Discover Polkadot- An Interoperable blockchain for connecting multiple chains into one network

Polkadot Network

In one of our insights on blockchain interoperability, we discussed how interoperability can further enhance the efficiencies of blockchain protocols. Interoperability is all about empowering multiple blockchains to interact with each other. In that insight, we mentioned Polkadot – a blockchain interoperability solution. In today’s insight, we will discuss Polkadot in detail to help you discover how it is rendering interoperability to blockchains, its key characteristics and capacities, how it functions and many other related points.

What is Polkadot Network?

Polkadot is an interoperable blockchain that enables multiple blockchain ecosystems or networks to communicate with each other. In a way, it bridges them.

There is a Swiss Foundation named Web3 Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to facilitate a fully functional decentralized web that will be completely under the control of users so that user’s data can be kept secure from any central authority. Web3 Foundation is funding the development of the Polkadot ecosystem. Polkadot is its flagship project, a next-generation blockchain protocol. It intends to bring true interoperability in the entire network of purpose-built blockchains by enabling them to operate seamlessly with each other. With that, Polkadot aims to enable a truly decentralized web by facilitating the transfer of any type of data between any type of blockchains. And in the process, it promises to deliver the most robust security, scalability and innovation.

Three pioneers of the blockchain industry have founded Polkadot:

Robert Habermeier

He is into extensive research and development of blockchains, cryptography and distributed systems. He serves as the co-founder of Polkadot.

Dr. Gavin Wood

He serves as President of Web3 Foundation. In the past, he had also served Ethereum as co-founder and CTO. Solidity, Proof-of-Authority consensus, and Whisper are some of the fundamentals invented by him.

Peter Czaban

A M.E graduate from the University of Oxford, Peter is the Technology Director of the Web3 Foundation, focused on developing the next generation of distributed technologies.

Why is the Polkadot Network Needed?

The web, in its current form, is centralized. Blockchain technology can make it decentralized, but blockchain legacy networks lack interoperability. Polkadot is the next-generation Blockchain that strives to build a complete decentralized web. 

Like any other Blockchain ecosystem, even Polkadot stands for the idea of a decentralized web, where a handful of large companies won’t control how users interact with technologies or won’t have the power to exploit users’ data security and privacy for personal interests and incentives.

The web we have today forces us to agree to certain terms and conditions whenever we want to use any software or app. Most of the time, we don’t even read these terms because we don’t have the free will to accept or reject them. If we want to use an app or web tool, we have to accept the terms levied upon us, and as we go on using these apps, we generate piles of valuable data that gives a detailed insight into our personal lives. It means we are simply giving out the details of our personal lives for free, holding on to a thin line of trust that the companies controlling our data are not evil.

However, development in decentralized technologies like Blockchain and progress in open source has brought in the possibilities of decentralized web systems. A decentralized web can break corporate stranglehold on the web and prioritize individual sovereignty. But despite being one of the biggest technology disruptions, real-world deployment of blockchain technology is still subjected to certain limitations. Most of these limitations exist because blockchain ecosystems function in silos.

Multiple specialized blockchains have demonstrated great promise in fields like the Internet of Things (IoT), governance, finance, identity management, asset tracking and web decentralization. But the best features of these multiple specialized networks can’t be put together because these networks can’t communicate with each other to exchange data. This design limitation severely hinders the large-scale adoption of Blockchain. Polkadot protocol is a cross-chain solution designed to facilitate blockchain interoperability so that any type of data can be sent between any type of blockchains to unlock a wide range of real-world use cases.

What Polkadot Blockchain Network Intends to Offer?

Polkadot aims to connect the dots of various gaps prevailing in the Blockchain industry as a whole. Currently, every blockchain functions as an individual network with specific features and use cases. Polkadot is designed to facilitate the trade-off of these features between multiple chains so that many chains can come together and function as one network capable of a new range of use cases. The Polkadot network is designed to achieve the concerned goal by facilitating the following:

True Interoperability

Some blockchain solutions facilitate the transfer of tokens from one chain to another. But, the Polkadot network is a level up as it enables cross-blockchain transfers of any type of data or asset. Any blockchain can connect to Polkadot and gain the ability to interoperate with a variety of blockchains.

Transactional Scalability

Polkadot supports a common set of validators for securing multiple blockchains. It facilitates the smooth spreading of transactions across multiple parallel blockchains, which helps in providing transactional scalability.

Easy Innovation

Using the Substrate framework, it is extremely convenient to create a custom blockchain. It just takes minutes, and the same chains can be connected to Polkadot for complete interoperability and security solution from day one.

Forkless and Future-proof

Just like applications, even blockchains need upgrades and bug-fixing. Blockchain forking is done to integrate new features or to fix bugs in a blockchain. But Polkadot is a future-ready protocol that doesn’t require any forks to adapt to changes or upgrade itself in alignment with emerging technologies.

United Security 

Polkadot enables chains to interact with each other, but the chains remain independent in their governance. However, their security gets united, and this improves the overall security of the chains.

