Polkadot is a decentralised network of blockchains that puts emphasis on interoperability and scalability. It is built to connect private and public blockchains, oracles and future technologies that are yet to be created. This is done with so-called parachains, or parallel blockchains that work alongside its main Relay Chain. In short, it’s a platform that allows a variety of blockchains to transfer value and data in a trustless way; often referred to as multi-chain technology.
DOT is the name of the Polkadot currency. The cap is set at 1,1 billion and there are currently 1 billion in circulation. Anyone who purchases DOT can use their coins to propose changes to the network and approve or reject major changes proposed by others. In other words, DOT is also a tool that facilitates the consensus mechanism of the chain.
A parachain is capable of self-governing, meaning that it’s not dependent on the main chain and thus is able to create its own token or cryptocurrency. In other words, one parachain can focus on a single component without existing in “isolation”. Given this technical set-up, many specialised blockchains can communicate within Polkadot, thus allowing for the sharing of data, value, assets, tokens, etc. Combined with the finalization component of the “Relay chain” these blockchains can create an efficient and highly secure network.
The main Polkadot blockchain, called the “Relay Chain” is where transactions are finalized. To achieve a greater speed, this main chain separates the addition of new transactions from the act of validating those transactions. This model allows Polkadot to process over 1,000 transactions per second. Parachains on the other hand, are custom blockchains that use the relay chain’s computing resources to confirm that transactions are accurate. Another interesting functionality of Polkadot are its bridges as these allow the Polkadot network to interact with other blockchains and thus allow for tokens and coins to be swapped without an exchange.
Get started with 3 easy steps:
Polkadot wiki: https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/getting-started
Polkadot website: https://polkadot.network/