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What is DOT?โ€‹

DOT is the native token of the Polkadot network in a similar way that BTC is the native token of Bitcoin or Ether is the native token of the Ethereum blockchain.

The Planck Unitโ€‹

The smallest unit for the account balance on Substrate based blockchains (Polkadot, Kusama, etc.) is Planck (a reference to Planck Length, the smallest possible distance in the physical Universe). You can compare DOT's Planck to BTC's Satoshi or ETH's Wei. Polkadot's native token DOT equals to 1010 Planck and Kusama's native token KSM equals to 1012 Planck.


UnitDecimal PlacesConversion to PlanckConversion to DOT
Planck01 Planck0.0000000001 DOT
Microdot (uDOT)4104 Planck0.0000010000 DOT
Millidot (mDOT)7107 Planck0.0010000000 DOT
Dot (DOT)101010 Planck1.0000000000 DOT
Million (MDOT)161016 Planck1,000,000.00 DOT
DOT was redenominated at block #1_248_328

DOT was originally equal to 1012 Planck just like Kusama (which is referred to as "DOT (old)"), but went through a process of redenomination which increased DOT's supply by 100x. As a consequence, 1 DOT now equals to 1010 Planck.


UnitDecimal PlacesConversion to PlanckConversion to KSM
Planck01 Planck0.000000000001 KSM
Point3103 Planck0.000000001000 KSM
MicroKSM (uKSM)6106 Planck0.000001000000 KSM
MilliKSM (mKSM)9109 Planck0.001000000000 KSM
KSM121012 Planck1.000000000000 KSM

What are the uses of DOT?โ€‹

DOT serves three key functions in Polkadot:

  • to be used for governance of the network,
  • to be staked for the operation of the network,
  • to be bonded to connect a chain to Polkadot as a parachain.

DOT can also serve ancillary functions by being a transferrable token. For example, DOT stored in the Treasury can be sent to teams working on relevant projects for the Polkadot network.

Explainer video on token utility

These concepts have been further explained in the video Usage of DOT and KSM on Polkadot and Kusama.

DOT for Governanceโ€‹

The first function of DOT is to entitle holders to control the governance of the platform. Some functions that are included under the governance mechanism include determining the fees of the network, the addition or removal of parachains, and exceptional events such as upgrades and fixes to the Polkadot platform.

Polkadot will enable any holder of DOT to participate in governance. For details on how holders can participate in governance, as well as their rights and responsibilities, see the governance page.

DOT for Consensusโ€‹

DOT will be used to facilitate the consensus mechanism that underpins Polkadot. For the platform to function and allow for valid transactions to be carried out across parachains, Polkadot will rely on holders of DOT to play active roles. Participants will put their DOT at risk (via staking) to perform these functions. The staking of DOT acts as a disincentive for malicious participants who will be punished by the network by getting their DOT slashed. The DOT required to participate in the network will vary depending on the activity that is being performed, the duration the DOT will be staked for, and the total number of DOT staked. For more information about staking on Polkadot visit the dedicated staking page.

DOT for Parachain Slot Acquisitionโ€‹

DOT will have the ability to be locked for a duration in order to secure a parachain slot in the network. The DOT will be reserved during the slot lease and will be released back to the account that reserved them after the duration of the lease has elapsed and the parachain is removed. You can learn more about this aspect by reading about the auctions that govern parachain slots.

Token Issuanceโ€‹

Total Issuanceโ€‹

It is the total number of token units in existence on the network.

On-chain data for reference

The total issuance is in the era .

Inactive Issuanceโ€‹

It is the total units of outstanding deactivated balance on the network that cannot be used for participation in governance. This comprises tokens locked away in crowdloans and nomination pools.

On-chain data for reference

The inactive issuance is in the era .

Active Issuanceโ€‹

Active issuance = Total issuance - Inactive issuance

All the tokens under active issuance are can be used to participate in the governance on-chain.

Obtaining Testnet Tokensโ€‹

DOT are required to make transactions on the Polkadot network. Tokens on Polkadot's Testnets like Paseo, Westend and Rococo do not have any value besides allowing you to experiment with the features on the network.

Getting Tokens on the Paseo Testnetโ€‹

The Paseo testnet mirrors the Polkadot runtime and it is maintained by the community. To get Paseo tokens (PAS) you can use the web-based Paseo faucet. The PAS tokens has the same Planck conversion as Polkadot.

UnitDecimal PlacesConversion to PlanckConversion to PAS
Planck01 Planck0.0000000001 PAS
Microdot (uPAS)4104 Planck0.0000010000 PAS
Millidot (mPAS)7107 Planck0.0010000000 PAS
Dot (PAS)101010 Planck1.0000000000 PAS
Million (MPAS)161016 Planck1,000,000.00 PAS

Getting Tokens on the Westend Testnetโ€‹

Polkadot's testnet is called Westend and you can obtain its native tokens (called Westies!) by posting !drip <WESTEND_ADDRESS> in the Matrix chatroom Your account will be credited with 1 WND by default. You can also specify to get more tokens by !drip <WESTEND_ADDRESS> X, where X is the number of tokens.

Another way is to use our web-based Westend faucet.

You can also earn WNDs as rewards by becoming a validator on Westend network. Watch the video below on how to get started on Westend.

UnitDecimal PlacesConversion to PlanckConversion to WND
Planck01 Planck0.000000000001 WND
Point3103 Planck0.000000001000 WND
MicroWND (uWND)6106 Planck0.000001000000 WND
MilliWND (mWND)9109 Planck0.001000000000 WND
WND121012 Planck1.000000000000 WND

Getting Tokens on the Rococo Testnetโ€‹

Rococo is a parachain testnet. Tokens are given directly to teams working on parachains or exploring the cross consensus message-passing aspects of this testnet. General users can obtain ROC by posting !drip <ROCOCO_ADDRESS> in the Matrix chatroom or through the web-based Rococo faucet. Learn more about Rococo on its dedicated wiki section.

Faucets supportโ€‹

If you require help with using faucets, or wish to report an issue, there is a support chat, or you can create an issue directly in the faucets repo

Kusama Tokensโ€‹

Unlike testnet DOT, Kusama tokens are not freely given away. Kusama tokens are available via the claims process (if you had DOT at the time of Kusama genesis) or through the Treasury. Alternatively, they can be obtained on the open market.

Polkadot Mainnet DOTโ€‹

Polkadot Mainnet DOT are not freely given away. If you purchased DOT in the original 2017 offering, you may claim them via the Polkadot claims process. Alternatively, they are available on the open market.