Regarding the technical functioning of Polkadot I had already talked about it in this article: Will Polkadot (DOT) Be The New Ethereum? How Does It Work?
However, the most important thing to understand is the functionality of the parachain: independent chains (with their own governance) that however rely on Polkadot (in terms of security). Parachains consume resources so they are limited in number (slots).
It is possible to develop a project and try to enter a parachain.
All of these projects will compete in the auctions by tying Dot (highest bidder) to grab slots in Polkadot's parachain. The lease lasts for 2 years. These are ICO's, where however Dot are not spent in exchange for a token... they are only blocked for 2 years.
This all starts in a few months, so the situation for Dot could get very bullish. Let's see the main projects that will be born (this is not a ranking from first to tenth place. The positions are random).
Kusama: is a canary network, or a testnet where projects are tested before going to Polkadot. A project can also decide to stay on Kusama so we could consider it more than a testnet.
Why stay on Kusama? Because the rules of the network (governance and not only) are less restrictive than Dot. The first parachains will be on Kusama (it will be necessary to bind the KSM token). Official site: Kusama
Polkastarter: this is a dex (cross chain) built on Polkadot. The idea is to combine the liquidity of Polkadot, Ethereum and the other blockchains. The main focus is on scalability (cheap and fast transactions). Other features are password protected private pools, whitelists, smart contract token exchanges and high slippage price alerts! To achieve complete decentralization, the Polkastarter protocol is completely open-source, creating a permissionless environment. POLS tokens can be used to pay transaction fees.
Users can earn rewards by providing liquidity on the Uniswap platform by staking POLS.
Official site: Polkastarter
MantraDAO: is a platform focused on lending, staking and governance. It was built by Parity Substrate for the Polkadot ecosystem (like Polkastarter). Furthermore MantraDAO integrates many functions that we find in Polastarter. Official site: MantraDAO
Moonbeam: this project aims at integrating ETH's smart contracts with the Polkadot world. The aim is to make any application running on ETH on Polkadot 100% functional. Governance, staking, chain.
The project includes: Chainlink, Sushiswap, Metamask, Math Wallet, Polkadot.js, Polkastarter, Ocean, Band, etc
They will be launched first on Kusama, then on Polkadot. Official site: MoonBeam Network
Plasm Network: similar to the previous project (ETH / DOT compatibility) with the token launched through a "lockdrop" (binding ETH). Official site: Plasm Network
Edgeware: this is a project with its own mainnet that would like to become a Polkadot parachain (to integrate 100% with Dot). The tokens were distributed a few years ago via "lockdrop" (by binding ETHs). This project aims to perfect smart contracts by allowing an interaction between ETH and Dot. That is, all those projects born on ETH will be able to interact on Polkadot, even if they will not be compatible. All this thanks to Edgeware. Official site: Edgeware
Acala: this is a decentralized finance hub (borrow, lend, earn on invest, trade, governance) similar to MakerDAO. The token has not yet been launched (it will take place via "Initial Parachain Offering" with Dot placed in bound staking in exchange for the native Acala token).
Karura (also linked to Acala) will be his parachain on Kusama. Official site: Acala Network
Reef Finance: does not aim to become a parachain on Polkadot but to independence (solochain connected to Polkadot endpoints, Ethereum and the centralized world).
The goal is to unify liquidity between DEFI (ETH), DEX (Uniswap, Kyber, etc), CEFI (exchange). It will initially use Moonbeam and Plast Network to integrate with Polkadot. Official site: Reef Finance
Ocean: this is the best known project (together with Polkastarter and Reef launched in the Binance launchpool). Ocean is based on AI, algorithms, data processing and storage (in an economical, safe and fast way). The protocol stores metadata, links to it, and provides a licensing framework.
A multitude of data markets can connect to Ocean Protocol to connect data providers and consumers. Ocean is complementary to centralized and decentralized markets because it provides an additional channel for markets to publish their services. Official site: Ocean Protocol
Litentry: this token can be farmed in the Binance launchpool and is another project built on Polkadot thanks to Parity Substrate. It is based on decentralized identity indexing (DID) and a computing network (data management infrastructure). 3,000,000 of the total supply (18,000) will be distributed in the launchpool. Official site: Litentry
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