Exploring the versatility of the Polkadot blockchain
Polkadot is another blockchain platform that is on the rise alongside the likes of Avalanche and Binance Smart Chain. However, it’s a bit different from most of the chains we’ve previously discussed as it’s not technically EVM-compatible. But it does provide a unique type of interoperability with other blockchains, even completely different ecosystems, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In this article, we’ll explore Polkadot and its features, as well as the advantages it has over its competitors.
What is Polkadot?
Polkadot is a platform that allows multiple blockchains to operate together as a single network. It accomplishes this through the unique interoperability design, which allows for seamless transfer of data and assets between different blockchains.
Polkadot has a flexible and customizable architecture. It’s built on a modular framework that allows developers to create blockchains that are optimized for specific use cases. This makes Polkadot viable for a wide range of applications, from DeFi to crypto gaming to supply chain management. You may also have heard of RockX, a blockchain API service provider that was built on Polkadot.
Polkadot was created by Gavin Wood, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. He’s also the guy who coined the term Web3 that everyone is using today. Polkadot’s whitepaper was released in 2016 but did not launch until 2020. The platform was built to tackle some of the biggest challenges faced by blockchain technology, including scalability and interoperability.
One of the most important features of Polkadot is the ability to connect different blockchain ecosystems. But it also boasts other powerful functionalities, such as high TPS (transaction per second) and, according to the creator, Polkadot parachains can reach as high as 100,000 TPS.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most prominent features of Polkadot.
Scalability is one of the oldest challenges facing blockchain. As a platform gains users, the number of transactions increases, and the system can become overloaded. Back in the days of Bitcoin, this was the biggest compromise in order to achieve security and decentralization. While Ethereum performs better, it hasn’t managed to make a huge difference.
Polkadot addresses this issue with an approach called sharding, which splits the network into smaller, manageable parts. Each shard can process transactions independently and this allows for higher transaction throughput.
Polkadot scalability is particularly important for enterprises. Large-scale operations require high transaction throughput to handle large volumes of data and that makes Polkadot an attractive option.
Security is another benefit provided by the Polkadot blockchain. It uses a unique consensus mechanism called Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) to secure its network.
On top of independent validation, NPoS allows token holders to nominate validators. These validators receive rewards for their services so there is incentive to act in honesty. If a validator is caught in malicious behaviors, they can be removed from the network and their nominators can also lose their stake.
The NPoS mechanism is designed to provide more security than the traditional systems, namely Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS). PoW requires high energy consumption and PoS can be vulnerable to centralization. NPos, on the other hand, offers a more democratic environment and allows token holders to have a say in the security of the network.
One of the key features of Polkadot is the ability to connect different blockchains together using the Polkadot Relay Chain. It’s also one of the reasons many blockchain experts consider Polkadot a next-generation platform.
While not EVM-compatible, Polkadot can connect with Ethereum users through the Ethereum bridge, which is a set of smart contracts that allow assets to transfer from Polkadot to Ethereum and vice versa.
In addition to Ethereum, Polkadot also provides compatibility with other popular blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Cosmo. Some of the popular choices for multi-chain bridges may include the Plasm Network and the Secret Network.
Polkadot vs Ethereum
Now let’s see how Polkadot fares against one of the largest blockchains and cryptocurrencies today.
One significant difference between these two platforms is their approach to scalability. While Ethereum has now adopted the PoS consensus, Polkadot can achieve higher transaction throughput with its sharding method.
Polkadot also uses a more democratic governance model than Ethereum. Its system of referenda allows token holders to submit proposals for network changes and other holders can vote on to either approve or reject those proposals. This provides a higher level of decentralization than Ethereum.
It’s also important to note that both Polkadot and Ethereum have different design goals and architectures. Ethereum was the first platform to introduce smart contracts, which are now a main component of blockchain activities. Polkadot focuses on interoperability or, in other words, acting as a bridge to other networks.
The biggest advantage Ethereum has over Polkadot is its massive platform. It has a strong and well-established community of developers and holders that offers a wide range of tools and resources for building some of the most versatile dApps in the market. In this regard, it’s difficult for any blockchain to compete with Ethereum.
Polkadot may be young, but it may have potential to bring improvements to the blockchain industry. Its growing ecosystem will certainly continue bringing more flexibility and scalability to future platforms.
It’s safe to say we can expect great changes in the world of blockchain and even beyond, to critical areas, such as e-commerce and DeFi. If you haven’t tried Polkadot, perhaps it’s time to explore and connect to an ever-growing variety of networks, including those available on atato custody services.