Polkadot: the protocol for a multi-blockchain world
Polkadot: the protocol for a multi-blockchain world
Blockchain

Polkadot: the protocol for a multi-blockchain world

By Lorenzo Dalvit - 1 Mar 2020

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Treating the Polkadot protocol as yet another copy of a blockchain useful to attract new followers and traders willing to grow their cryptocurrency would be a mistake.

Gavin Wood, head of the Polkadot project with the company Parity Technology, is a well-known name in this field. 

After discovering Bitcoin in 2011, Gavin lost interest in it due to its orientation too much focused on the concept of currency rather than the underlying technology. 

Later, his obsession with game theory and the paradigm shift brought about by the arrival of the blockchain brought him closer to Vitalik Buterin, this relationship then led to the creation of Ethereum.

He coded the first functional PoC-1 implementation in January 2014 and then invented Solidity, the language most used for smart contracts

Whether they were used for an ICO, for DeFi or for a non-fungible token, they were certainly written using Solidity (recently Viper was added to the languages on Ethereum). 

Wood is also the author of Yellow Paper, the first formal specification describing any blockchain and formally underlining the uniqueness of the Ethereum model. 

Also founder and supporter of realities such as Grid Singularity, Blockchain Capital, Polychain Capital and Melonport, as a last endeavour he worked diligently in writing Polkadot‘s paper.

Polkadot is a unique heterogeneous and scalable multi-chain proposal.

Polkadot, the backbone protocol of blockchain

The objective of this infrastructure is simple and agnostic.

The group that wanted it, and the investors who backed the project with 120 million dollars, believe that a multi-blockchain future is a necessary reality. 

If every community or web3.0 project were to develop useful, shared cryptocurrency-based applications, interoperability would become a fundamental need

Different governance, whether new or existing, represent different ways of understanding the economy and social relations within a group.

This need is the basis of Polkadot, making it possible to achieve communication of different models in a single structure. The task of this would be to realize the dream of a blockchain-based Web3.0.

  • Polkadot will be online between June and September;
  • Beta version in March
  • DOT, the Polkadot cryptocurrency, will be transferable by May.

The shared security across the chains affects the same pool of validators that produces a unified ledger of states and transitions.

A PoS (Proof of Stake) system has the task to validate the transactions and secure the network.

The system provides the union of several chains called “Parachains” that can be built through what is called substrates: internal model to create cryptocurrencies and decentralized systems based on blockchain.

All the existing chains (Ethereum, Zcash, Bitcoin) will also be considered Parachains and will build bridges connecting to the Polkadot universe, one of which is Ethereum whose bridge is already under construction.

The way Polkadot will be launched

Kusuma, besides being the testnet, is a Polkadot twin already in operation, but with limited functions. Its testing has anticipated some problems, now solved, that have slightly postponed the Beta version that is coming soon.

Initially, thanks to the collaboration with the Web3 Foundation, Polkadot will be launched with a permissioned governance system.

It will then take off through the official Proof of Stake mechanism that should decentralize the network

  • It will start with 6-10 validators using Proof of Authority, DOT staking will be possible immediately through this delegation system;
  • As soon as 100 validators are reached, an upgrade will lead to Proof of Stake;
  • Once the two previous steps have been verified, the parachain modules will start and on-chain governance will finally be operational;
  • A governance proposal will have the task of eliminating the SUDO model. It allows developers to act on the source code to eliminate bugs and modify the code until a decentralized governance is finally launched.

It is likely to see DOT-based derivatives trading, but the team will try to discourage speculation in the early stages to allow the Staking process to be as natural as possible during launch.

What are DOT tokens for

  • Governance;
  • Staking;
  • Validation tool/currency and parachain link activation.

A system has been developed that through a decentralized treasury function, encourages staking close to 50% to avoid security problems. 

Depending on participation, incentives and disincentives regulate the validation system.

The inflation rate for the first year is 10%, then it will be regulated through consensus mechanisms.

Polkadot killer of Ethereum?

The reason why some dApp projects may prefer Polkadot over other blockchains, is the expectation of harnessing the ability to attract users and service other blockchain communities inherent in the interoperability bridge of this new chain.

Aragon has been forced to use Cosmos because Polkadot is not yet available, but problems like these may increase in the future.

Telegram Open Network and Ethereum 2.0 are also coming soon. Their morphology, in some aspects, is similar to the concepts seen in the parachain model designed by Gavin Wood.

Different models but with similar objectives, both in terms of governance, scalability and interoperability.

The advantage of Polkadot lies in the output times, second only to Cosmos in terms of objectives, it could draw a lot of attention to it in the coming months.

Very few people talk about challenging Ethereum, rather, there is more an idea of complementarity and not competitiveness. 

The bridge with Ethereum could be a great advantage for Polkadot’s exploration phase. 

The access to 300,000 active accounts per day and 90 million addresses generated, which are constantly increasing, would be a great advantage for everyone. 

The new big blockchains have suffered a strong market contraction, which has seen an irrational attitude of distrust.

It remains to be seen whether Polkadot’s timing will be more successful and its DOT token more appreciated, at a time when the market seems to be recovering confidence.

 

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Lorenzo Dalvit

Blockchain enthusiast tutor, expert in sales and marketing, social community manager, artistic director, musician, lover of disruptive paradigms and life. All my skill are about human interaction and connection

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