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DOT

What is DOT?

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 Unit

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.

Polkadot

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.

Kusama

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?

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 Governance

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 Consensus

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 Acquisition

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.

Calculating When Vesting DOT Will Be Available

Generally, you should be able to see from the Accounts by looking at your accounts and seeing when the vesting will finish. However, some DOT vest with "cliffs" - a single block where all the DOT are released, instead of vesting over time. In this case, you will have to query the chain state directly to see when they will be available (since technically, the vesting has not yet started - all of the vesting will occur in a single block in the future).

  1. Navigate to the Chain State page on Polkadot-JS.
  2. Query chain state for vesting.vesting(ACCOUNT_ID)
  3. Note the startingBlock where the unlock starts, and how much DOT is unlocked per block (perBlock).
  4. You will have to calculate the result into “human time". To do this, remember that there are approximately 14’400 blocks per day, and you can see what the latest block is shown on the Explorer page.

Obtaining Testnet Tokens

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

Getting Tokens on the Westend Testnet

Polkadot's testnet is called Westend and you can obtain its native tokens (called Westies!) by posting !drip <WESTEND_ADDRESS> in the Matrix chatroom #westend_faucet:matrix.org. 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.

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.

Testing Polkadot features 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 Testnet

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 #rococo-faucet:matrix.org. Learn more about Rococo on its dedicated wiki section.

Kusama Tokens

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 DOT

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.