Polkadot’s core features can open up a world of services
This is your introduction into the Polkadot ecosystem, a blockchain network of parallel blockchains that allows for transactional scalability. In this blockchain guide you will learn about Polkadot, allowing you to discover dapps with newly acquired knowledge.
What is Polkadot?
Polkadot is a next-generation platform that enables blockchains and other parachains to work together under one umbrella. They label themselves as a Layer-0 blockchain, but essentially there main Polkadot Relay Chain creates to connection between various so-called parachains. Simply put, Polkadot is a blockchain that connects multiple blockchains, and then allows data and value to move swiftly and cheaply between these ecosystems.
Polkadot enables cross-chain communication, and transactional scalability thanks to their parachains. Developers can create custom blockchains using the Substrate framework, while getting interoperability and security from day one. This ease of development makes Polkadot interesting for developers. In addition, it uses a nominated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, using the energy equivalent of less than 7 household per year.
DappRadar currently tracks a couple of parachains.
Who created Polkadot?
Polkadot was built by Parity, a company founded by Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood and former Ethereum Foundation Head of Security Dr. Jutta Steiner.
Parity has essentially shaped the blockchain industry. For example, they started with building the widely used Parity Ethereum client, followed by the implementations of Bitcoin and Zcash. However, now they work on ‘the next generation of blockchain technology’ with Polkadot.
Polkadot has now become an open-source project, governed by the Web3 Foundation. This foundation has subsequently appointed 5 teams and 100 developers to build and expand the project. These teams include ChainSafe and Parity Technologies, but also Polkadot JS and Soramitsu.
What are parachains?
As mentioned, Polkadot is a network of blockchains, and these blockchains are also called parachains. These individual chains connect to and are secured by the Polkadot Relay Chain, but they can also connect to other blockchains through bridges. Each parachain can have their own systems, features and mechanics.
On DappRadar we track various parachains, including:
About Polkadot governance
Governance procedures in the blockchain arena are quite a new concept. Older blockchains do not give individual stakeholders or token holders a say in proposing or refusing protocol changes. However, with Polkadot every DOT holder can participate in governance, and with that influence the development of the ecosystem.
As a DOT holder you can, for example:
- Propose a change to the protocol, including introducing new features
- Vote on proposals by others
What is the DOT token?
The DOT token serves three distinct purposes: governance over the network, staking, and bonding. In addition, people use DOT to pay for gas fees. As a normal end users you may only use the token for transaction, while those who are more involved in Web3 can utilize the token for governance and staking as well.
Token holders can stake their DOT tokens with a validator, helping to secure the network. DOT ownership gives holders a vote on Polkadot’s referenda, which determine the direction of the project’s development.
DOT also has a crucial role in the establishment for new parachains. New parachains are added by bonding tokens, meaning that these DOT tokens will be staked and locked away. As long as the tokens are staked, the parachain can exist.
Best wallets for Polkadot
Every parachain and the Polkadot Relay Chain work with a variety of mobile wallets and browser extensions. We want our community to use the best there is to find, and therefore we’ve listed the following wallets:
- Enkrypt – a multichain, non-custodial browser wallet by the team of MyEtherWallet
- MetaMask – one of the most popular multichain EVM wallets for mobile and browser
- SubWallet – a non-custodial wallet solution for Substrate and Ethereum ecosystems, available for browsers and mobile devices.
- Nova Wallet – a non-custodial mobile wallet with integrated governance and staking functionality
Polkadot offers developers a scalable, interoperable, specialized, and easily upgradable blockchain solution on which to deploy decentralized applications (dapps). Moreover, the developments in the Polkadot ecosystem are slowly paying off, as more users discover this rich, scalable ecosystem.