Polkadot is a sharded blockchain based on the thesis that the world will have several blockchains that need to interact. Polkadot unites scalability, interoperability, and security.
Polkadot enables scalability by allowing specialized blockchains to communicate with each other in a secure, trust-free environment.
Polkadot is built to connect and secure unique blockchains, whether they be public, permission-less networks, private consortium chains, or oracles and other Web3 technologies. It enables an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information under common security guarantees.
Polkadot is a living network with the core pillars of governance and upgradability. The network has an advanced suite of governance tools and, using the WebAssembly standard as a "meta-protocol", can autonomously deploy network upgrades. Polkadot adapts to your growing needs without the risks of network forks.
By connecting these dots, Polkadot serves as a foundational part of a decentralized web, where users control their data and are not limited by trust bounds within the network.
What Is Polkadot?
The Polkadot network uses a sharded model where shards - called "parachains" - in the network have unique state transition functions (STF). Based on Polkadot's design, as long as a chain's logic can compile to Wasm, then it can connect to the Polkadot network as a parachain.
Polkadot has a Relay Chain acting as the main chain of the system. Parachains construct and propose blocks to validators on the Relay Chain, where the blocks undergo rigorous availability and validity checks before being added to the finalized chain. As the Relay Chain provides the security guarantees, collators don't have any security responsibilities, and thus do not require a robust incentive system.
In order to interact with chains that want to use their own finalization process (e.g. Bitcoin), Polkadot has bridge parachains that offer two-way compatibility.
The Cross-Chain Messaging Protocol (XCMP) allows parachains to send messages of any type to each other. The shared security and validation logic of the Relay Chain provide the environment for trust-free message passing that opens up true interoperability.
- Architecture - Overview of the Polkadot architecture.
- Bridges - Overview of bridges.
- Cryptography - Describes the cryptography used in Polkadot and where it is employed in the protocol.
- Consensus - Describes what kind of consensus is used in the Polkadot protocol and how it compares to other consensus protocols.
- DOT - Information on DOTs, the native token of the Polkadot protocol.
- Governance - What blockchain governance is, and how it works in Polkadot.
- Cross-chain Communication - Information regarding how cross-chain messaging works.
- Parachains - Overview of what a parachain is, and how they work.
- Parachain Auctions - Describes the mechanism for the auctioning of parachain slots.
- Parathreads - A parathread is a way to share the scarce resource of a parachain slot among many parachain-"threads".
- Phragmen - Information on the Phragmen method.
- Polkadot Runtime Environment - General information on the Polkadot Runtime Environment.
- Randomness - What Polkadot uses for randomness, as well as why and how it is used.
- Security - How the Polkadot network remains secure.
- SPREE - Shared Protected Runtime Execution Environments.
- Staking - How staking works in Polkadot.
- Treasury - How to make spending proposals on Polkadot and Kusama.
- WebAssembly - A description of WebAssembly and how it is used in Polkadot.
- Glossary - Definitions of domain specific terms used in Polkadot documentation.
- Implementations - List of implementations of the Polkadot protocol (who is building them and links to the source code).
- Links - Comprehensive list of external links.
- Roadmap - The implementation roadmap of Polkadot.
- FAQ - Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Polkadot.