Crypto Analysis: Polkadot

SUMMARY

  • Project name: Polkadot
  • Ticker symbol: DOT
  • Token type: Protocol Layer
  • Consensus mechanism: PoA to NPOS
  • Key exchanges: BitForex, HotBit, BigOne
  • Exchange volume: $6,649,355 USD
  • Total Supply: 10,000,000 DOT
  • ROI: -13.83%

Overview

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies were first started with the Protocol time period and Bitcoin the original cryptocurrency following the 2008 Financial crisis. It dealt with the creation of an alternative currency that can transfer value independently of financial instutions protected by cryptography and novel technology. The second period within the cyber space was marked by the creation of Ethereum and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), its programmable smart contracts and the ability to built applications on top of the blockchain opened a space of opportunities and use cases. The third period within the blockchain space is about to begin in 2020 as the period of interoperability within the cyber space aiming at getting protocols to be openly communicating and transferring information between each other. Protocols that are open to transacting between one another creating an open space for all blockchains. An open space where mutual connectivity and transaction throughput is massively accelerated but still offering the same security and access. Polkadot is one of the first protocols that has the technology and capacity to work towards the achievement of interoperable Web 3.0 decentralized world. A world where each blockchain operates in the same network as others rather than a closed circuit within its current protocol. Polkadot is a sharded multichain network. It consists of a main chain called the relay chain and multiple sharded chains called parachains. The network advances its design from Ethereum 2.0 by implementing interoperability as a heterogeneous multi-chain rather than as a homogeneous multi-chain. It can process many transactions on several chains in parallel, eliminating the bottlenecks that occurred on legacy networks that processed transactions one-by-one. In addition, the higher level of abstraction and allows interoperability between more classes of cyberspace economies. Interoperability is one of the main strengths of the project but so is the speed of transactions that could be achieved. Improved scalability means the solidified pathway towards general adoption and future growth. One of the final foundational pillars around blockchains is governance. Polkadot will have a democratized structure of managing the protocol. Its governance will include a Council, a Technical Committee, and public referendum.

Key features:

  • Nominated Proof of Stake (NPOS) – network is secured by the economic stake that is bonded to the validators. Initially, Polkadot will operate as a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) chain that is maintained by six validators belonging to Web3 Foundation. Once Web3 Foundation is confident in the stability of the network and there are a sufficient number of validators the intention of the network will be to switch to the fully fledged NPOS.
  • Parachains – the project uses multiple sharded blockchains connected together as well as having the ability to connect to other blockchains into one network. As each blockchain protocol like Cardano or Zilliqa is created to serve particular use cases and having particular features the data and value can pass between them through the use of Polkadot.
The Polkadota blochchain schematic.

Management

Polkadot is the flagship product that the Web3 foundation is seeking to excel forward. The organisation deals with building and investing in novel technologies within the blockchain and cryptographic space. It is incorporated in Switzerland and is lead by team of researches and developers from ETH Zurich and Parity Technologies. It was founded by the Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood who also spearheads Polkadot project. The project has raised more than $140m through it’s ICO and private investment rounds that include contributors such as IOSG, Polychain Capital and Fabric Ventures.

Development

The project is still in its very early stages so there is a lot of plans outlined ahead. There are Polkadot implementations developed in Rust, C++, Go, and JavaScript. For example, Kosame and Gassomer are all dealing with solving issues on digital identity and security. The protocol specification are being considered under a Creative Commons license and the code being placed under a FLOSS license. There has been a significant increase in commits in 2020 within the project’s github repository. Polkadot repo has more than 800 commits where Gavin’s putting serous work into the development with 200+ commits and 10,000s lines of code.

The Polkadot network will have a phased roll-out plan, with important milestones toward decentralization marking each phase.

SWOT

Strengths

  • Polkadot allows any type of data to be sent between any type of blockchain
  • Scallability can be greatly increased as multiple channels run together increased the amount of transactions that can be processed within the network.
  • No forks of any type required as the blockchain can update itself enacted by the open governance process on the network.

Weaknesses

  • Late development of the project compared to Cosmos and the fact that Ethereum is already working on a scalability solution that may help reduce market share.

Opportunities

  • Web3 Foundation has a grants programs offered for developers wishing to build and contribute to the network.
  • Solving the interoperability bottleneck and the ability to co-operate between other blockchains may present significant economic benefits to the network.

Threats

  • Polkadot has not fully launched yet and it will require a lot of impetus to gain traction and become competitive with the other protocol which have already got a significant community and developers universe established.
  • Technical difficulties in applying the key interoperability feature may undermine one of the main goals of the project.

Finally, Polkadot offers interoperability and cross-chain communication that can set the scene for the third stage of development of blockchain technology. Significant backing as well as technical expertise from the greatest minds of the blockchains space working on the project give confidence of the high probability of it’s success. The clear and action-packed road map is in full swing where the only thing left to see is the delivery upon it.

References:

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer. The Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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