Case Study: Origins of Polkadot

Polkadot, aka a “blockchain of blockchains,” is thought to be one of the most successful blockchain projects ever. It is aimed to solve the eternal problems of networks such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, providing new possibilities to web3 users and business.

Let’s dive into the history and ideas behind the Polkadot project.

What is Polkadot

Polkadot is a next-generation protocol that mainly resolves the problem of interoperability. It connects blockchains, allowing them to operate seamlessly together at scale. Polkadot ables to transfer data across previously incompatible networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In other terms, Polkadot is a blockchain with a core network — the relay chain, which hosts other blockchains, allowing them to connect and communicate with each other. The project is powered by the native coin DOT.

The idea behind Polkadot

The Polkadot ecosystem tries to resolve many limitations of modern blockchains, such as scalability, security and of course, interoperability. The idea is even hidden in the project’s name: a polka dot pattern includes multiple dots that form a seamless print. They probably symbolize different blockchains united in the Polkadot network.

The origins

The project was conceived in 2016 and it took it a couple of years to materialize. Polkadot’s history is closely associated with Ethereum: its founder is Dr. Gavin Wood, who previously was a core developer of Ethereum, and deployed its smart contract language, Solidity.

Wood left Ethereum to build a more sharded blockchain, and in October of 2016, he published Polkadot’s white paper.

Polkadot was officially launched in an ‘initial’ state in May 2020, and the DOT token hit the market in August. A year later, DOT got recognition and was listed on Coinbase.

How it evolved

Soon after the launch, validators started joining the network and showing their intention to participate in consensus. Polkadot quickly evolved to become a proof-of-stake (PoS) network in June 2020. A month later, the governance of the chain was transferred into the hands of the DOT holders.

As of today, Polkadot supports 100 parachains, offering developers a great degree of freedom. Polkadot can process 1,000 transactions per second, however, the potential upper limit is 1 million transactions. It is still to be.

Hitting the market

DOT token is consistently among the top 20 cryptocurrencies by capitalization, according to Coinmarketcap. Its daily trading volumes surge to $6-$7B in peak periods, and indicate a great interest from users who want to participate in the Polkadot ecosystem.

Another reason for Polkadot’s popularity is cost efficiency. For high-traffic dapps with a large number of users, deploying on Polkadot is expected to be more economical than creating own blockchain or building on top of an existing smart contract platform.

Polkadot has also introduced a range of advanced technology and trading tools to the crypto market, such as staking, and is expected to do more. Currently, Polkadot can boast nearly 145K monthly users — less than the Ethereum blockchain, but still a lot for a relatively new blockchain.


Polkadot can offer many unique benefits to entrepreneurs, developers,

users and investors. Its stable and reliable network along with its roadmap look like a promising scenario for the project’s evolution, which will be interesting to follow.