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Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Polkadot is a blockchain ecosystem that connects blockchains – with its native token, DOT, used for staking and to bolster network security.

Polkadot aims to fix the problem of cryptocurrencies that can’t communicate with each other by building a framework that interconnects blockchains, even if each chain performs different functions to one another.


Polkadot was founded in 2016 by Gavin Wood (who also co-founded Ethereum), Peter Czaban and Robert Habermeier. The blockchain infrastructure company behind Polkadot is Parity Technologies.


Launched in October 2017, Polkadot released 10 million dot tokens into circulation via an initial coin offering.

How does it work?

At the center of Polkadot sits the “relay chain,” a central blockchain that connects all other participating blockchains together. The relay chain processes all transactions taking place in the ecosystem at the same time, with the goal of improving scalability. User-created blockchains that hook into the relay chain are known as “parachains.” By allowing blockchains to communicate with its platform, Polkadot is able to connect many blockchains in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Polkadot relies on Nominated Proof-of-Stake (NPoS), a method of validating crypto transactions based on how many coins each participant has put up as collateral.

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