Last updated 20/07/2021
Official Website: https://polkadot.network/
Founded by the Web3 Foundation, Polkadot is an open-source project, established to enable a fully functional and user-friendly decentralized web. Polkadot is a sharded protocol, which allows blockchain networks to work in conjunction with each other. The DOT token operates with three distinct functions: governance over the network, staking, and bonding.
The Polkadot project seeks to create an entirely decentralized web in which the users are in control. Polkadot was created with the function to connect public and permissionless networks, oracles, private and consortium chains, and future technologies. The additional aims of the project are to enable an internet where independent blockchains will be able to potentially exchange information and transactions in a worry free and safeguarded way via the Polkadot relay chain. Polkadot seeks to simplify the way decentralized applications, services, and institutions are created and connected.
In order to advance the development of services and applications that will run on Polkadot, the Web3 Foundation is partnering with various entities to facilitate this development. The Web3 Foundation is also offering grants for the development of the ecosystem so they can further develop it.
Polkadot is the leading project being developed by the Web3 Foundation. Although they have been partnering with various entities and organisations, they do have a core team of founders who started the project.
Robert Habermeier (Founder) – Robert Habermeier is a co-founder of Polkadot with a strong background in the research and the development of blockchains, distributed systems and cryptography. With a historically strong presence in the Rust community, he has dedicated his recent work to leveraging the language’s features to construct highly parallel and performant solutions.
Dr. Gavin Wood (Founder) – With a background in the creation of blockchain technologies and the genesis of Ethereum as its co-founder and CTO, Gavin Wood has been a fundamental player in blockchain and its associated technologies. He invented core components of the blockchain industry by introducing elements such as Solidity, Proof of Authority consensus and Whisper. Gavin is currently leading the advancement on Substrate and Polkadot while serving as President of Web3 Foundation.
Peter Czaban (Founder) – Serving as the Technology Director of the Web3 Foundation, Peter currently works on supporting the advancement of the next generation of distributed technologies. Obtaining a Master of Engineering degree at the University of Oxford, he focused on Bayesian Machine Learning. He has worked previously across various fields such as defence, finance. He also has worked in the data analytics industry where he worked on mesh networks, quantitative pricing models, distributed knowledge bases, business development and machine learning.
Web3 Foundation is planning to launch Polkadot in Proof of Authority mode. Throughout this period, most users will be able to:
• Claim tokens from their Ethereum contract,
• Stake tokens and declare their intent to validate or nominate.
Validators will also have the capability to establish their Session keys in preparation for Proof of Stake, and Web3 Foundation will have the ability to use the Sudo key to maintain the chain and allow for more features.
All Through the Nominated Proof of Stake, the network will operate with a decentralized set of validators. Throughout this phase, Web3 Foundation will utilize Sudo to expand the number of validators in the set.
Governance and Removing Sudo
When Polkadot's governance system is enabled, it can nominate the first Council and Technical Committee and begin taking public proposals. The Sudo key in the meantime may still be needed for minor operations, governance can replace most of the chain's decisions. When Sudo is removed, root calls will then only be dispatchable through governance.
Enable Balance Transfers
Polkadot allows balance transfers.
Current Phase: Parachain Rollout
Before being enabled by Polkadot’s network governance, parachains will be tested and optimized both on parachain testnets and on Kusama. Once the code has been fully tested, audited and benchmarked, and parachains are running smoothly on Kusama, Polkadot governance can enable parachains and begin parachain slot lease auctions. Parachain slots will be auctioned one-by-one, with each auction lasting about two weeks.
Polkadot upgrades currently under development include upgrades to XCMP (Cross-Chain Message Passing) and the launch of parathreads. These and any subsequent upgrades can be enabled by Polkadot’s on-chain governance community once development, testing, benchmarking, and auditing are complete.
You can find Polkadot's full roadmap and more information here.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is the readers responsibility to complete their own research and due diligence.