Polkadot (DOT) is a unique proof-of-stake cryptocurrency that aims at delivering interoperability among other blockchains. The design of the protocol is to connect permission and permissionless blockchains, as well as oracles, to allow systems to work together under one roof. Polkadot’s core component is its relay chain that allows the interoperability of varying networks. It also allows for “parachains,” or parallel blockchains with their native tokens for specific-use cases.
Polkadot has four core components:
- Relay Chain: Polkadot’s “heart,” helping to create consensus, interoperability and shared security across the network of different chains;
- Parachains: independent chains that can have their tokens and optimize for specific use cases;
- Parathread: similar to parachains but with flexible connectivity based on an economical pay-as-you-go model;
- Bridges: allows parachains and parathreads to connect and communicate with external blockchains like Ethereum.
What Makes Polkadot Unique?
Polkadot is a sharded multichain network, meaning it can process many transactions on several chains in parallel (“parachains”). This parallel processing power improves scalability.
Custom blockchains are quick and easy to develop through the Substrate framework and can connect to Polkadot’s network within minutes. The network is also highly flexible and adaptive, allowing the sharing of information and functionality between participants similar to apps on a smartphone. Polkadot can be automatically upgraded without the need for a fork to implement new features or remove bugs.
The network has a highly sophisticated user-driven governance system that also helps to secure it. Communities can customize their blockchain’s governance on Polkadot based on their needs and evolving conditions. Nominators, validators, collators and fishermen all fulfil various duties to help secure and maintain the network and eradicate bad behaviour.
How Many Polkadot (DOT) Tokens Are There in Circulation?
Polkadot currently has an allocation of 1 billion DOT tokens, following the network’s redenomination from an initial maximum supply of 10 million in August 2020. The undertaken redenomination was purely to avoid the use of small decimals and make the calculation easier. While all balances were increased by a factor of one hundred, this did not impact the distribution of DOT or holders’ proportional share.