What Is Polkadot ($DOT)?
Here is an overview of Polkadot using information from the Polkadot website:
“Polkadot is a network protocol that allows arbitrary data—not just tokens—to be transferred across blockchains. This means Polkadot is a true multi-chain application environment where things like cross-chain registries and cross-chain computation are possible. Polkadot can transfer this data across public, open, permissionless blockchains as well as private, permissioned blockchains.
“This makes it possible to build applications that get permissioned data from a private blockchain and use it on a public blockchain. For instance, a school’s private, permissioned academic records chain could send a proof to a degree-verification smart contract on a public chain.“
Polkadot “unites a network of heterogeneous blockchains called parachains and parathreads.” These chains “connect to and are secured by the Polkadot Relay Chain” and they can “also connect with external networks via bridges.”
And here is what Binance Academy says about Polkadot’s parachains and Relay Chain:
“An individual blockchain in the Polkadot ecosystem is called a parachain (parallel blockchain), while the main chain is called the Relay Chain. The idea is that parachains and the Relay Chain can easily exchange information at all times. You could think of parachains as being similar to individual shards in the planned implementation of ETH 2.0.
“Any developer, company, or individual can spin up their custom parachain through Substrate, a framework for creating cryptocurrencies and decentralized systems. Once the custom chain is connected to the Polkadot network, it becomes interoperable with all other parachains on the network.“
As for the use cases for the $DOT token, Binance Academy has this to say:
“Similar to most other blockchain infrastructure projects, Polkadot has its own native token. Known as DOT, it serves as the network token, just like ETH is the token for Ethereum and BTC is the token of Bitcoin.
“Several use cases exist for this token. First of all, it grants token holders with governance rights of the entire Polkadot platform. This includes determining network fees, voting on overall network upgrades, and the deployment or removal of parachains.
“DOT is also designed to facilitate network consensus through staking. Similar to other networks that involve staking, all DOT holders are incentivized to play by the rules at all times. How come? Well, if they don’t, they could lose their stake.
“The third option is to use DOT for bonding. This is required when new parachains are added to the Polkadot ecosystem. During a bonding period, the bonded DOT is locked. It’s released once the bond duration has ended and the parachain is removed from the ecosystem.“
What Is Moonbeam?
Moonbeam is a Polkadot parachain. What it does is make it “a lot easier to build applications on Polkadot blockchain compared to implementing a full parachain or parathread.” Its Ethereum compatibility “allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes.”
- “Substrate is powerful but complex. With a Moonbeam-based application, you don’t need to worry about token economic models, issuance schedules, governance, incentivizing nodes, or security — all of which are required when launching your own blockchain.“
- “You can leverage Moonbeam’s full connection to the Polkadot Relay Chain, which the Moonbeam economic model pays for on an ongoing basis. This is much less expensive than paying for parachain- or parathread-based access on your own.“
- “You will have a smooth upgrade path from a Moonbeam smart contract/DApp to becoming a full parachain or parathread (if and when you need the scalability and full control that comes with running your own blockchain).“
Moonbeam Goes Live on Polkadot
On Tuesday (January 11), the Moonbem team announced that they had completed the launch process to Polkadot, thereby becoming “the first fully operational parachain on Polkadot, opening the door for the 80+ projects in the Moonbeam ecosystem to deploy.”
This announcement went on to say that the Moonbeam launch process had “gradually introduced new functionality over three weeks, beginning on December 17” and that “the weeks that follow the launch are expected to include the deployment of a variety of infrastructure projects including bridges, multisignature support, The Graph, Chainlink oracles, and more.”
Furthermore, “now that GLMR tokens are transferable, users can connect Moonbeam to MetaMask to use them.”
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.