What is Polkadot?

Polkadot is a next-generation blockchain platform that's been making waves in the cryptocurrency world. 

It was created by Gavin Wood, who's also one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Wood played a crucial role in designing and developing the Ethereum network, including its smart contract language, Solidity.

After leaving Ethereum in 2016, Wood started working on Polkadot with a team of developers and researchers. 

The idea behind Polkadot was to create a more flexible and interoperable blockchain platform. 

It’s designed to connect different networks and allows for more complex decentralized applications. 

To create it, Wood and his team came up with a unique architecture that uses "parachains" to connect different blockchains. 

This unique architecture also uses a consensus mechanism called "proof of stake" to secure the network.

Before I delve into the details of Polkadot, let's take a look at why it was necessary in the first place.

OK, What is a Blockchain, and What are its Limitations?

Blockchain technology has been around for over a decade now, but it is still relatively new to many people. 

In its simplest form, a blockchain is a decentralized, digital ledger that records transactions in a secure and transparent way.

Imagine a blockchain as a digital notebook that is shared across a network of computers. 

Each computer on the network has a copy of this notebook, and each time a transaction is made, it is recorded in the notebook where it took place.

These transactions are then verified and approved by other computers on the network, making it virtually impossible to alter or tamper with any recorded transaction.

However, popular blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum began to show their limitations fairly early on. 

One of their main limitations is scalability. 

Bitcoin, for example, can only process around 7 transactions per second. This is significantly slower than traditional payment systems like Visa, which can handle thousands of transactions per second.

Another limitation is cost. 

The fees associated with Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions can be pretty high, as during periods of high network congestion they increase in cost. 

This can make it expensive for users to perform transactions on these networks.

Finally, there are concerns about energy consumption. Mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin requires significant computing power, which consumes a lot of energy. 

As the popularity of these networks grows, so does the energy consumption required to keep them running.

Now that you have a better understanding of how blockchain works and its limitations let's take a closer look at Polkadot and how it fixes some of these issues.

Let’s Dive Deeper into What Polkadot Does

So, as I mentioned earlier, blockchain technology has some limitations that prevent it from being a perfect solution for a range of applications. 

One of the main issues with blockchains is that different networks cannot communicate with each other, making it difficult for users to access all the features they need.

This is where Polkadot comes in. 

Polkadot is a next-generation blockchain platform that allows different blockchain networks to communicate with each other. It basically creates an interconnected network of blockchains. 

This means that users can access a wider range of features and applications, no matter what blockchain they are using.

It’s pretty impressive technology and the mechanics behind it are interesting too.

Now you’re probably wondering… “How does Polkadot work?”

Well, think of it as a giant web that connects different blockchain systems together. This is made possible through its unique architecture and design.

Now, at the center of Polkadot is something called the relay chain, which is responsible for coordinating communication between the different blockchains. 

The relay chain acts as a mediator, ensuring that all the different blockchains in the network can communicate and interact with each other seamlessly.

But that's not all; Polkadot also has a series of parachains. 

These are individual blockchains that connect to the relay chain. 

Each parachain can have its own set of rules, allowing for flexibility and customization. 

It also means that different parachains can be tailored to specific use cases, making Polkadot a highly versatile platform.

And by the way, if you are enjoying the video so far, don’t forget to smash the thumbs-up button and subscribe to the channel!

What Does this all Mean for Polkadot Users?

Well, one of the most exciting features of Polkadot is its cross-network functionality. 

With Polkadot, it's possible to create more complex applications and systems that can handle a wider range of use cases. 

This is because Polkadot's architecture allows different blockchains to communicate and interact with each other, creating a seamless experience for users.

Let me give you an example to help you understand better.

Let's say you want to create an application requiring you to use two blockchains. 

With traditional blockchain systems, this could be a real challenge because the two blockchains may not be compatible with each other. 

But with Polkadot, you can connect the two blockchains, allowing them to communicate and interact easily. It opens up an exciting world of possibilities for developers and users alike.

Another promising aspect of Polkadot is Kusama, Polkadot's canary network. 

Kusama is essentially a testbed for Polkadot, allowing developers to experiment with new features and technologies before they are deployed on the main network. 

This makes Polkadot a highly innovative and forward-thinking platform. Its presence means that developers can test new ideas and features without risking the integrity of the main network.

In short, Polkadot's unique architecture and design allow it to connect different blockchain networks, creating a seamless and versatile user experience. 

Its cross-network functionality and Kusama canary network make it a highly innovative platform with endless possibilities.

Polkadot also has a native cryptocurrency, aptly titled the ‘dot’ token.

What’s so Special about the DOT Token?

The DOT token serves multiple functions within the Polkadot ecosystem. 

Firstly, it is used for transaction fees. 

You can think of the DOT token as a bit like the tokens you use at an arcade. 

In an arcade, you need tokens to play games, and each game costs a certain number of tokens to play. Similarly, on the Polkadot network, you need DOT tokens to execute transactions or use certain services.

Secondly, DOT tokens are used for staking on the Polkadot network. 

Staking involves holding DOT tokens in order to participate in the network and earn rewards. 

Validators, who are responsible for verifying transactions on the network, are chosen based on their staked DOT tokens. Validators that perform well are rewarded with more DOT.

Finally, DOT tokens are used for governance within the Polkadot network. 

Holders of DOT tokens can vote on proposals related to the network's development and management, such as changes to the protocol or the addition of new parachains. This gives DOT holders a say in the direction of the network and incentivizes them to be active participants in the community.

Overall, DOT tokens play a vital role in the Polkadot network by serving as a means of exchange between different parachains and their respective tokens. 

This allows for seamless interoperability between different blockchains and applications, enabling users to access a wider range of services.


So, you have reached the end of the article. I hope you can better understand the Polkadot ecosystem and its native token. 

However, before you go, let's go over the key points.

You learned that Polkadot is a next-generation blockchain platform that connects different blockchain networks.

I also explained how Polkadot's architecture uses "parachains" to connect different blockchains and a consensus mechanism called "proof of stake" to secure the network.

You saw how Polkadot solves blockchain technology issues, such as scalability, cost, and energy consumption. By allowing different blockchains to communicate with each other, it creates an interconnected network of blockchains.

Finally, you discovered that Polkadot's native token, the DOT token, is a cryptocurrency that powers the Polkadot network. 

It enables users to participate in network governance, staking, bonding and facilitating interoperability between different blockchains.

Anyway, that's it for now - I’ll talk to  you soon!

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