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Polkadot is a protocol that enables cross-blockchain transfers of any type of data or asset. By uniting multiple blockchains, Polkadot aims to achieve high degrees of security and scalability. DOT serves as the protocol’s governance token and can be used for staking to secure the network or to connect (“bond”) new chains.
The Polkadot protocol is designed to allow unrelated blockchains to securely talk to each other, so that value or data can flow between, say, the Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains without any intermediary. It’s also designed to be speedy and scalable, via the use of many parallel blockchains (or “parachains”) that take much of the processing demand off of the main blockchain.
The Polkadot token (DOT) serves two main functions within the Polkadot network: it’s a governance token, which allows holders to have a say in the future of the protocol, and it’s used for staking, which is the way the Polkadot network verifies transactions and issues new DOT. DOT can be bought and sold on exchanges like Coinbase as part of your investment strategy.
The Polkadot network includes a main blockchain called the “relay chain” and many user-created parallel chains (or “parachains”). It also has a connecting layer, or “bridge,” that allows value and data to be transferred between most blockchains — and can even be used to connect to non-blockchain databases.
Polkadot uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism (as opposed to the proof-of-work system Bitcoin uses) to secure the network, verify transactions, and create and distribute new DOT. There are several ways DOT holders can interact with staking system — depending on how much time, technical knowledge, and money they want to devote.
Validators do the most work — it’s a major commitment, and requires technical knowhow. To become a validator, you need to run a node (one of the computers that makes up the network) with little to no downtime and stake a substantial amount of your own DOT. In exchange, you get the right to verify legitimate transactions, add new “blocks” of transactions to the relay chain, and potentially earn newly created DOT, a cut of transaction fees, and tips. (On the flip side, you can also forfeit some or all of your staked DOT for acting maliciously, making a mistake, or even having technical difficulties).
Nominators allow regular investors to participate in staking indirectly. You can delegate some of your DOT to a validator you trust to behave according to the rules. In exchange, you get a cut of DOT earned by your chosen validators. Be careful with who you choose: you also can forfeit some of your stake if your validator breaks the rules.
There are also two specialized roles that typically require less of a commitment than becoming a full validator but more technical skill than is required to be a nominator: Collators keep track of valid parachain transactions and submit them to the relay chain validators. Fishermen help find and report bad behavior across the network.
By staking and participating directly in the network (note: Polkadot staking is currently not available via the Coinbase platform) via any of the above roles, you may be able to receive DOT rewards. DOT holders also have a say in the governance of the network and are able to vote on proposed software upgrades.
Released: May 2020
The price of Polkadot has fallen by 1.75% in the past 7 days. The price declined by 8.88% in the last 24 hours. In just the past hour, the price shrunk by 1.66%. The current price is $10.67 per DOT. Polkadot is 80.60% below the all time high of $55.00.
The current circulating supply is 987,579,314.957 DOT.
Polkadot was mentioned in 2,691 out of 2,212,953 social media posts on Twitter and Reddit on May 15, 2022. 1,976 unique individuals are talking about Polkadot and it is ranked #64 in most mentions and activity from collected posts.
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