Top Polkadot dapps overview

Basic info

The data bellow doesn't refer to the current blockchain.

Top Dapps

# Dapp Category Blockchain
1 1 0x Protocol DEX +3 Liquidity Derivatives Yield Farming BNB Ethereum Fantom +9 Arbitrum Celo Avalanche Polygon Optimism Aurora Solana Near Polkadot 15.12K 27.25K $24.10M $67.51M
2 2 Sushi DEX BNB Ethereum OKC +18 Gnosis Fantom Arbitrum Celo Avalanche Harmony Polygon Optimism Telos Fuse HECO Boba Metis Andromeda Moonbeam Moonriver Palm Polkadot Kusama 4K 11.1K $238.63M $12.84M
3 3 Ankr Utilities BNB Ethereum Gnosis +8 Fantom Arbitrum Avalanche Polygon Optimism Polkadot Cosmos Kusama 1.15K 1.81K $28.17M $170.74K
4 4 Multichain DEX +1 Liquidity BNB Ethereum Gnosis +22 Fantom Arbitrum Celo Avalanche Harmony Polygon Optimism Telos Fuse HECO Boba CLV Metis Andromeda Moonbeam Moonriver IoTeX Aurora Polkadot Cronos Oasis Kusama ZkSync 192 559 $5.97K
5 5 Beefy Finance Yield Farming BNB Fantom Arbitrum +14 Celo Avalanche Harmony Polygon Optimism Fuse HECO Metis Andromeda Moonbeam Moonriver Aurora Polkadot Cronos Kusama 43 66 $52.82K $8.76K
6 6 The Graph Utilities BNB Ethereum Gnosis +15 Fantom Arbitrum Celo Avalanche Harmony Polygon Optimism Boba Moonriver Aurora Near Polkadot Cosmos Acala ZkSync 46 51 $83.44M $42.65K
7 7 Polkastarter Other BNB Ethereum Celo +3 Avalanche Polygon Polkadot 25 25 $15.03M $26.61K
8 8 Ampleforth Utilities Ethereum Polkadot Acala 2 2
9 9 Bounce BNB Ethereum OKC +12 Gnosis Fantom Arbitrum Celo Polygon Moonbeam Moonriver Klaytn Aurora Solana Polkadot Kusama 2 2 $66.00
10 10 Band Protocol Utilities Ethereum Celo CLV +3 Polkadot Oasis Acala

Polkadot

What is Polkadot?

Polkadot is a revolutionary blockchain platform launched on May 26, 2020, designed to enable a decentralized web, known as Web3. It connects multiple blockchains into a unified network, enabling them to securely share information and transactions. This interoperability is facilitated through parachains, specialized blockchains that connect to and operate under the security of the Polkadot Relay Chain. The network transitioned from a Proof of Authority to a Nominated Proof of Stake system in June 2020, further decentralizing its governance.

In 2023, Polkadot has seen significant growth, with a record number of developer contributions, notable partnerships in music and fashion, and new technological advancements. The network's adoption of the XCM v3 protocol enhances cross-chain communication, reflecting its continuous evolution. Polkadot's ecosystem now includes 42 active parachains, demonstrating its expanding influence in the blockchain space.

How Does Polkadot Work?

The Polkadot ecosystem consists of two primary components: the Relay Chain and Parachains. The Relay Chain functions as the main chain, connecting various Parachains (individual blockchains with unique characteristics) and ensuring their security and interoperability. This structure enables Polkadot to address several key blockchain challenges, such as scalability, transaction speed, and security, while also allowing the network to process a high volume of operations efficiently.

Polkadot's architecture is significantly different from other blockchains, using three main levels of protocols. Each chain type in Polkadot serves a specific role:

  1. Relay Chain: The central chain to which all others are connected, facilitating data exchange between them.
  2. Parachains: Individual blockchains that run in parallel, each with its tokens, architecture, and specifications.
  3. Parathreads: Similar to parachains but operate on a pay-as-you-go model.

How Does the Polkadot Relay Chain Function?

The Relay Chain is Polkadot's backbone, coordinating the network and maintaining security. It's a streamlined chain focusing on consensus and interoperability, rather than hosting complex applications like smart contracts. All validators in Polkadot stake their DOT tokens on this chain, overseeing its operations and those of connected parachains. 

How Do Parachains in Polkadot Operate?

Parachains are unique blockchains tethered to the Relay Chain, each with distinct features and governance. They operate independently but share Polkadot's security model. These chains handle their internal transactions and state transitions, while the Relay Chain validates these changes. Parachains communicate with each other via the Relay Chain, enabling a decentralized, interoperable network where different blockchains can collaborate seamlessly.

How Do Parathreads Work in Polkadot?

Parathreads offer a flexible participation model in Polkadot's network for blockchains that don't need a permanent parachain slot. They operate similarly to parachains but use a pay-as-you-go approach for connecting to the Relay Chain. This model is economical for less active or smaller-scale blockchains, allowing them to engage with the Polkadot ecosystem without committing to a full parachain slot.

