Polkadot

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Discover Polkadot's fundamentals and latest news.

This content was generated by Whalee (BETA), an AI crypto assitant that analyses cryptocurrencies. Informations can be incomplete and/or erroneous. Please always double check and DYOR.

What is Polkadot?

Polkadot (DOT) is a scalable, interoperable, and secure blockchain protocol that connects multiple specialized blockchains into one unified network, enabling seamless communication and transactions between them. It is designed to address issues of scalability, security, and decentralization, and it uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism and a native token, DOT, for governance and validation.

How is Polkadot used?

Polkadot (DOT) is used for several purposes within the Polkadot ecosystem:

  1. Governance: DOT holders have complete control over the Polkadot protocol, allowing them to vote on network governance, including managing exceptional events such as protocol upgrades and fixes.

  2. Staking: Token holders keep the network secure and collect rewards by staking DOT. This staking system is designed for maximum decentralization and fair representation, rewarding good actors and punishing bad actors to ensure network security.

  3. Bonding: New parachains are added by bonding tokens. Outdated or non-useful parachains are removed by removing bonded tokens. This is a form of proof of stake.

  1. Validation: DOT is used to validate blocks on Polkadot's relay chain, ensuring the security of the network.

  2. Collateral: DOT is used as collateral by validators to approve the next block in Polkadot's blockchain, functioning as Polkadot's proof-of-stake mechanism.

These uses enable Polkadot to facilitate a decentralized and interoperable network of blockchains, allowing for secure and scalable transactions across different blockchain systems.

How do I store Polkadot?

To store Polkadot (DOT) tokens securely, you can use a variety of wallets that cater to different needs and preferences. Here are some options:

Ledger Hardware Wallets

Ledger offers a range of hardware wallets that support Polkadot, including the Ledger Nano S Plus and Ledger Nano X. These wallets store your private keys offline, making them resistant to malicious attacks and threats. You can manage your Polkadot using the Ledger Live app, which allows you to buy, swap, and stake your DOT tokens.

Polkadot Vault (Parity Signer)

The Polkadot Vault, also known as Parity Signer, is a cold storage solution that can be installed on an old smartphone. You can wipe the device clean, put it in airplane mode, and use it as a cold wallet. This setup provides an additional layer of security for long-term holders and nominators.

Ledger Live App

The Ledger Live app is a gateway to manage your assets, including Polkadot. It allows you to check your real-time balance, track transaction histories, and more. You can also use it to buy Polkadot with a credit/debit card or bank transfer and start staking your DOT tokens in just a few clicks.

Polkadot-JS UI

The Polkadot-JS UI is a web wallet designed for developers and power users. It contains advanced features such as multi-sig accounts and switching signature schemes. It supports the full functionality that Substrate chains have to offer.

Browser Extensions

The Polkadot browser extension is an account manager that works in Chromium-based browsers and Firefox. It allows you to manage your accounts and sign transactions, and you can connect it to various Web 3.0 apps in the Polkadot ecosystem.

Third-Party Wallets

Numerous third-party wallets have been developed by the community, including Fearless Wallet and Exodus. These wallets offer user-friendly interfaces and support for various tokens within the Polkadot ecosystem.

Storing Other Tokens

For tokens like Kylin, Karura, Shiden, and KSM, you can use the Polkadot.js wallet with a browser extension. This allows you to store and manage these tokens within the same account, although it is recommended to create separate accounts for each network for added security.

Security Tips

When choosing a wallet, make sure to follow best practices for crypto security, such as using cold storage, integrating with multiple wallet providers, and being aware of phishing scams.

How to buy Polkadot?

To buy Polkadot (DOT) tokens, you can follow these steps:

Ledger
  1. Buy a Ledger Hardware Wallet: Purchase a Ledger Nano X or Ledger Nano S to securely store your Polkadot tokens.
  2. Create a Polkadot Account on Ledger Live: Set up your Polkadot account on the Ledger Live app.
  3. Buy Polkadot on Ledger Live: Use the Ledger Live app to buy Polkadot directly from their partner, Coinify. You can pay with a credit card or bank transfer, and the tokens will be automatically sent to your hardware wallet.
Coinbase
  1. Create a Coinbase Account: Download the Coinbase app and sign up with a valid ID and proof of address.
  2. Add a Payment Method: Connect a payment method such as a bank account, debit card, or wire.
  3. Search for Polkadot: Find Polkadot in the search bar.
  4. Enter the Amount: Input the amount you want to spend in your local currency.
  5. Finalize the Purchase: Preview and confirm your purchase.
Kraken
  1. Create a Kraken Account: Sign up for a free account on Kraken's crypto exchange.
  2. Connect a Funding Method: Add a payment method to fund your account.
  3. Buy Polkadot: Use Kraken's exchange to purchase Polkadot.
MoonPay
  1. Enter the Amount: Decide how much Polkadot you want to buy.
  2. Enter Your Wallet Address: Provide your Polkadot wallet address.
  3. Verify Your Email: Confirm your email and basic information.
  4. Buy Polkadot: Complete the purchase using a credit card, debit card, bank transfer, or other methods.
Other Options

You can also buy Polkadot on decentralized exchanges like PolkaSwap or the 1Inch Network.

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History of Polkadot

Polkadot (DOT) is a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency designed to facilitate interoperability between different blockchain networks. Here is a brief overview of its history:

  • 2016: The Polkadot project was launched by Gavin Wood, a co-founder of Ethereum. Wood published the white paper outlining the concept of Polkadot, which aimed to create a sharded version of Ethereum.

  • 2017: The Web3 Foundation was established by Gavin Wood and Peter Czaban to support the research and development of Polkadot. The foundation raised around $145 million through an initial token sale in October 2017.

  • 2018: Polkadot began testing its relay chain by introducing several proofs-of-concept (PoCs).

  • 2019: The Web3 Foundation launched a private token sale to raise additional funds for the project. Polkadot also publicly launched Kusama, an unrefined and unaudited form of the project, to test sharding, staking, and governance under real economic conditions.

  • May 26, 2020: The first mainnet chain candidate of Polkadot was launched, initially operating as a proof-of-authority network. This was followed by subsequent updates in June and July 2020, which transitioned the network to a nominated proof-of-stake model and distributed governance rights among different entities.

  • August 2020: The native token, DOT, was introduced to the market.

  • June 2021: Polkadot was listed on Coinbase, increasing its popularity.

Today, Polkadot is among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with a circulating supply of tokens that is expected to increase by 10% per annum. The tokens are rewarded to participants who validate transactions by staking their tokens, and the remaining tokens are stored in the network's treasury to incentivize participants.

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How Polkadot works

Polkadot (DOT) is a decentralized, scalable, and interoperable multi-chain network designed to bridge the gap between various blockchain ecosystems. Here's a detailed overview of how it works:

Architecture

Polkadot consists of a central chain called the Relay Chain, which is responsible for the network's shared security, consensus, and cross-chain interoperability. This chain is constructed using Substrate, a framework for developing custom blockchains. The Relay Chain has minimal functionality, focusing primarily on securing and coordinating the system as a whole.

Parachains

Polkadot "parachains" are independent Layer 1 blockchains that run parallel to each other, connected to the Relay Chain. Each parachain can have its unique design, token economy, functionality, and governance. By connecting to Polkadot, parachains share the network's security, meaning they don't have to bootstrap their own validator community. This architecture allows blockchains to have specialized designs, improving efficiency and security by leaving out unnecessary code.

Consensus Mechanism

Polkadot utilizes a nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS) consensus mechanism involving validators and nominators. Validators secure the Relay Chain by staking DOT, validating transactions on the parachains, participating in consensus with other validators, and producing blocks on the Relay Chain. Nominators contribute to the network's security by staking their DOT to back trustworthy validators. This system enhances the network's security while enabling cross-chain communication and interoperability.

Roles
  • Validators: Responsible for staking DOT, validating transactions on parachains, participating in consensus, and producing blocks on the Relay Chain.
  • Nominators: Contribute to the network's security by staking their DOT to back trustworthy validators.
  • Collators: Manage and submit valid parachain transactions to Relay Chain validators.
  • Fishermen: Monitor and report network misconduct.
DOT Token

The DOT token serves several functions in the Polkadot ecosystem:

  • Staking: Validators stake DOT to secure the Relay Chain and validate transactions.
  • Governance: DOT holders participate in voting through referenda, a voting scheme weighted by stake.
  • Bonding: DOT is used as collateral for parachain auctions, where projects bid for a slot on the Polkadot network.
Interoperability

Polkadot's sharded, multi-chain network can process over 1,000 transactions per second, eliminating bottlenecks and significantly improving scalability. It also allows for innovative cross-chain interactions and functionalities by securely connecting and communicating with external networks, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Security

Polkadot ensures security with a single underlying chain called the relay chain. This relay chain is Polkadot’s main chain, and it’s what distinguishes Polkadot from its closest competitor, Cosmos (ATOM). The parachains can leverage off the architecture and foundation of Polkadot, without having to worry about providing security.

