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Mind Of Mav

What The Parachain Launch Means For Polkadot

Last week, Acala won Polkadot’s first parachain slot, and the first batch of Polkadot parachains will be launched soon after 5 auctions are completed.

In this newsletter, let’s cover what the parachain launch means, and why people have looked forward to it so much? Additionally, what else can we further expect after the parachains are live?

What does the parachain launch mean?

Anyone who has read the Polkadot White Paper knows that the “relay chain + parachain” architecture is Polkadot’s unique core design, and it is also the basis for Polkadot to achieve its core interoperability and scalability.

Among them, the relay chains of Kusama and Polkadot have been launched in 2019 and 2020 respectively. If the parachains can go live smoothly and run smoothly, this indicates that Polkadot has basically realized the core vision in their white paper, and has initially verified that they can improve the scalability through the “relay chain + parachain” architecture.

Dr. Gavin Wood designed Polkadot as a “multi-chain system” from the very beginning. After the first batch of parachains connect to the relay chain, they can interoperate with each other, meaning that messages can be passed cross chains.

This breaks the problem of isolated islands where the blockchains are independent of each other and allows blockchains to enter the era of “multi-chain interconnection”.

The Kusama/Polkadot relay chain is essentially infrastructure, it does not deal with specific application logic, and its most important “application” is to provide security for the parachains. In other words, before the parachains launch on top of it, the relay chain itself is quite useless to some extent.

What Polkadot wants to achieve is a diverse multi-chain future. Parachains have their own strengths, optimize toward specific areas, such as Acala/Karura, which focuses on DeFi application platforms, Plasm/Shiden, which focuses on smart contracts, ChainX/SherpaX, which focuses on Bitcoin’s second layer network, etc. . These parachains with different functions and the applications further deployed on these parachains attract different users, so that Polkadot can really be used by end users and form a powerful ecosystem.

Therefore, the launch of the parachain is regarded as the first year of the “Polkadot Universe”, and the energy accumulated by the Polkadot ecosystem before began to release.

What else can we expect after the parachain launch?

The launch of parachain is certainly gratifying, but this is only the beginning, and everything has just begun.

After the completion of the key milestone of the parachain launch, what can the community expect for the Kusama/Polkadot ecosystem? I think there are three points:

As mentioned above, scalability and interoperability are undoubtedly Polkadot’s biggest killers. To achieve these two points will greatly break the shackles that have imprisoned the blockchain industry for many years, and is even expected to bring the blockchain into the next historical stage.

Scalability means that multiple parachains connected to Kusama/Polkadot can run in parallel, which increases the transaction processing capacity.

The next step is to see whether Polkadot’s performance can maintain an excellent level as more parachains are added, more applications are deployed on parachains, and the transaction volume is greatly increased. This is also one of the biggest test for the scalability performance of Kusama/ Polkadot.

In terms of interoperability, within the Polkadot network, parachains can transfer information across chains through the XCMP protocol. For example, you can use the DeFi parachain Acala to generate kUSDs, and then put them on the smart contract parachain Astar to play with a DApp. Outside the Polkadot network, in the future, ChainX, Darwinia and other “bridge” parachains will bridge Bitcoin, Ethereum and other external networks with Polkadot to connect the originally separated islands of the blockchain and become the real “Internet” of the blockchains.

Before, we published an article by Guanghua “Don’t use the mindset of the smart contract era to think about the next generation of blockchain applications”. People today cannot imagine the what blockchain applications like ten years from now, just like when computers first appeared in the 1960s and 1970s, people just expected it to solve math problems faster. At that time, who would have thought that one day the Internet would evolve so much and fueled search, online shopping, social networks, live broadcast and even autonomous driving applications?

The blockchains (Polkadot/Kusama) that solves scalability and interoperability may give birth to some new applications and business models that we cannot imagine in the current state. This is also the reason why everyone has high hopes for Polkadot’s future — it brings endless imagination.

The development of the mobile Internet from 2G to 4G and 5G has unlocked video, live broadcast, and mobile games, forming an extremely prosperous and diverse application ecosystem. So what kind of new applications and new models will the blockchain unlock from the era of smart contracts to the era of parachains?

Polkadot, Kusama and most of the parachains developed with Substrate can be upgraded without forks. This provides the basic conditions for the rapid evolution of the network.

After that, XCMP, parathreads, the bridge between Kusama and Polkadot, etc. will be updated to the network through a fork-free upgrade. Of course, there may be new challenges or more innovative ideas in the future, but no matter what kind of change, Polkadot’s own governance mechanism and fork-free upgrade capabilities allow these changes to happen faster and more smoothly.

Finally, what I want to say is that all of the above takes time. Ecosytem construction has never been achieved overnight. Let us give the Polkadot ecosystem some patience.

 

 
 
 
 
 

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