A detailed look at the Polkadot project, its philosophy, features and the problem it is trying to solve. We will also delve deeply into its architecture, basic network roles, consensus mechanism, as well as the Kusama network and substrate framework.
Polkadot is a unique and interesting project that is considered by many analysts to be one of the next big things in blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi). According to official sources, Polkadot is a heterogeneous multi-chain framework for Web 3.0.
Put simply, it is a blockchain platform that acts as a bridging layer for connecting to other blockchains. It enables multiple chain protocols to work as a single Hive Mind, maintaining communication and transferring values / data. This serves to aggregate their strengths and minimize their shortcomings.
Blockchains regularly work in isolation due to their unique design and different parameters. This severely limits their capabilities. Polkadot creates a decentralized, secure and trustless association of blockchains so that they can work together.
Polkadot story and the team
The Polkadot project started in 2016. It is administered by the Web3 Foundation and developed by Parity Technologies. However, several independent teams have also contributed. All major projects building on the network were funded by the Polkadot Foundation.
The philosophy of Polkadot
The project is based on openness and collaboration. It offers strong security guarantees and prevents isolation. Polkadot is intended to become a common foundation for a production-ready and rock-solid system to push the boundaries of what is believed possible.
This allows the low value chains to coexist with their high value counterparts and serve each other. The design principles that Polkadot seem to adhere to are minimalism, simplicity, generality and robustness.
Problems with the current system
Most established blockchain systems face five main problems that the Polkadot project seeks to address. These shortcomings are scalability, isolation, secure developability, governance, and applicability.
Today’s blockchains sacrifice speed for security, inclusivity for standardization, the ability to evolve securely for easy integrations, customizable governance for consistency, and continuity of a network to have actual cases to itself.
Properties of polkadot
Polkadot itself doesn’t do much at the level of application functionality. The relay chain is only arranged in such a way that validatable, coherent dynamic data structures are hosted in parallel. These are known as parachutes, with each of them representing its own blockchain.
Polkadot’s standout features include sharding, high scalability, and a customizable consensus mechanism to adapt to different blockchains. In addition, they can bundle their security, cross-chain transactions and the on-chain governance mechanism, as well as update frameworks without forking.
Polkadot: Shared security
Polkadot introduces a unique concept of shared or pooled security. This is a tempting incentive for other blockchain projects to join the network and be protected by a broad umbrella. In addition, leasing a parachain slot can help solve one of the main blockchain problems, which is the arrangement of security.
It offers a strong economic guarantee from the relay chain checkers for various block chains. A well-funded cyberhacker who wants to attack one or more systems has to face a strong network instead of an isolated blockchain.
Basic roles in running the Polkadot Network
The four basic roles in the operation of the Polkadot Network are collator, fisherman, nominator and validator. They ensure the detection, prioritization and validation of activities in the network.
The validator plays a key role in running the network by accepting new blocks and adding them to the chain. Like all other PoS systems, they first deposit an initial deployment in relation to which they validate transactions and maintain valid activities in the network. They can even be delegated by other parties called nominators. There are rewards for those who help operate the network and penalties for those who act in bad faith.
A nominator provides the validators with the capital or share required to act on their behalf. This signals confidence in a particular validator when the stakes rise or fall based on performance.
Collators support the validators in creating valid blocks in the network. You run a complete node and can view all the information and create new blocks. Collators prioritize transactions, stack them, and pass them to validators so they can be added to the blockchain.
As guardians of the network, fishermen earn rewards by catching network actors who have carried out malicious activities. You also have to put in a small effort to be able to work as such.
Polkadot starting phases
The project is still in the development phase and is expected to be fully launched at the end of 2020. Due to the importance and therefore the sensitivity of the project, the team decided to start it in phases. The current phase is balance transfers
The start phases include the PoA chain function (Proof of Authority), which is limited to staking out and claiming DOT tokens. As soon as enough validators were involved and the network was stable, they switched to Nominated Proof of Stake (NPos), which allowed users to nominate their deployment and delegate it to the validators.
The team later transferred governance to the community. This was followed by the removal of the sudo key – a superuser who controls the network and can overwrite decisions and manipulate parameters. The final phase will be the enabling of balance transfers and the core functionality of Polkadot.
Polkadot consensus mechanism and composition
Polkadot achieves low-level consensus by applying the modern asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerant algorithm to a series of mutually agreed blocks. In order to determine the validators and to motivate them to work honestly, the consensus mechanism “Proof of Stake” is used.
The project is based on the Substrate technology, which enables blockchains to be easily designed and deployed. The state machine is compiled with WebAssembly (WASM). In addition, libp2p is used for communication.
Polkadot’s coding base is written in C ++, Rust, and Golang to ensure broad accessibility for developers.
Polkadot Token (DOT)
Polkadot’s native token is DOT, which is used for all activities on the network. It had a total supply of 10 million DOTs but has since been switched to 985 million DOTs. All existing holders received 100x more tokens as the price naturally dropped by the same amount. This was done for the purpose of ease of use.
DOT tokens are used for governance, staking and binding activities on the network. In addition, 1 DOT token is now defined as 10 billion Plancks – the lowest unit.
DOT serves as a voting right in on-chain governance in a multi-camera system prevailing in the Polkadot network. It includes all participants with an interest in a council. In addition, the participants vote on the suggestions from various sources. When the vote is in favor, the proposals will go into effect.
DOT owners can vote on parameters such as network fees, auctions and prioritization of the addition of new parachutes. They also decide on matters related to upgrades, bug fixes, etc.
The token is also used as a guarantee or stake before a validator can join the network. This makes it possible to reward or punish them depending on the nature of their behavior. This functionality can also be delegated on your own behalf to passively contribute and earn rewards. It is a function of the amount wagered and its duration.
DOTs are also used for staking, to tie parachets to the main relay chain in order to connect new blockchains to the network.
Polkadot is powered by the Substrate framework, which is a lightweight, convenient, plug-and-play method of building blockchains. It has built-in templates and bulk customization capabilities to publish all of that. This reduces costs and speeds up the time spent on blockchain development.
The platform provides cross-language support with WebAssembly based on coordination, deterministic finality, and seamless integration. Also, Substrate has created blockchains that are compatible with Polkadot without taking any further steps.
The architecture consists of the relay chain (Polkadot main chain), Para chains (other block chains) and bridges (connections to external networks).
This is the fundamental component of the Polkadot architecture and is what every other blockchain is connected to. The relay chain is responsible for providing security, creating interoperability, and maintaining consensus among all.
A number of different blockchains with their own use cases and native assets, but different parameters and optimizations that are directly integrated into the Polkadot network.
Polkadot bridges allow communication and connection with external networks. These are special blockchains that allow the network to maintain interoperability with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other networks.
Kusama is the Polkadot Lite version – an untested and crude version of Polkadot that serves as a testing environment for its features and functions in a real environment with incentives.
Similar to Ethereum’s Goerli and Rinkeby, developers can use Kusama to test their projects before deploying them to the mainnet. The native token is KSM. It is managed by the Polkadot Community.
The Polkadot project has risen to the top 10 crypto projects since the switch. It has grown in importance and importance lately.
The ecosystem has seen massive growth and expansion with more than 150 projects working on it.
Most projects are diverse and not limited to one area, but they are heavily biased in favor of decentralized funding (DeFI). It seems to be the motivation of most of the teams to use the DeFi functions of the network for their projects. However, apart from DeFi, it offers tokens, oracles, DAOs, privacy, exchanges, games, identity, etc.
Although the projects are diverse, they are heavily biased in favor of DeFI. It seems to be the motivation of most of the teams to use the DeFi features of the network.