Polkadot’s construction uses a sharded model where shards—called "parachains"—in the network have unique state transition functions. As Dieter Fishbein—Head of Ecosystem Development at Web3 Foundation—described at the June event, parachains construct and propose blocks to validators on the Relay Chain, where the blocks undergo rigorous checks by Polkadot validators before being added to the finalized chain. The fact that each block is checked by validators is ultimately what allows paracahains to use pooled security:
“Ultimately I think we’re moving more in the direction of a multi-chain world because the inherent costs involved in distributed computing encourage developers to blockchains that are built with more limited functionality for a specific purpose. The combination of Polkadot/Substrate provides an easy entrypoint for businesses and enterprises to develop these application-specific chains faster than building them from scratch, without worrying about incentivizing a community of validators and providing them true interoperability.” —Dieter Fishbein, Head of Ecosystem Development at Web3 Foundation
As a premier infrastructure platform for blockchain networks, Bison Trails’ platform design allows it to work across parachains, enabling those building on Polkadot to have the same security and resiliency across a variety of node types. Joe Lallouz—CEO of Bison Trails—sees parachains as crucial to wider adoption of blockchain technologies.
“I am a firm believer that there will be lots of different chains and I’m incredibly excited to see a world where there's a lot of different parachains. Each will have different use cases, and different requirements for validators and nodes. Bison Trails can help support that in ways that would be very difficult without the work we’ve done for native support of Substrate and Polkadot.” —Joe Lallouz, CEO of Bison Trails
Building Kusama and then Polkadot allowed the Substrate team to improve upon the core architecture as developers were looking to adopt parachains, explained Will Pankiewicz, Master of Validators at Parity.
“Substrate’s big advantage is developers are building with pallets—or modules—foundational elements that make it easier to customize a parachain for your specific use case without reinventing the wheel. At its most simple you can use an existing smart contracts pallet, instead of building your own solution for a solved problem. Going forwards we aim to expand pallets from the dozen or so today to hundreds and continue to make it easier for developers to build quickly and securely.” —Will Pankiewicz, Master of Validators at Parity
The conversation was moderated by Viktor Bunin, Protocol Specialist at Bison Trails. Watch a replay of the whole event below.
Bison Trails offers several ways for DOT holders to earn participatory rewards on Polkadot. Large-scale DOT holders can run multiple validators and distribute their stake to optimize their participation given the equitable distribution of rewards to active validator nodes.
Bison Trails is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service company, based in New York City, specifically focused on blockchain participation. We’ve built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in new chains effortlessly (e.g. by running Cosmos Validators, Tezos Bakers, and Libra Validators, etc.)—without having to invest time and resources into developing any of the engineering, protocol, dev ops, or security competencies in-house. Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.
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