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Polkadot: everything you need to know about DOT

Axel van den Boogaard

Axel has been immersing himself in the world of crypto and blockchain for quite some time, which he then translates into understandable articles.

Polkadot facts




Layer 2


Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier, Peter Czaban




Nominated Proof of Stake

Launch date

May 2020

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What is Polkadot?

Polkadot is a cryptocurrency designed to provide interoperability between different blockchains. The platform is based on an open-source blockchain protocol and is considered a 'Layer 2 scaling solution.' This means that Polkadot aims to address the issue of blockchain isolation, where separate blockchain networks cannot communicate or exchange data with each other. By offering interoperability, Polkadot hopes to increase blockchain adoption and usage and accelerate the development of decentralized applications.

The Polkadot network was founded by the Web3 Foundation and is widely supported by a team of developers and a growing community of users and stakeholders.

How does Polkadot work?

Polkadot is a decentralized network that can connect various blockchain networks and enable them to seamlessly cooperate. The network is managed by a decentralized community of developers and users and uses its native cryptocurrency called DOT.

On the Polkadot network, users can exchange value and information between different blockchain networks, enhancing the usability of all networks. The network employs a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and offers scalability, security, and flexibility for building decentralized applications.

The DOT token

The DOT token is the native cryptocurrency of the Polkadot network and serves several functions on the platform. It is used for governance, staking, transaction fees, and ensuring interoperability between blockchains within the Polkadot ecosystem.

The DOT token is used for governance, allowing token holders to vote on network upgrades and decisions. These votes are determined by the number of staked DOT tokens, so users can stake DOT tokens to help secure the network and receive rewards.

Additionally, the DOT token is used to pay transaction fees for sending transactions on the Polkadot network, similar to transaction fees on other blockchains like Ethereum. Finally, the DOT token is also used to facilitate interoperability between blockchains within the ecosystem. DOT tokens are used as a form of collateral to ensure cooperation between different parachains within the network.

The Technology Behind DOT

The technology behind DOT is decentralized and designed to address scalability, interoperability, and governance issues between blockchains. Polkadot uses a Nominated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism and employs a 'heterogeneous sharding approach,' allowing it to connect a large number of blockchains. Polkadot's technology consists of four layers:

  • The Relay Chain: The main layer of Polkadot that serves as the security layer for the entire network. It coordinates the operation of the network, shares security information between parachains, and verifies transactions on the parachains.
  • Parachains: Connected blockchains on Polkadot that can operate independently and are designed to support various types of applications. Parachains share their security and governance with the Relay Chain.
  • Bridges: Connections between Polkadot and other blockchains that enable the transfer of value and data between different blockchains.
  • The Network Layer: This layer of the Polkadot network includes all physical components such as nodes, network infrastructure, and data centers.

The Polkadot ecosystem

The Polkadot ecosystem consists of various components and players. The Polkadot Network is the core of the ecosystem, serving as a sharded heterogeneous multi-chain that connects different blockchains and provides interoperability.

  • Parachains are parallel blockchains connected to the Polkadot network, while Parathreads are lighter and more flexible alternatives to parachains.
  • Validators are individuals or organizations that validate transactions and maintain security within the Polkadot network, while Nominators use DOT tokens to select and support validators.
  • The DOT token is the native currency of the Polkadot ecosystem, facilitating transactions and rewarding validators and nominators for their contributions.

Additionally, various DApps are being developed on the Polkadot network for different applications, including DeFi, gaming, and supply chain management. Bridges connect blockchains outside the Polkadot network to Polkadot's parachains, ensuring compatibility with other blockchains.


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Benefits of Polkadot

Polkadot is a popular cryptocurrency worldwide. What benefits does Polkadot offer to its users?

  • Popular coin with a large market capitalization.
  • Interoperability with other blockchain networks.
  • Modular development model for developers.
  • High scalability and fast transaction speeds.
  • Energy-efficient system.

Drawbacks of Polkadot

Every coin has areas for improvement, including Polkadot. What drawbacks of Polkadot should users consider?

  • High competition from other major smart contract platforms.
  • Multiple hacks in the past.
  • It remains to be seen whether the network can live up to its hype.

Who is the founder of Polkadot?

The founders of Polkadot are Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier, and Peter Czaban. Gavin Wood is considered a significant contributor to the term 'Web3' in 2014.

Wood published the Polkadot whitepaper in 2016. The Web3 Foundation was then launched in 2017, and the first block of Polkadot (the 'genesis block') was released in May 2020.

Price forecasts

In 2026 experts expect a minimal price of €16.81 and a minimal price of €55.59 in 2031.

Good time to get in?

View all key statistics of the past 24 hours here.

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Market information

Use these figures to get a better picture of the Polkadot market.

24h volume

€183.7 million


€7.8 billion

DOT in circulation

1.4 billion

All time high


DOT Return On Investment

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Historical Polkadot price

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A video explanation of Polkadot

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