Polkadot is a heterogeneous multi-chain technology. It consists of the relay chain, parachains, and bridges to other networks. The relay chain is responsible for achieving consensus and transaction delivery among parachains. Parachains are independent blockchains with their own state transitions that gather and process transactions while plugging in to the security of the relay chain. Bridges allow the Polkadot network to make it interoperable with other blockchains not built to natively support it.
Polkadot is built to connect private/consortium chains, public/permission-less networks, oracles and future technological developments yet to be created in the Web3 ecosystem. It enables an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information and trust-free transactions via the Polkadot relay chain, with the key tenets of scalability, governance and interoperability.
By connecting these dots, we allow for the development of a truly decentralized web, serving as a foundational building block for the creation of an ecosystem of Dapps and services that will distribute power and equity for the common good.
What Is Polkadot?¶
Polkadot is a protocol that allows independent blockchains to exchange information. Polkadot is an inter-chain blockchain protocol which unlike internet messaging protocols (e.g. TCP/IP) also enforces the order and the validity of the messages between the chains. This interoperability also allows the additional benefit of scalability by creating a general environment for multiple state machines.
For a video overview of the architecture of Polkadot watch the video below for the whiteboard interview with W3F researcher Alistair Stewart: