What Is Polkodot And How Does It Compare to Ethereum?
When discussing cryptocurrencies these days, it's hard to go without haring aboutor mentioning the Ethereum blockchain. However, a new project has some interesting potential. Originating from a co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood, Polkadot has become a highly anticipated multi-chain interoperable network.
Following his leave from the Ethereum Foundation in 2016, Gavin Wood created a new blockchain called Polkadot, with the aim of solving different problems faced by many exisiting blockchains, including Ethereum 1.0.
Polkadot vs. Ethereum
Considering the intertwined history of both projects, it is only natural to compare them. At the basics, Ethereum, from a developer perspective, provides a platform where both logical statements and smart contracts are deployable to navigate the transfer of native assets on the Ethereum chain. On the other hand, Polkadot is meant to provide a platform where various blockchains are connectable, as well as a framework that makes building your own blockchain possible and easy. So as far as similarities go, on a basic level, the major design aim of both Ethereum and Polkadot is to enable developers to create their own personalized, decentralized applications.
In detail, the Ethereum and Polkadot platforms have their individual strong points. One of the most obvious strengths of Ethereum is its all-encompassing ecosystem, but this comes at a price – scalability, which refers to how transactions are processed at a limited rate.
Ethereum 1.0 uses a structure consisting of a single-chain where each node must individually authorize all transactions. Ethereum 2.0 aims to tackle this problem using a main chain termed the “Beacon Chain”.
Polkadot uses a similar yet different sharding method, in that it consists of a main chain termed the “Relay Chain,” and the shards (called parachains in Polkadot) can process transactions in parallel. But unlike the Ethereum sharding method, the parachains do not use a uniform rule for state-changing but independently initiate state changes. A simple way to understand this is to think of the main chain as a multi USB connector where, for the Ethereum blockchain, you can only plug in a specific type of USB type, while Polkadot allows for more.
That brings us to the effect of the level scalability that both blockchains offer. The lack of flexibility of shard connection in Ethereum makes interoperability nearly impossible, and, as such, only predetermined shards can join the Ethereum ecosystem. The reverse is the case for Polkadot as bridge parachains effectively enable developers to connect to external blockchains, including Ethereum.
It’s increasingly clear that Polkadot aims to do everything possible on other blockchains with the added benefit of seamless movement of assets between other chains, among other things. One of its major strengths over other blockchains for developers is the use of the development framework – Substrate –which effectively helps with facilitating easier blockchain development.