Updated: Nov 10, 2021
What is Polkadot?
Polkadot allows specialized blockchains to connect with one other in a secure, trust-free environment, enabling for scalability.
Polkadot is designed to link and secure unique blockchains, such as public, permission-less networks, private consortium chains, or oracles and other Web3 technologies. It permits the creation of an internet where separate blockchains can exchange data while maintaining common security standards.
Polkadot is a living network with governance and upgradeability at its core. The network features a sophisticated set of governance tools and can release network upgrades autonomously utilizing the WebAssembly standard as a "meta-protocol."Polkadot scales to meet your changing needs without causing network forks.
Polkadot serves as a core part of a decentralized web, where users control their data and are not confined by trust constraints within the network, by linking these dots.
How does Polkadot work?
Three types of blockchains can be created on the Polkadot network.
The Relay Chain - This is the main Polkadot blockchain, and it is here that transactions are completed. The relay chain isolates the operation of adding new transactions from the act of validating those transactions to gain higher speed. According to 2020 testing, this architecture allows Polkadot to perform over 1,000 transactions per second.
Parachains - Parachains are customized blockchains that rely on the relay chain's computer capacity to verify transaction accuracy.
Bridges are used to connect the Polkadot network to other blockchains. Bridges to blockchains like as EOS, Cosmos, and others are being built.
The Relay Chain
The Polkadot Relay Chain uses a variant of proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus called nominated-proof-of-stake to keep its network in agreement regarding the state of the system (NPoS).
Anyone that stakes DOT by locking the cryptocurrency in a specific contract can perform one or more of the following roles that are required for its operation:
Validators are used to ensure that data in parachain blocks is correct. They also take part in network consensus and vote on proposed changes.
Nominators — Choose dependable validators to secure the Relay Chain. Validators are assigned votes by nominators who delegate their staked DOT tokens to them.
Collators are nodes that keep a complete history of each parachain and combine parachain transaction data into blocks for inclusion in the Relay Chain.
Fishermen - Keep an eye on the Polkadot network and report any suspicious activity to validators.
What Makes Polkadot Different Than Ethereum?
Given that they both have a well-known founder, there has been a lot of debate regarding what sets Polkadot apart from Ethereum.
Polkadot and Ethereum 2.0, the upcoming significant update to Ethereum, have a lot in common in terms of architecture and operation.
Both networks have a main blockchain where transactions are completed, as well as the ability to create multiple smaller blockchains that use the main blockchain's resources. Staking, rather than mining, is used by both technologies to maintain the network in sync.
The question of how to make network transactions compatible is still being researched. Parity, for example, has developed technology for users who want to construct applications that use Ethereum's code and ecosystem but operate on Polkadot.
Finally, developers can leverage Polkadot's development framework to replicate an Ethereum blockchain for use in their own bespoke blockchain designs.
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