Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot is an ecosystem of interconnected blockchains. DOT is the native token of the Polkadot network.

Polkadot is not a conventional blockchain. It is actually an ecosystem of interconnected blockchain shards called parallelized chains (parachains). Parachains are application-specific and they connect to and are secured by a single base platform called Relay Chain. They can also connect with external networks via bridges.

Relay Chain is the heart of Polkadot and is responsible for the network’s security, consensus, and cross-chain interoperability. It contains Polkadot's consensus and voting logic.

Parachains are "sovereign blockchains" with their own tokens and are optimized for specific use-cases. Parachains need to pay for connecting to the Relay Chain. 

Bridges are special blockchains that enable Polkadot shards to connect to external blockchains like Ethereum.

Polkadot was conceptualized by Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood. He is also the inventor of the Solidity smart contract programming language.

Polkadot has an interesting history. It raised funds through an ICO in 2017. A hacker "froze" 66% of these funds within a few days of the raise!

Polkadot uses a hybrid consensus model which splits the "finality" gadget from the "block production" mechanism.

BABE (Blind Assignment for Blockchain Extension) is the block production mechanism that runs between the validator nodes. BABE determines the authors of new blocks.

GRANDPA (GHOST-based Recursive ANcestor Deriving Prefix Agreement) is the finality gadget. It is implemented for the Polkadot Relay Chain.

The DOT token

DOT is the native token of the Polkadot network and serves 3 distinct purposes:

  • Governance: DOT holders have complete control over the protocol including managing protocol upgrades and fixes.
  • Staking: Good validators are rewarded in DOT while malicious entities lose their stake.
  • Bonding: New parachains are added by bonding tokens and non-useful or outdated parachains are removed by removing bonded tokens.

Why Polkadot?

What I like best about Polkadot is that its network has a common set of validators for securing multiple blockchains. And that transactions are spread across multiple parallel blockchains.

Each parachain brings unique functionality and use cases to the Polkadot ecosystem.

Polkadot’s first 11 parachains are live. These 11 parachains have bonded 126 million DOT for the two-year lease period. That's 11% of the total supply.

Another thing I like about Polkadot is that it has the lowest carbon footprint among the top proof-of-stake blockchains - Algorand, Avalanche, Cardano, Polkadot, Tezos, and Solana.

Wallets

The popular wallets include Fearless Wallet, Klever, Polkawallet, and Stylo.

Useful links

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