary network from the previous project Kusama in 2019. The canary feature assists the development team in detecting any severe difficulties before the mainnet’s deployment.
The Kusama project is a self-contained, independent network with streamlined governance and lower entry barriers. Kusama’s available system is seen as a tool for the company’s early-stage adoption and experimentation.
— The Kusamarian (@TheKusamarian) April 21, 2022
Polkadot was first launched in May 2020 as a proof-of-authority (PoA) protocol. Its management was handled by a single Sudo (super-user) account. When the network was first deployed, validators were invited to participate in the consensus procedure.
The network ditched the proof-of-authority consensus method on June 18, 2020, in favor of the tried-and-true proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol. The network’s super-user account was deleted in July 2020, and the network’s governance was given to the holders of its DOT tokens, thanks to a decentralized community of validators. Because of this paradigm shift, Polkadot was able to achieve its goal of becoming a decentralized platform.
Polkadot’s the native symbol (DOT)
Polkadot’s DOT coin was the sixth most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization at the time of publication. The utility token acts as governance, bonding, and staking mechanism for the network.
The governance function allows DOT holders to exert control over the Polkadot network. DOT holders set the network’s running fees, auction dynamics, and the timeline for adding additional parachains. They can also determine when platform upgrades and fixes are required.
The Department of Transportation is also involved in network security. As part of the proof-of-stake mechanism, DOT holders are responsible for authenticating transactions between parachains. To participate, DOT token holders must invest their tokens.
The third function of DOT in the network is the capacity to add new parachains through a process known as “bonding.” DOT tokens are not usable at this time and will only be released after the bonding period is over and the parachain is deleted.
Polkadot’s vision for the future
As part of its quest for a decentralized internet, Polkadot appears to be on track to continue building a trustless blockchain network for verifying data and value transactions. Earlier this month, the network introduced “bridges” to connect foreign networks to its environment. Bridges attempt to facilitate the rapid and secure flow of values and data through the use of an interoperable rule.
To get things started, the Web3 Foundation is funding several bridge-building activities. Two examples are Interlay’s Bitcoin bridge and Snowfork’s Ethereum bridge.