A Deep Dive into Polkadot

A Deep Dive into Polkadot

Polkadot is a next-generation blockchain and layer-0 protocol that unites multiple specialized blockchains into a unified, scalable network. Polkadot was designed as part of a broad vision for a fair, secure and resilient web that protects user interests by design (Web 3.0).

Why Polkadot?

Polkadot is designed to allow individuals to take back ownership of their digital information from powerful third-parties by enabling a web where our data is safely secured from central authorities and internet monopolies. By providing the foundation for a flourishing ecosystem of layer-1 blockchains, Polkadot enables new business models, services, organizations — and even entire societies and economies — to take shape and thrive into the future.

A Brief History

Polkadot was conceived from the whitepaper (aka Polkadot Paper) published in 2016 by Dr. Gavin Wood, co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum, and creator of its Solidity programming language. In 2017, Dr. Wood co-founded Web3 Foundation for the purpose of research and development of decentralized web technologies, including Polkadot. He and former Ethereum head of security Jutta Steiner also co-founded Parity Technologies, which has carried out the bulk of development work on Polkadot’s core technology as outlined in the whitepaper.

The first version of what would become the Polkadot codebase was released in 2019 as Kusama, an unaudited canary network.

The genesis block of Polkadot was launched in May 2020 as a proof-of-authority (PoA) network, with governance controlled by the single Sudo (super-user) account. During this time, validators started joining the network and signaling their intention to participate in consensus.

The DOT Token

DOT, the native token of the Polkadot network, has three key functions.

• It can be staked for the operation and security of the network; • can be bonded to connect a chain to Polkadot as a parachain; • gives holders a voice in the governance of the network.

DOT is inflationary, which means that unlike Bitcoin, there is no maximum number of DOT. The rate of inflation is not fixed: it is designed to be 10% in the first year. The DOT generated is used for validator rewards, with the remainder going to the Treasury.

The smallest unit of account in the ecosystem is a Planck, equivalent to 0.0000000001 DOT. The last price when as reading the article is at 17.29 USD, ranking #9 in CoinMarketCap.

Polkadot Architecture

Polkadot is a heterogeneous multichain network, meaning it connects various blockchains designed for specific purposes together into a single ecosystem. These diverse layer-1 blockchains are known as parachains for the way that they process transactions in parallel, and are connected together via the Polkadot Relay Chain.

In short, Polkadot aims to take the revolutionary promise of blockchain technology to the next level, providing a way for different purpose-built blockchains to connect within a scalable ecosystem and unlocking secure cross-chain communication.

In simple terms, Polkadot is a “blockchain of blockchains,” allowing many different types of chains to work and interact securely together within the same ecosystem.

Created on 24th Jun 2021