In what is the latest project the crypto-community has taken a fancy to, the much-anticipated Polkadot project has gone live. The brainchild of Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum and one of the authors of Solidity, went live today after the project announced that it had launched “CC1,” Polkadot’s first chain candidate that might as well become the Polkadot mainnet. The launch follows years of development, years which also saw its team colliding with the team behind Ethereum.
Crucially, however, it must be noted that DOT tokens do not “technically” exist yet.
CMC Alert: DOT tokens do not exist yet. Allocations of Polkadot's native DOT token are technically and legally non-transferable. Please see page for more details. https://t.co/yeLRfhIRuo
— CoinMarketCap (@CoinMarketCap) May 27, 2020
While these tokens were sold to roughly 40,000 individuals back in 2017 through an ICO, the launch of CC1 doesn’t really unlock these tokens for use for transfers yet. Instead, as the Web3 Foundation announced, “allocations of Polkadot’s native DOT token are technically and legally non-transferable,” adding that any publicized sale of DOT tokens is probably fraudulent.
It should be noted that while the initial stages will see Polkadot adhering to a proof-of-authority protocol to ensure stability, it will soon transition to a Proof-of-Stake system, following which, a network-wide governance vote will be needed before these DOT tokens can be finally issued.
In development since 2016, Polkadot is a sharded blockchain that intends to unify a host of chains into a single network, allowing “them to process in parallel and exchange data with strong security guarantees between chains.” Polkadot, its developers claim, will help solve many of the throughput issues that have stalled the development of decentralized applications.
It is interesting to understand what Dr. Wood said as CC1 was launched. He said,
“Polkadot is, in many respects, the biggest bet in this ecosystem against chain maximalism. Even if there were one perfect chain, I don’t think it would stay perfect for very long.”
Chain maximalism. That is a strong sentiment, and it’s not difficult to see where Dr. Wood is coming from. After all, he did leave the Ethereum Foundation to co-found Parity because he was “disillusioned.” In fact, for the many times the Ethereum community has decried being the subject of mocking and harassment from Bitcoin maximalists, it itself hasn’t exactly been very homely to contrary projects and opinions.
Within the Ethereum community itself, blockchain wars have been fierce and vocal. Just look at the DAO hack and how the Ethereum community was split right down the middle on the principle of whether code is actually law or not. That’s not all, however.
In fact, Polkadot’s development has been a staged parting between Parity and Ethereum, with the conflict culminating in Parity technologies announcing in December 2019 that it won’t participate in maintaining the Ethereum codebase and developing ETH 2.0