What are Polkadot, Substrate, Parachains?

Polkadot is a platform on which blockchains are built and connected into a unified network. The aforementioned blockchains are called parachains, all forming a synchronized and secure network. This forms the foundation on which Web3 will be built. It can be said that the parachains are considered layer 1, then Polkadot will be layer 0.

Polkadot’s author is Dr. Gavin Wood. After inventing the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Solidity programming language for Ethereum as a co-founder and CTO. Ethereum didn’t intend to scale, that’s why he created Polkadot in 2017.

Blockchains are built for Polkadot using a home-based dev framework called Substrate, it is the most advanced and easy blockchain framework for programmers. Specifically, Substrates are used by developers to build custom chains for different purposes, for example: Acala Network for DeFi, Phala Network for Security, Chainlink for Oracle, HydraDX for Liquidity.

In addition, Substrate is also used to build more general-purpose blockchains: Moonbeem Network for smartcontracts on ETH compatible on Polkadot.

Can Polkadot connect to Ethereum?

Polkadot is a blockchain that is independent of other blockchains, however, there will be projects doing “bridges” like Interlay, Chainsafe, Centrifuge or ChainX that will link Polkadot with pre-existing blockchains like Ethereum or even is Bitcoin.

What is Kusama?

Kusama basically the same code as Polkadot, but its on-chain governance moves 4 times faster (7 days) and has lower entry criteria so teams can get a spot on the net . Therefore, Kusama will be suitable for most projects, but also risk more than Polkadot.

To put it in perspective, Kusama is a mainnet of lower testnets like Rococo or Westend, and a testnet of Polkadot. Investors can understand briefly as follows: the code will be migrated from Testnet -> Kusama mainnet -> Polkadot mainnet.

It sounds like Polkadot and Kusama will be two separate entities, but in reality, the ecosystem of the two will be a bridge, providing the ability to communicate between the two networks. There will be projects running on both networks due to community need or some other reason, for example Acala Network.

How to join Parachain?

First of all, need to know that there are 100+ Parachains on Polkadot, these chains will be “rented”. So practically there is NO project built on Polkadot that doesn’t win an auction.

To participate in the auction, projects must have DOT, the token of Polkadot. DOT can be earned through many ways such as crowdfunding, VC, or a crowdfunding Crowdloan.

When a team wins an auction, they immediately gain access to this specific parachain region and all DOTs used in the auction are locked for the Parachain lease period (usually 1-2 years) , which removes tokens from the circulating supply.

Speaking of Crowdloan, Many teams will hold a Crowdloan to collect DOT for auction. At this point, everyone will contribute, locking their DOT or KSM to support the auction. In return, they will receive Parachain tokens. All principal is returned after the rental period ~ 1-2 years.

Kusama will auction Parachain first, then Polkadot. These auctions take place periodically, so the project that does not win this round can participate in the next round.

The source: tweets by Dan Reecer, Growth & Community by Polkadot and Kusama.

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