Upgrades

Polkadot manages upgrades automatically without hard forks, ensuring seamless integration of new features and improvements.

Wallets

Polkadot supports various wallet options, including hardware wallets like Ledger, software wallets, and online wallets. The type of wallet chosen depends on the user's needs and preferences, with hardware wallets providing the most secure option and online wallets being less secure but more convenient.

Staking

Users can earn DOT rewards by staking as Validators or by nominating Validators. Validators require a node running 24/7, while nominating Validators is more accessible but requires careful selection to avoid penalties.

Polkadot's unique multi-chain framework, combined with its NPoS consensus mechanism and DOT token, enables seamless interoperability and enhanced security across various blockchain ecosystems.

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Polkadot's strengths

Polkadot (DOT) has several strengths that contribute to its potential and success:

  1. Parachain Architecture: Polkadot's mechanism for creating a multi-chain environment is based on the concept of Parachains, which are independent layer-1 blockchain networks with their own tokens, governance models, and functionality. These Parachains are connected to the Polkadot Relay Chain, allowing the entire ecosystem to share security primitives and seamlessly transfer arbitrary data between chains.

  2. XCM V3: Polkadot has developed its own cross-chain messaging protocol, which enables the transference of data between different chains in the Polkadot ecosystem. This protocol is considered a significant improvement over other interchain solutions, positioning Polkadot as a leading choice for new and evolving projects.

  3. Developer Activity: Polkadot has attracted a large number of full-time and total developers, with 750 full-time developers and over 2,000 total developers working on the project. This level of developer activity is second only to Ethereum, indicating significant interest and investment in the project.

  1. Governance and OpenGov: Polkadot's governance model allows token holders to participate in voting through referenda, which are weighted by stake. This ensures that the network is decentralized and that decision-making power is distributed among stakeholders.

  2. Scalability Goals: Polkadot aims to lay the foundation for a multitude of applications, with the potential to process up to 1 million transactions per second. This scalability is achieved through the use of parachains, which can process an estimated 1,000 transactions per second.

  3. Forkless Upgrades: Polkadot's design allows for forkless upgrades, which means that the network can be updated without the need for hard forks, ensuring a smoother and more efficient development process.

  1. Reputable Founders: Polkadot was launched by Peter Czaban and Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, lending credibility and expertise to the project.

These strengths highlight Polkadot's technical capabilities, its potential for scalability, and its commitment to decentralized governance and development.

Polkadot's risks

Polkadot (DOT) carries several risks, including:

  1. Slashing Risk: If a validator misbehaves or attacks the network, the nominator can lose a portion or all of their staked DOT tokens. This incentivizes nominators to choose trustworthy validators.

  2. Limited Liquidity: During the unbonding period, which can last around 28 days, DOT tokens are locked and do not earn rewards. Additionally, if the stake is below the dynamic minimum, rewards can only be earned through a nomination pool.

  3. Governance Risks: The governance system is weighted towards those with more DOT tokens, giving them significant influence over the project. This can lead to unequal decision-making power.

  1. Parachain Limitations: Polkadot can only support approximately 100 parachains, which may make it difficult for smaller projects to secure slots. This can lead to a concentration of power among larger projects.

  2. Volatility: Polkadot is a highly volatile cryptocurrency, with a standard deviation of 4.53, making it 7.19 times more volatile than the NYSE Composite. This volatility can result in significant price fluctuations.

  3. Systematic Risk: As a cryptocurrency, Polkadot is subject to market-wide movements and cannot be diversified away. This means that its price can be affected by overall market trends.

  1. Unsystematic Risk: Events specific to the Polkadot project can also negatively impact its price. This type of risk can be diversified by owning multiple digital assets with low correlation to each other.

These risks highlight the importance of careful consideration and thorough research before investing in Polkadot.

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Did Polkadot raise funds?

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Polkadot’s team

  • Gavin Wood: Co-founder of Polkadot, Ethereum co-founder, and President of Web3 Foundation. He invented Solidity, Proof-of-Authority consensus, and Whisper. He leads innovation on Substrate and Polkadot.
  • Robert Habermeier: Co-founder of Polkadot, Thiel Fellow with a background in blockchains, distributed systems, and cryptography. He is a longtime member of the Rust community and has focused on leveraging the language’s features to build highly parallel and performant solutions.
  • Peter Czaban: Co-founder of Polkadot, Technology Director of Web3 Foundation. He works on supporting the development of the next generation of distributed technologies and has a background in Bayesian Machine Learning.

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