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‘Ethereum Killer’ Polkadot Launches First Mainnet Chain

After more than three years of research and development, the initial version of Polkadot – the sharded protocol that allows decentralized blockchain networks to operate together, seamlessly and at scale – has launched.

The launched first mainnet chain candidate represents a stripped-down version of the network’s Relay Chain, as part of a phased rollout plan, which will serve as the backbone of Polkadot’s sharded blockchain system, there is no clear timeline for when these new features might arrive.

Dubbed one of the “Ethereum Killers”, it joins Solana, NEAR, and Celo as smart contract platforms that have launched mainnet beta or candidate chains in 2020 as Ethereum competitors thus heating the market race up, according to Messari. Asian smart contract platforms like NEO, IOST and Ontology have also been roped into this category too.

From the start, Polkadot has sought to be able to connect several chains together in a unified network that will allow it process and exchange data parallelly to solve major throughput issues-facing decentralized applications and address scalability, transparent governance and cross-chain composability among others. This initial phase will see Web3 Foundation retain superuser control of the network via a “Sudo module” while the Foundation and Parity Technologies execute critical logic and security audits and calibrate final aspects of the network. There is no clear timeline for when all expected features on the platform might arrive but DOT tokens are offered at an exclusive rate through Bitcoin SuisseBitcoin SuisseBitcoin Suisse (a minimum contribution of $10,000) until the end of June.

Ethereum 2.0’s proposed launch seems unruffled though. The schedule for later this year with a Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism has got many talking more about the protocol of late. The interest seems to be triggered by various PoS contributing factors which include the option to lock up coins (32 ETH) for an extended period to enable holders become validators who get to occasionally declare a block and be rewarded instead of the high energy-consuming and costly equipment needed for mining in a Proof of Work arrangement.

How Polkadot intends to scale its network and ensure its transaction fees do not rise along with DOT’s price is a major issue of consideration while it’s been argued that Ethereum’s proposed transition from 1.0 to 2.0 could be a little complex hence a low chance of some risks should be envisaged. The view is that a mishap in the deployment process from the old to new chain could lead to a delay, a loss of market share for Ethereum or a big bug could cause its asset price to remain static for a while or tank terribly.

Meanwhile, while several DeFi protocols continue to establish their foothold on the Ethereum blockchain – even though a lot of liquidity is on the Bitcoin blockchain, more projects have been looking for a way to implement real Bitcoin on Ethereum as an ERC-20 token. To this end, solutions like wBTC (custodial), Ren and tBTC (non-custodial) have emerged to connect blockchains. However, as a new trend, it could benefit the Ethereum ecosystem over the years as it presently demonstrates a new dimension to how new capital could flow into Ethereum in the not-too-distant future especially if the tokenized Bitcoin initiative succeeds.

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