User-driven Network Governance

Every stakeholder has a voice over the Polkadot network. Any upgrades to the network are coordinated on-chain and enacted autonomously.

How does the Polkadot Network Function?

Polkadot is an open-source network, so any developer can contribute to building it. Web3 Foundation has commissioned over 100 developers to build Polkadot. As mentioned above, the true advantage or strength of the Polkadot network is that it facilitates the cross-chain transfer of arbitrary data and not just tokens. With this capacity, Polkadot provides a true multi-chain application environment where cross-chain computation and cross-chain registries are possible.

Polkadot supports data transfer across all types of chains: public, open, permissionless or private and permissioned blockchains. This way Polkadot facilitates various new feasibilities in the blockchain space, like a private blockchain-based application can be used on a public blockchain. For instance, with Polkadot, sending a school’s private and permissioned academic records to a degree-verification smart contract on a public chain will be possible.

Now let’s understand how the Polkadot network functions. There are four key elements to it:

Relay Chain

It is the core of the Polkadot network, responsible for managing its shared security, cross-chain interoperability and consensus.

Parachains

Parachains refer to all those heterogeneous blockchains that are connected to Polkadot. Parachains can have their own tokens, specific functionalities and use cases.

Parathreads

Parathreads are also similar to parachains but abide by the pay-as-you-go model. These are the chains that don’t require continuous connectivity to the network.

Bridges

Bridges allow parathreads and parachains to connect and interact with external networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In a nutshell, in the Polkadot ecosystem, there is a network of parachains and parathreads connected to the relay chain. They can also connect to external networks using bridges. The relay chain ensures the security of the complete network. Because the relay chain is responsible for the security of the entire network of parachains, parathreads and bridges, there is a multi-level mechanism to keep the relay chain secured.

First, there is a group called ‘Nominators,’ whose job is to select trustworthy validators and staking dots(will be discussed shortly). A validator’s ‘job is to stake dots, validate proofs from collators and participate in consensus with other validators. Collators are responsible for maintaining the shards by collecting transactions from users. Collators produce proofs for validators. Any bad behavior in the network is to be reported to the validators. Any collator or para chain full node who monitors the network and reports flaws to the validator is called a fisherman.

What is the Role of DOT (native token) in the Polkadot Network?

DOT is the native token for the Polkadot network. It carries out three main functions of the platform:

Governance of the network

The governance function includes determining the network’s fees, fixing the auction dynamics and scheduling the addition of para chains. Only DOT holders are entitled to participate in governance.

Operating the network

DOT also facilitates the consensus mechanism that underpins Polkadot. DOT holders need to put their DOTs at risk, also referred to as staking for carrying out transactions across parachains. DOT staking acts as a disincentive for malicious participation in the network. Token holders are awarded for good transactions, while they lose their stake in the network for the faulty ones.

Creating parachains by bonding DOT

DOT holders require getting their DOTs locked for adding new parachains through a process called DOT bonding. It works as a form of proof of stake. Outdated or non-useful parachains are removed by removing bonded tokens.

Focusing on our objective of building innovative and more useful blockchain solutions for enterprises and startups, we always look forward to work on new blockchain technologies. Under the Polkadot network, we can offer the following Polkadot blockchain development services:

Smart contracts development

Using Polkadot, we can develop cross-chain compatible smart contracts that can perform in multi-chains.

NFT Marketplaces

To make NFT trading feasible across multiple blockchain networks, we can build cross-chain capabilities in NFT marketplaces.

dApps Development 

We can develop interoperable dApps enriched with cross-chain compatibility. With the feature of interoperability, even a private blockchain-based application would run on a public blockchain.

Exchange Platform

We can build cross-chain abilities in the DeFi exchange platforms for supporting the seamless exchange of tokens and cryptocurrencies across different blockchain networks.

Parachain development

We can also take up custom para chain development projects in Kusama to test different ideas before deploying them on Polkadot. Kusama is referred as the cousin of Polkadot. It has been created to test the network’s technology in a real-world environment.

Node and Wallet Development

We can help you develop and run a node on Polkadot. Also, we build the Polkadot wallet to support your blockchain applications and transactions.
Endnote

Polkadot is 100% open source, and it profusely encourages developers to participate in the Polkadot ecosystem building. Now that it is live, our team of developers has already started exploring development scope and service feasibilities over the Polkadot network. Starting from smart contract to dApp development, custom parachain development to node and wallet creation, our team of developers can provide a wide range of Polkadot blockchain development services to help you leverage interoperability, interchain connectivity and instant security of Polkadot.

If you are looking for ways to improve cross-chain capacities of your blockchain solutions or want to get your hands on interoperable blockchain applications, then reach out to LeewayHertz. We will help you get the right solution with Polkadot.

Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the founder and CEO at LeewayHertz. With the experience of building over 100+ platforms for startups and enterprise allows Akash to rapidly architect and design solutions that are scalable and beautiful.
Akash's ability to build enterprise-grade technology solutions has attracted over 30 Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, 3M, P&G and Hershey’s. Akash is an early adopter of new technology, a passionate technology enthusiast, and an investor in AI and IoT startups.

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