What is the Polkadot Consensus Mechanism?

Polkadot's consensus mechanism is a hybrid system, featuring two protocols: GRANDPA (GHOST-based Recursive Ancestor Deriving Prefix Agreement) and BABE (Blind Assignment for Blockchain Extension). GRANDPA is used to finalize the Relay Chain, while BABE is responsible for blockchain production with a random determination of validators. This approach aims to ensure constant consensus, reducing the likelihood of network attacks and enhancing transaction speed​.

The network also implements various roles to maintain its ecosystem:

  1. Validators: They secure the blockchain by staking DOT tokens and validating data in parachain blocks.
  2. Nominators: They support validators by staking their DOT tokens, helping to protect the relay chain.
  3. Collators: These maintain parachains, collecting transaction information for validation by the relay chain.
  4. Fishermen (Fishers): They monitor the network for non-compliant behavior, reporting any discrepancies to validators​​​​​.

How Do Validators Function in Polkadot?

Validators are central to Polkadot's security and consensus. They stake their DOT tokens to participate in the network by running specialized software referred to as “validator nodes”. Their main responsibilities include validating the data in parachain blocks and participating in the consensus process. Validators play a critical role in the network by ensuring that the blocks produced by parachains adhere to Polkadot's rules and standards.

What is the Role of Nominators in Polkadot?

Nominators in Polkadot support the network's security indirectly. They stake their DOT tokens by backing trustworthy validators. Nominators' primary function is to select and endorse validators they deem competent and honest. In return, they share in the rewards (and risks) associated with the validators they support, playing a vital role in maintaining the network's integrity.

How Do Collators Contribute to Polkadot?

Collators are software nodes maintaining individual parachains by collecting and forwarding transaction information to the validators of the Relay Chain. They are responsible for producing parachain blocks and ensuring that these blocks are accurate and valid before they are added to the Relay Chain. Collators are crucial for the smooth operation of their respective parachains and for the overall interoperability within the Polkadot network.

What is the Function of Fishermen in Polkadot?

Fishermen, in the Polkadot ecosystem, are automated watchdogs designed to monitor compliance and detect irregularities within the network. They alert validators to any suspicious or non-compliant behavior, enhancing the security and reliability of the Polkadot network.

How to Use Polkadot?

To start, choose and set up a non-custodial Polkadot wallet. This can be done through browser extensions or mobile apps. The setup process includes establishing your account with the necessary security features and adding DOT tokens to your wallet. These wallets are essential for managing DOT, staking, participating in governance, and exploring decentralized applications (dApps) within the Polkadot ecosystem.

For those interested in staking, which is a process that contributes to network security while earning rewards, Polkadot wallets offer a straightforward way to stake DOT. After setting up your wallet and account, you can add DOT and engage in staking activities. This not only helps in securing the network but also enables you to accumulate DOT tokens as rewards for your contribution.

What is the Best Polkadot Wallet?

Security is paramount, especially when dealing with high-value balances. To address this, consider using hardware wallets, also known as cold storage wallets. These are encrypted devices that store your digital assets offline, providing robust protection against online threats and attacks. Popular hardware wallets like Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X are compatible with Polkadot, allowing you to turn your devices into secure storage options for your DOT tokens.

To fully leverage the capabilities of the Polkadot network, it's advisable to use native applications or specific wallet apps. These applications give you access to all the features available on Polkadot and its canary network, Kusama, ensuring you don't miss out on any functionality.

What are the Fees on Polkadot?

Understanding and managing transaction fees is crucial in the Polkadot ecosystem. Polkadot uses a weight-based fee model, where fees are determined by the weight and size of the transaction. This includes a base fee, a length fee, and an optional tip. Tools like the Polkadot-JS API can be utilized to programmatically estimate these fees, ensuring you can accurately budget for your transactions.

It's important to note that transactions within Polkadot's shards, known as parachains and parathreads, do not incur Relay Chain transaction fees. However, these shards might need to perform certain transactions on the Relay Chain, for which they use their dedicated accounts and funds.

What is the DOT Token?

The DOT token stands out as the native token of the Polkadot network. Its primary roles include governance, staking, and bonding parachains (individual blockchains) to the Polkadot network. This flexibility allows DOT to function beyond a mere currency; it's an integral part of network operations. The smallest unit of DOT is the Planck, similar to Bitcoin's Satoshi or Ethereum's Wei, 1 Planck equals 0.0000000001 DOT.

DOT holders are pivotal in Polkadot's governance, influencing decisions like fee structures, parachain dynamics, and platform upgrades. The network's Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) consensus mechanism further empowers DOT holders, allowing them to stake DOT for network security and operations. This staking process also underpins the network's scalability and security. 

All validators in the active set receive equal rewards for their work, promoting equitable distribution and encouraging the running of multiple validators for optimized participation. Validators in the active set are decided by governance, with inclusion based on total self-bonded and delegated stake, among other factors.

