What is Polkadot?
Polkadot is a sharded protocol that allows blockchain networks to communicate in a trustless, scalable, and highly secure manner. It's an open-source project that allows the adoption of Web 3.0 technologies on a commercial level. The native digital token of the Polkadot ecosystem, DOT, acts as the platform's governance and utility token.
The Web3 Foundation is a Switzerland-based nonprofit organisation responsible for the development of the Polkadot ecosystem. Polkadot makes the trustless exchange of information between public and private chains, permissionless networks, oracles, and emerging technologies.
Polkadot leverages a Nominated Proof-of-Stake (NPoS) consensus mechanism to secure its network in a highly energy-efficient, transparent, and reliable manner.
Polkadot is a known Layer-0 metaprotocol used as the foundational network for layer-1 blockchains called parachains (parallel chains). Polkadot's chains are all constructed using Parity Technologies' Substrate modular framework, which allows developers to choose particular parts that are ideal for their application-specific chains. Polkadot is the collective name for the network of parachains that connect to the Relay Chain, a single fundamental platform. This base platform, which also uses Substrate, has the consensus, finality, and voting logic from Polkadot, but does not provide application functionality. Instead, it secures the network's parachains.
Instead of using pooled resources from Polkadot's pool, independent blockchains with their own validators can join the Polkadot network through bridges. These bridges offer interoperability across several blockchains without the requirement to be hosted on the Polkadot network, enabling seamless data and asset transfer.
There is no limit to the amount of additional parachains Polkadot can support, with the goal of providing a multi-chain environment with limitless possibilities. The infrastructure may eventually lead to the development of mini Polkadot networks that can connect additional public and private chains and facilitate more multi-chain transactions, even though the fundamental design can support hundreds of parachains.
What makes Polkadot unique?
Because of the network's high adaptability and flexibility, users can share resources and functionalities. To add new features or fix bugs, Polkadot can be automatically upgraded without a fork.
All token holders on the network vote in the network's governance, which is a sophisticated user-driven mechanism. On Polkadot, teams can modify the governance of their own blockchain based on their requirements and changing circumstances. The roles of the three parties — nominators, validators, and collators—all contribute to the network's security, upkeep, and eradication of improper activity.
Who is behind Polkadot?
Polkadot’s founders are Dr. Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier, and Peter Czaban. Dr. Wood, a co-founder and CTO of Ethereum, is credited with developing Polkadot in 2016. He is also known as the creator of Solidity, the coding language used to create Ethereum's smart contracts. Later in 2017, the Web3 Foundation was established by Dr. Wood and Peter Czaban of Parity, and later hosted the first token sale for Polkadot. Habermeier is a Thiel Fellow and accomplished blockchain and cryptography researcher and developer.