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Home > Reviews > Altcoins > Proof-of-Stake (POS) consensus > Polkadot Ecosystem | Internet of Blockchain (IoB)

Polkadot Ecosystem | Internet of Blockchain (IoB)

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Polkadot Ecosystem | Internet of Blockchain (IoB)

Among several Blockchain startups, Polkadot is one platform you don't want to miss out on. Learn about how it works and what to expect in the future.

After the insurgence of the Ethereum blockchain, many innovative platforms have been making waves in the Blockchain sphere — and Polkadot is that revolutionary platform you don't want to miss out on.

Over the past few years, this decentralized web 3.0 platform has grown so fast and has given rise to a creditable network of talented developers, engineers, and startups. Presently, Polkadot is one of the cryptos with a high market volume cap.


What is Polkadot?


Polkadot is a scalable, multi-chain, and heterogeneous technology. 

In simple terms, just as IoT (Internet of things), Polkadot can be regarded as the Internet of Blockchains — IoB.

In other words, Polkadot is a public network that connects different blockchains with their distinctive functions into a lone network. These blockchains are bonded together in chains, and they operate independently and in a trustless manner. Likewise, they communicate seamlessly, and they can transfer tokens and actual raw information to each other.

This concept helps relay chains (the core Polkadot) connect, enabling a faster transaction.


Background


The idea of Polkadot was started in early 2016, and it was done correctly by Gavin Wood — the brain behind Solidity and a joint founder of ethereum.

Polkadot aimed at solving the following existing problems in the Blockchain sphere. 

- Interoperability 

- Cross-chain bridges and lots more.

Regarding its white paper released earlier in 2016, Polkadot aims at different interconnecting Blockchains in a method that makes them relay seamlessly. The concept enhances speed, security, and transparency in Blockchain systems.

Now, how was the Polkadot ecosystem built to work?


Design model


Technically, Polkadot is complicated to understand, and we can’t break it down in secular terms without eventually delving into its technical aspect. In a humorous turn, everything about its technicalities can be accessed through polkadot.js

Polkadot ecosystem is home to Blockchains with different networks doing their unique thing. And at every interval, they send information to one another in a trustless manner. Briefly, we shall look at the essential relay chains of Polkadot and its consensus mechanism. 


Structure


It has a scalable and diverse network. It bridges similar and dissimilar blockchains together. Also, it has multiple chains.

Relay Chain: this is the intrinsic chain of the system. Relating to their site, it's the heart of the network.

Parachain: these are single blockchains that are independently co-existing with Polkadot. 

These networks have their governance; sometimes, they have their distinct token. Also, they sometimes get customized and are allowed to have their type of design model — a different type of Proof-of-Stake model entirely; while they get connected to relay-chain (the main chain).

Bridges: Polkadot's innovative feature parathreads (independent chains that don't always have to be connected to relay chains) is linked entirely to different networks.


nPoS — nominated Proof of Stake


Polkadot employs a unique type of Proof of Stake as its consensus. It is a consensus model that permits everyone to have a voice/right on the network.

nPoS is a method of selecting validators that will have access to the consensus protocol.

It's a variant of Proof of stake, and it's the major design protocol used by Polkadot.

nPoS is having people who know if something is going to be good or bad for the network. 

Let's define these technical terminologies.

Validators: this is the technical aspect of the system. These are people responsible for the technicalities, validation of parachains, securities, and they ensure the excellent condition of the overall infrastructure of the network.

Nominators: they nominate validators. They vote and stake their token, which allows them to earn more tokens. They get to nominate up to 16 validators. It's more like selecting 16 people you trust. Basically, to maximize Relay Chain security.

What happens if the validators try to manipulate the network? Here slashing happens.


What is slashing in Polkadot? 


This happens when a validator manipulates or performs any fraudulent act. If you get slashed, you get punished by losing your stake.

Collators: They deal with the network core system here, and they clog transactions from people and get them verified for potential inclusion into the Polkadot network.

Fishermen: these people manage the network. They report any manipulation and destructive behaviors in the system. Collators can also be fishermen.


DOT Token


DOT is the innate currency of the Polkadot ecosystem. At September 2021 it's trading at $37 with an average market cap of $35 billion.

Unlike many other platforms, DOT grants token orders with governance rights to everyone holding. With DOT, you have exclusive ingress to vote on some activities going on in the network, such as network upgradability and transaction fee.

To sum up its use case, DOT can be used for interoperability and bonding — when parachains are integrated into the principal network.


Governance


We can relate this to the UK's system of government, where nominators elect each representative (validators). And it has two leading roles. 

Governance role

Council members are voted-in to embody passive stakeholders in two governance roles.

These people deal with any referendum, a general vote on something that can potentially go into policy.

Technical committee

These are a group actively growing the network. They address the technical-related issues of the network. They ensure an excellent overall framework of the system.


Test networks


Kusama 

This is the unrefined version of Polkadot. It has a native currency of $KSM. Kusuma acts as the canary bird of the network. It 'sings' to the main Polkadot if there's any possible attack.

Rococo 

This was designed for testing parachain functionality. This enables easy delivery to anyone who wants to send any message to the Relay Chain.


Conclusion 


Polkadot offers a shortcut to building your Blockchain. However it has some uncertainties as to the sum of blocks it can accommodate. 

With a lot of Polkadot ecosystem's distinctive features. It’s here to stay. It has proven its sustainability over the past few years — as it was hacked twice back in mid-2017, and it bounced back.

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