Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Polkadot (DOT) has garnered some serious attention in the past couple of months, shooting up to Rank #6 in terms of total market capitalization rankings. At the time of writing DOT is priced at $5.94 and ranked #6 in terms of total market capitalization.
Polkadot's whitepaper was announced back in 2016 by Gavin Wood. Wood was previously the designer of the Ethereum Virtual Machine as well as the CTO of the Ethereum Foundation. Polkadot's ICO ended very successfully in 2017, raising a total of over $140 million. Due to a 'parity hack' that exploited weaknesses in the Parity wallet's code, 2/3 of the funds had to be frozen. Despite the immense loss due to the hack, Polkadot carried on development on the project often postponing roadmap deadlines.
The main objective of Polkadot is to create a decentralized hub for all different types of blockchains. These blockchains will be able to communicate amongst one another, with a focus on developing the technology necessary to intertwine old Distributed Ledger Technologies with newer technologies.
This is all done through 'parachains' (which can be added or removed). Parachains are private/public blockchains that are accessed via specialized nodes that send the data to Polkadot. Parachains are activated by staking DOT tokens and removed from Polkadot by unstaking these same tokens.
On August 21, 2020, the Polkadot hype-train took off as they announced a 100-1 split of its original native token DOT. meaning for every 1 DOT token you originally held, you would receive 100 new DOT tokens worth 1/100th the price of the old ones. The announcement caused the new split token DOT to almost double in price in a matter of days.
While there are many other projects and competitors working in the inter-blockchain communication space, the Polkadot ecosystem certainly has massive upside potential. The Polkadot ecosystem features sharding, high scalability, and an adaptable consensus mechanism that can be implemented cross-chains. The project is still under development (which is expected to last till Q1 2021 at least), however, there have been many projects that are being built in the ecosystem that we feel can shake things up in the industry in the near future.
Here's a list of some of our favorite Polkadot projects:
At press time: $0.01430
Ankr (ANKR) is a Polkadot project which aims to provide users with a simple, one-click onboarding process to deploying their own customized and user-friendly nodes. In short, it is a blockchain infrastructure marketplace for Web3.0. Ankr removes the high barriers to entry in the cryptocurrency industry by removing the complicated process and the high technical knowledge required to set up nodes. Ankr enables easy access to blockchain technologies and DeFI for every day, layman cryptocurrency users.
The native ANKR token contributes to the Polkadot ecosystem by allowing easy deployability of DOT token validators and easy ways of securing these validators. It provides developers with an easy, one-click on-ramp to node deployments. The Ankr team runs NPoS validators on the Polkadot network and has partnerships with many other projects that are built for the Polkadot ecosystem. This token could be integral in the growth of the ecosystem.
At press time: $16.86
ChainLink (LINK) is the leading decentralized data oracles network that connects off-chain real world events, data, and information to the blockchain through the use of smart contracts. The oracles are extremely secure and resistant to manipulation.
ChainLInk is a vital part of the entire DeFi ecosystem. The ChainLink team has partnerships with hundreds of tokens (ChainLink's data oracles are integrated into almost all Ethereum-based DeFi projects.) ChainLink has been integrated into the Polkadot ecosystem since February 2020 to become the primary provider for decentralized data oracles to parachains on the Polkadot network. Outside of Ethereum, Polkadot is the second major blockchain network to be supported by ChainLink.
At press time: $7.703
ChainX (PCX) is a community-led project that is built on the next-generation blockchain framework Substrate. It is the largest Layer-2 network of Bitcoin that uses the Light-client protocol with smart contract support. This will eventually evolve into the Polkadot network as a secondary relay chain.
The main selling point of ChainX is light client inter-chain technology. This involved a process called 'Asset crossing chains' in which a user locks the asset in the original chain, maps asset onto the target chain where withdrawal is available, and finally unlocks the asset in the original chain.
Its economic system is similar to bitcoin, where it's total supply is capped at 21 million and it’s reward halved every 2 years. Mining is done by Asset and PCX staking. Holding an X-Asset like X-BTC, mines PCX which can then be used for transaction fees.
Darwinia Commitment Token (KTON)
At press time: $314.95
Darwinia Commitment Token (KTON) is the governance token of the Darwinia Network. Darwinia network is a cross-chain network that is built on Polkadot and next-generation blockchain framework Substrate that enables the transfer of assets across different blockchains. The primary focus of the network is for NFTs and gaming assets.
Through the use of the Interstellar Product Coding standard, the Darwinia network is able to tag and assign single identifier IDs to unique objects that exist on different blockchains. The Darwinia network has two tokens, RING and KTON. KTON is the governance token that can only be obtained by locking up your RING tokens. KTON can be traded and transferred.
MANTRA DAO (OM)
At press time: $0.49258
MANTRA DAO (OM) is a community-led DeFi platform that focuses on staking, lending, and governance. MANTRA DAO aims to give financial control back to the people to grow wealth together. MANTRA DAO is built on Polkadot and next-generation framework Substrate.
The protocol utilizes 'crowd wisdom' to create a community-governed, transparent, and decentralized ecosystem for Web3.0. Through its native token OM, the MANTRA DAO ecosystem supports multi-asset staking, saving, lending, and governance, as well as a reward system based on active use of the platform. Through OM, users can gain exclusive voting rights on future important protocol decisions.
Ocean Protocol (OCEAN)
At press time: $0.60615
Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) offers users a way to launch their very own decentralized data marketplace. This allows developers to build marketplaces and other apps to privately & securely publish, exchange, and consumer data.
The protocol enables users to unblock data that was previously private, this has major implications for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry. The protocol is integrated into the Polkadot network to enable seamless integration with the protocol and to provide data to the different 'parachains' on the Polkadot network.
These are some of our favorite Polkadot ecosystem projects to keep an eye on. Let us know in the comments what you think about our picks and if you think we missed any important ones. If you would like to learn more about Polkadot ecosystem projects, you can always head to Polka Project - a website that compiles all projects that are in the Polkadot/Substrate ecosystem.
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