What makes Polkadot so unique in Web3 ecosystem ?

Ankit Raj
3 min readJan 21, 2019

Every blockchain conference has almost the same vision “to fix the broken internet”. Ever wonder why we call internet as broken.

Web 1.0: We can only do read operation.

Web 2.0: Read and Write operation were included. Most appropriate term would be CRUD operation.

Web 3.0: CRUD operation + Trust factor

Since 2009, different blockchains have introduced different specifications. Bitcoin introduced the notion of trustless financial transactions. Ethereum introduced the power of decentralized world computer. Whereas, Polkadot came as an internet of blockchains.
Reason for calling Polkadot as the internet of blockchain is quite explanatory because over the years we have seen many new consensus mechanisms came to build the web3 ecosystem. Instead of building a new protocol, polkadot team came up with a solution to enable a mechanism which facilitates authenticated transactions from one blockchain to another. The core vision is to parallelize chains that want to join polkadot and create parachains. Overall, interoperability will facilitate the additional benefit of scalability by creating a general environment for multiple state machines.

Image credit: https://polkadot.network/static/media/RelayChainGraphic.f905d3d0.svg

Polkadot has majorly 4 goals:

1. Minimal: Minimalist philosophy. It should have less functionally as much as possible.

2. Simple: Additional complexity are always cumbersome. So, remove complexity.

3. General: It can be optimized through making the model into which extensions fit as abstract as possible.

4. Robust: Stable and secure base layer.

Parachain: A parachain is a group of the parallel chain which guarantee of secure message-passing by them. It’s is a simpler form of blockchain, which attaches to the security provided by a “relay chain” rather than providing its own. Also, they perform all the computations inherently independent and parallel to each other.

Apart from parachain, they have built substrate, a framework for creating decentralized systems. One can consider Substrate as programming framework like Rails, Django where you don’t need to worry about the internal things like RPC request or any other things. And database can be pluggable. Few other useful pointers regarding substrate are

  • Substrate is not part of Polkadot at all. Although Polkadot is built with Substrate and projects built with Substrate can run natively on Polkadot.
  • Substrate is a just framework for creating cryptocurrencies and other decentralized systems. It’s built in abstract block format.
  • With substrate, one can easily concentrate on the essence of the project by focusing on the business logic, without worrying about the different types of consensus mechanism, storage, and other internal mechanisms.
  • On substrate, you can use any database or build your own and use it.
  • It’s built in abstract block format.
  • Substrate has Wasm “excutute_block” functions.
  • It is dynamic, self-defining state-transition function (STF) and has light-client functionality.
  • When it comes to consensus algorithm it’s more like adaptive, definite finality and fasts.
  • Substrate does not require a system-wide upgrade or a hard fork.

Gavin, (creator of Polkadot) has given hands on demo explanation on building application with substrate on new machine. :)

Full vision and more details of Polkadot can be found on their website.


Ankit Raj



Ankit Raj

Blockchain Engineer | Distributed system | Ex- Red Hat | Ethereum foundation grantee