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What Is Polkadot (DOT)?

Polkadot (DOT) 101: Understanding the innovative blockchain platform connecting multiple networks. Discover the features and potential of this promising cryptocurrency.

What Is Polkadot (DOT)?
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While the crypto industry continues to grow at a breathtaking pace, one problem continues to run wild. That problem is the fact that blockchains are not interoperable, meaning that they can only exist in their individual nature. Polkadot set out to change this, creating a network that aims to connect multiple blockchains in one simple solution. As a direct competitor to Ethereum, the blockchain network has a different structural approach.

What Is Polkadot (DOT)?

Polkadot is a blockchain network created by one of the Ethereum founders. Through the use of intricate architecture, the platform aims to connect multiple networks through their relay chain and parachain system (more on this below). 

Similar to Ethereum, developers can create their own decentralized apps (dapps) and smart contracts on the network. Referred to as a sharding multichain network, Polkadot aims to provide a platform on which developers can build multiple blockchain networks off a common standard. Traders can then trade a range of products built on the network, similar to how ERC-20 tokens are traded.

Who Created Polkadot?

Founded in 2016, Polkadot was created by one of the Ethereum co-founders, Gavin Wood, alongside Peter Czaban and Robert Habermeier. Woods notably created the Ethereum language Solidity, which allows developers to create dapps on the Ethereum network. 

Wood is also the founder of Parity Technologies and the president of Web3 Foundation. Web3 Foundation is a Swiss foundation that was designed to facilitate a user-friendly, open-source decentralized web. The company's approach to crypto is one of its kind and sets it above any other competitor.

How Does Polkadot Work?

As mentioned above, Polkadot utilizes a relay chain and parachain system. Each parachain is a blockchain in itself, however, they all rely on the relay chain to facilitate transactions. These blockchains work in a "parallel" manner (hence the name) and can each hold their own tokens and individual use cases. The relay chain provides blockchain support to the parachains on the network.

Finalizing the transactions and being responsible for maintaining network security, the relay chain is able to facilitate 1,000 transactions per second (TPS). Utilizing a hybrid consensus mechanism, the enterprise network has created proof-of-stake (PoS) and a nominated-proof-of-stake (NPoS) model. 

Through this variation, anyone can stake DOT in a particular smart contract and perform network roles such as being a :

  • Validators (validate data in parachain blocks, vote on network changes)
  • Nominators (select validators by delegating their staked DOT to them)
  • Collators (nodes with full histories of each parachain, that transfer this information into blocks for the relay chain)
  • Fishermen (responsible for monitoring the network and reporting bad behaviour to the validators)

These four roles allow Polkadot to have a highly sophisticated user-driven governance system as each role contributes to maintaining and securing the network while eradicating bad behaviour. 

The network is working on a third blockchain functionality known as a bridge. Bridges will allow blockchains on the Polkadot network to interact with "outside" blockchains, essentially allowing tokens to be swapped directly without needing to go through an exchange. 

Through this intensive structuring, Polkadot aims to solve two problems that the blockchain network is currently plagued with scalability and governance. 

What Is DOT?

DOT is the native cryptocurrency to the Polkadot network and is used as a governance and utility token, allowing users to vote on proposed upgrades and used for gas fees. It plays an integral role in maintaining and operating the network. As a digital currency, it can also be used to execute cross-border transactions.

The platform was launched in 2020 and has already established itself in the top 10 biggest cryptocurrencies. 

Does Polkadot Have A Max Supply Cap?

To answer the question "what is the total supply of Polkadot" the answer is that there isn't one. The network opted to leave the total number of DOT infinite. At the time of writing the circulating supply was just short of 1 billion coins.

What Is The Difference Between Polkadot And Ethereum?

A common question in the crypto community, not just because they share similar use cases but also because the two networks share a founder. Both networks provide a platform on which developers can create their own blockchains, and following the launch of Ethereum 2.0., will both be using a PoS consensus. 

Structurally the Polkadot platform differs in that it makes use of parachains and a relay chain. This is a unique feat in the blockchain industry. Through this structure, the network aims to improve on several of Ethereum's functionalities and deliver a trifactor of governance, scalability and interoperability to the blockchain industry, without compromising security. 

How Can I Buy Polkadot?

If you're looking to incorporate Polkadot (DOT) in your cryptocurrency portfolio, look no further than Tap Global. A recent addition to the exchange's portfolio, users can buy, sell, trade and store DOT directly through the professional app. Whether looking to trade DOT for its technology and smart contract capabilities, or to tap into a new market, Tap allows traders to diversify their cryptocurrency portfolio in one secure location.

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