What is Polkadot and how does it work? Everything about DOT token and its wallets

A foundation for developing decentralized applications, Ethereum’s rival, the Ethereum-killer, a network with thousands of blockchains, and a cryptocurrency with a high market cap. These are all definitions that one can truly give for Polkadot. Polkadot is the new generation of blockchains. It has come to help blockchains interact with each other. In other words, if blockchains have come to solve the challenges of the real world, Polkadot has come to solve the challenges of the blockchains. In case you don’t know why the interaction of blockchains is an important issue or why blockchains should interact at all, stay with us up to the end of this article.

Polkadot; a blockchain for the blockchains

Do you remember the first days of the Internet or the first real-world applications of this technology? At that time, the Internet was only used to read some pages and gain some information. For this reason, the first generation of the Internet was called “read-only”. In other words, Internet users were divided into two groups: content creators and the audience.

Who thought that in such a short period, this technology would progress to the extent that social media applications, virtual reality, and the Metaverse would be its normal achievements?

According to experts, the same will happen to the blockchain!

In the not-too-distant future, blockchain will affect all aspects of our lives. In other words, blockchain now is like the Internet in the 1960s.

With this in mind, imagine a future when all the routine activities you have now are done automatically. Your refrigerator is always full since it automatically detects and orders the required staff. It’s equipped with a blockchain connected to the blockchains of all local stores, and also a digital wallet that is charged periodically. It orders the required staff, asks for the prices, and pays the amount. It can also compare the prices of different stores and choose the best one. Or, you don’t need to drive anymore since you give the address to your car and it takes you where you want. You don’t need to go to the gas station since your car automatically detects when it’s out of gas and goes to the gas station itself.

Well, for all these to happen, these devices need to interact, right? If they’re not connected to each other and just work as isolated independent networks, then how this future is to come true?

This is where the role of networks like Polkadot is revealed. Polkadot aims to help the blockchains with different protocols interact and ease their interoperability.

How does Polkadot work?

Up to this point, you have figured out Polkadot’s main goal and its distinctive features. In case you are wondering how Polkadot plans to achieve this goal, we should say that this blockchain uses multiple chains, each of which has different functionalities in the network. Polkadot’s main chains include: “Relay Chains”, “Parachains”, “Parathreads”, and “Bridges”.

Relay Chains

Relay Chains are the heart of the Polkadot network and they coordinate all the smaller parts. All independent chains of Polkadot finally connect to this main chain and share their blocks with it. Staking DOT tokens, validating the transactions, and building the blocks are done on this chain. Besides, all the proposals users have for improving the network are put to vote here.

Parachains

The word “Parachains” comes from parallelized chains, so it’s obvious that these chains work in parallel with the main chain and their transactions are periodically recorded on the main chain. Transactions done on each Parachain are processed and validated by nodes called “collators”. It’s worth mentioning that different Parachains are interoperable and interact with each other.

Parathreads

Parathreads are alternatives to Parachains. Technically, they are so similar to Parachains, but their ways of connecting to the network and their economic models are a bit different. Instead of renting a Parachain and obtaining a permanent connection to the main chain, business owners can use Parathreads and connect to the main chain when needed. This model is called “pay as you go” and it’s much more efficient.

Bridges

Bridges in Polkadot are specific types of Parachains that with their decentralized and trustless structure, send and receive transactions to/from different blockchains. These bridges have the ability to transact with older and isolated blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Polkadot’s team and developers

Dr. Gavin Wood, Peter Czaban, and Robert Habermeier are the main founders of Polkadot.

Gavin Wood is the developer of Ethereum’s programming language called “Solidity” and one of the co-founders of Ethereum. He was the first person to talk about a decentralized Internet called “Web 3.0”. His conflicts with Vitalik Buterin made him leave Ethereum and then he started working on Polkadot. Consequently, we can say that Polkadot is a serious rival to Ethereum.

Peter Czaban is the CTO of Web3 Foundation. He has graduated from Oxford University in Machine Learning and has worked in different fields including Economics, data analysis, distributed networks, and machine learning.

And finally, Robert Habermeier is the other co-founder of Polkadot who was one of the oldest members of the developers’ community called “Rust” and has a long history in blockchain, distributed networks, and cryptography.

DOT token; price and wallets

Polkadot’s native coin is called “DOT”. Aside from its roles in the Polkadot network, it also acts as a store of value. Users can buy this token, trade it, or hold it with the hope of price appreciation. At the time of writing, each DOT unit is being traded at around 20 dollars. DOT has recorded an all-time high of more than 50 dollars. It also has a circulating supply of more than 980,000,000 units and with a market cap higher than 20 billion dollars, it is the eleventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

Several digital wallets exist that support DOT. In the table below, you can see some of these wallets along with their types.

Wallet’s name Type

Parity Signer Software – Mobile – Android and iOS
Polkadot-JS Web-based
Polkadot{.js} Browser-extension
Polkawallet Software – Mobile – Android and iOS
Math Wallet Software – Mobile – Android and iOS and also browser-extension
Trust Wallet Software – Mobile – Android and iOS
SafePal Software – Mobile – Android and iOS and also hardware
Guarda Software – Mobile – Android and iOS – desktop and also browser-extension
Atomic Wallet Software – Mobile – Android and iOS and also desktop
Swipe Software – Mobile – Android and iOS
imToken Software – Mobile – Android and iOS
Ledger Hardware
Trezor Hardware

Conclusion
In this article, we just tried to introduce Polkadot and go through some of its applications. However, it may be a bit soon to assess this project or predict its future. Despite all the advantages of newer generation blockchains including higher scalability, some users still prefer older blockchains like Ethereum. Besides, Ethereum is just about to release its new version called Ethereum 2.0 which promises higher scalability. We should wait and see what happens after the official launch of Ethereum 2.0 and what effects it has on its rivals including Polkadot.

As the final point, we would like to remind you that the world of decentralized technologies is growing so fast. Projects that can keep up with this fast pace will have a higher share of the decentralized Internet. Up to now, Polkadot has proved to be high potential, but we should wait and see if it can follow the current trend in the future or not.