Validators can be penalized (slashed) for misbehavior like being offline or equivocation. The slashed amount is a fixed percentage, and staking more DOTs than necessary doesn't offer economic advantages, as it increases the loss in the event of slashing.

Polkadot introduced DOT with an initial supply of 10 million. The network permits unlimited inflation, with the rate contingent on the staking ratio within the network. The initial distribution of the token at launch was as follows:

  1. Private Sale Investors: Received 3.42% of the initial distribution.
  2. SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) Investors: Allocated 5.00%.
  3. Auction Investors: A significant portion, 50.00%, was allocated to these investors.
  4. Future Sales: This category was allocated 11.58% of the initial tokens.
  5. Web 3 Foundation: Received a substantial allocation of 30.00%

Is Polkadot Safe?

Polkadot's network security is a multifaceted construct, designed to ensure robust, efficient, and decentralized operation. Here's an overview of the key features that contribute to its security:

Polkadot was designed to address the centralization and exclusivity issues of Proof-of-Work (PoW) systems. To achieve this, Polkadot designed the NPoS consensus mechanism, aiming to improve on the basic PoS systems for a more decentralized and inclusive approach.

In NPoS, nominators can select multiple validators, enhancing decentralization and economic security. This system ensures that the entire stake contributed by nominators is utilized, boosting the stake-supporting validators and consequently enhancing the network's economic security. It also lowers barriers to entry for users with smaller DOT holdings to participate in staking​.

The NPoS election algorithm maximizes economic security by allowing nominators to use their funds without needing the resources to become a validator. This increases the number of tokens supporting validators compared to PoS, boosting the economic security of the Polkadot ecosystem​.

Validators can be slashed for malicious behavior, which aligns incentives and increases the economic consequences of bad behavior, thus securing the ecosystem more robustly​.

Polkadot's nomination pools make staking and network participation more accessible to a broader audience. They allow individuals to pool their resources, share rewards, and contribute to network security, even with minimal DOT holdings. This inclusive approach aids in maintaining a decentralized and accessible blockchain network​.

Who Created Polkadot?

Polkadot has three co-founders:

  1. Gavin Wood: A pivotal figure in blockchain, Gavin is a former Ethereum CTO and the creator of the Solidity programming language and Proof-of-Authority consensus mechanism. He's a founding member and a vital part of Parity Technologies, leading innovations in Substrate and Polkadot. Gavin also holds the position of president at the Web3 Foundation.
  2. Peter Czaban: An Oxford alumnus, Peter serves as the Director of Technology at the Web3 Foundation. His diverse background spans blockchain technology, defense, finance, and data analytics, contributing significantly to Polkadot's development.
  3. Robert Habermeier: A Thiel Fellow with a deep focus on blockchain and cryptography, Robert is not only a co-founder but also a core developer at Parity Technologies. His expertise and research have been instrumental in shaping Polkadot's technological framework.

Polkadot Ecosystem and Partners

Lately, Polkadot has witnessed significant growth and collaboration. Key partnerships and developments include:

Beatport, a leader in electronic music, launched a digital collectible marketplace on the Polkadot parachain Aventus, planning to collaborate on major Polkadot events over the next 18 months.

KILT partnered with Public Pressure and Moonsama for NFT collections, adding identity credentials and certificates of authenticity to the assets. They also worked with Diesel for a successful NFT drop.

Unique Network partnered with DUNDAS, a designer clothing brand, to provide Proof of Attendance tokens at Paris Fashion Week.

Astar Network announced collaborations with Toyota Motor Corporation and Sony Network Communications, focusing on Web3 incubation programs and events.

Several new parachains, including Zeitgeist and Subsocial, migrated from Kusama to Polkadot, expanding the network's capabilities.

Fintech payment solution Revolut launched a Learn & Earn course with Polkadot, focusing on staking mechanics and multichain interoperability.

The Academy completed its second wave and announced a third edition, attracting aspiring Web3 engineers. At the same time, Polkadot recorded the highest number of monthly contributions in Web3 history in March 2023.

What’s Next for Polkadot?

Polkadot's most recent roadmap highlights ongoing and completed updates in its blockchain infrastructure. Asynchronous Backing, aimed at enhancing scalability by reducing block times and increasing block space, is still in development. Parathreads, a new feature to facilitate easier building within the ecosystem, is also under construction and progress can be monitored here. Meanwhile, XCMv3, enhancing cross-chain communication, and FRAME: Weights V2, introducing multi-dimensional transaction weights, have been successfully released. Additionally, a significant governance overhaul, aimed at decentralizing decision-making processes, has been implemented, marking a step forward in Polkadot's commitment to a decentralized ecosystem.

https://polkadot.js.org 

https://parachains.info

https://wiki.polkadot.network

Author:

Frank Stewskid

Frank Stewskid

Last updated: Nov 16, 2023

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