Polkadot is a platform with low barriers to entry for flexible, autonomous economies acting together within Polkadot’s shared security umbrella. Polkadot is a revolution, not just in blockchain technology but also towards enabling fairer peer-to-peer digital jurisdictions.
What makes Polkadot special?
What is Polkadot?
Polkadot empowers blockchain networks to work together under the protection of shared security.
Main use case:
General, Interoperability, dApps
The Dot token has not yet been distributed but investors can claim their tokens here.
The story of Polkadot
Polkadot was initially started by Gavin Wood to create the next version of Ethereum without being bound to any existing technology or design. It was clear that the new chain should be interoperable with the existing independent, isolated blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Polkadot reinvented interoperability to increase the security and scalability of chains. Polkadot empowers blockchain networks to work together under the protection of shared security. It is designed to enable applications and smart contracts on one blockchain to seamlessly transact with data and assets on other chains. Furthermore, Polkadot offers a platform with low barriers to entry for flexible, autonomous economies – especially with the modular blockchain framework “Substrate”. An experimental and unaudited version of Polkadot called “Kusama” was launched in August 2019 and serves as canary network. Polkadot will be launched in phases throughout 2020 and moving from a PoA consensus to Nominated Proof of Stake consensus and more decentralization. This is an open-source project founded by the Web3 Foundation.
Non-technical Polkadot onboarding resources
These resources help you to get to know Polkadot, to understand how Polkadot works and to start using Polkadot.
Get started with Polkadot
- Read the Polkadot Lightpaper
- Check out PolkaProjects to see all projects building on Polkadot
- A summary of everything Substrate and Polkadot
- The Polkadot launch process
- Comprehensive introduction to Polkadot
- Polkadot FAQs
- Polkadot Glossary
- Consensus in Polkadot and how it compares to others
- How shared security works in Polkadot
- Interview with Peter Czaban about Polkadot & the internet of blockchain networks
How can you join and contribute
Polkadot Onboarding Resources for technical people
These resources help you to get to know Polkadot on a technical level and to start working with it. After going through the Polkadot & Substrate resources you are able to determine when it makes sense to use this technology, how to set up and run a node, network or application.
Get started with Polkadot
- Learn about Polkadot’ s sharded design and how it achieves security, scalability and interoperability
- Substrate & Polkadot intro
- An overview of the technology & architecture
- What are parathreads?
- Starter’s Guide to build on Polkadot
- Learn about Node management and running a Parity client
- Read the Substrate Documentation
- Start with Substrate Recipes: Learn to set up toolchain, compile a blockchain node, and interact with the blockchain
- Check out Substrate tutorials
Polkadot tools and implementations are listed here. Currently, the Rust ecosystem is the most mature and it’s possible to get started by building on Substrate today.
How can you join and contribute
The DOT token powers the Polkadot network. It is used for governance over the network, operation, bonding, and interoperability. Polkadot (DOT) stakeholders can decide on all kinds of governance including exceptional events such as protocol upgrades and fixes. Stakeholders are incentivized to behave in honest ways and are rewarded through a specific mechanism that causes bad actors to lose their stake in the network. This ensures the network stays secure. Whoever wants to secure a parachain slot can utilize bonding tokens. Bonded parachains cannot be removed from the network arbitrarily or unbond their DOTs until their lease ends. If messages shall be passed from one blockchain to another, there may be a fee – but this is not automatically required.
More details about token economics can be found in Web 3 Foundation’s research.
Polkadot utilizes a dynamic governance process. Polkadot has set clear rules about the preferred governance outcome and the current process but it is expected and open to adapt with network growth. The governance process includes DOT holders and a council. All DOT holders can vote on proposals with their tokens and elect council members during rolling elections. DOT holders can propose different kinds of referenda. Some referenda can directly be decided by council members, others are public and go through a longer process. Through a voting mechanism called “Adaptive Quorum Biasing” and delayed enactment of public referanda that are critical to the future of Polkadot, transparency and security are achieved in this governance process.
More about Polkadot governance can be found here.
The Polkadot ecosystem is growing rapidly with Parity and Web 3 Foundation taking the lead. Important collaborations have already been created in advance of mainnet launch. Polkadot’s “cousin”, the canary network Kusama, was launched last year by the same team and contributes to the early growth of the overall ecosystem.
Important parties in the ecosystem
Polkadot has shared an insight to its launch process in three phases. The blockchain is launched as PoA network that is managed by Web 3 Foundation. Web3 Foundation will use Sudo – a superuser account with access to governance functions – to initiate the first validator election. The network will then advance to NPoS, governance will be more decentralized and Sudo will be eliminated to hand the network totally to DOT token holders. Besides that, new functionalities will be tested on Kusama and successfully tested functionalities and learnings will be implemented into Polkadot on the go (See this referendum). A roadmap for developers can be seen here.