What is Polkadot and Its DOT Token?

UTC by Adedamola Bada · 8 min read
What is Polkadot and Its DOT Token?
Photo: Polkadot

It seems, that through Polkadot protocol, the emergence of new markets is imminent and the decentralization of future economies is looking more possible than ever before.

Polkadot is a blockchain protocol that is designed for the next generation. It aims to connect multiple specialized blockchains to a single network. One of the grand plans for the Polkadot platform is to make it a place where individuals can have total control over Internet monopolies. Although studying Polkadot will reveal that it is built upon the promises of previous blockchain networks, its approach is different and will offer several advantages to its users.

DOT token is native to Polkadot. It is used to bring about activity on the platform and also ensure its smooth running. All the key functions of Polkadot rely on DOT tokens to bring them to life. The DOT token has three purposes it serves; to govern the network, staking, and bonding.

In the area of governance, the holders of Polkadot token receive complete control over the platform. DOT holders will enjoy privileges that are usually enjoyed by only miners on other platforms – This includes overseeing major events like protocol fixes and upgrades.

When it comes to staking, token holders are incentivized via game theory to act in ways that prove them to be honest. Those who can display their showmanship and prove to be great actors will be compensated by this mechanism. Unfortunately, bad actors will not have it easy. On the platform, users who fail to convince the network that they are good actors will lose their stake. All this is to achieve an aim, which is simply to guarantee the security of the network.

Bonding primarily has to do with parachains. This function makes sure that new parachains are added. The way to achieve this is by bonding tokens. Parachains that have become outdated or no longer needed will be gotten rid of through the removal of bonded tokens.

Holders of DOT token will be in charge of certain duties within the Polkadot ecosystem. This includes:

  1. Acting as a fisherman, collator, nominator, or validator.
  2. They will be given the ability to contribute to the governance of the Polkadot platform.
  3. Becoming a collator for a parathread. This is done by placing bids for block inclusion that are denominated in DOT.
  4. They will be authorized to take part in the process of decision-making. The issues that must be deliberated upon are sensitive matters that will affect the entire platform like global upgrades and/or changes to Polkadot.

What’s So Special about Polkadot?

Polkadot has a lot going for it, making it a great advantage to those who identify with it. For some reason, Polkadot has proved its revolutionary tendencies. The platform helps blockchain networks to scale, specialize, work together, self-govern, and upgrade easily.


Isolated blockchains can only do so much. When it comes to traffic, the amount they can process is limited. Polkadot, on the other hand, is a fragmented multi-chain network. This gives it the ability to process lots of transactions on several chains in parallel.

The effect of this is the elimination of the delay that is known to occur on legacy networks where transactions are processed one-by-one. This power to process in parallel brings about a significant improvement in scalability and helps to fast track adoption and future growth. Fragmented chains that share a connection with Polkadot are called parachains because of their operation on the network, which is parallel in nature.


There are different sizes of blockchain architecture. This is because a particular size cannot fit all. All blockchains engage in trade-offs to support different use cases and features. For instance, a particular chain may decide to go for identity management optimization, while another may choose file storage optimization.

Polkadot allows each blockchain to have a new design that will serve a unique use case. This will allow blockchains to offer improved services and at the same time, enhancing security and efficiency by simply discarding unnecessary code.


The Polkadot platform will make it easy for networks and applications to interact with each other, sharing functionality and information, just like smartphone apps. This will be done free of any input from centralized service providers whose data practices are questionable. Polkadot is a strong advocate for cross-chain communication. Previous networks are known for their standalone style of operation.

However, Polkadot offers something much better, and that is interoperability. This will give rise to new services that are innovative and enable users to convey information between chains. An example of this is a chain that offers financial services. The chain will be given the power to exchange information with another that gives access to real-world data (also referred to as an oracle chain).


Polkadot communities are given free rein to govern their network anyhow they think is best and to also hold a transparent stake in the network governance of Polkadot in time to come. It is very easy for teams to carry out optimization and customization of the governance of their blockchain with respect to their needs.

They can also test new ideas or exchange pre-built modules for faster deployment. The models of blockchain governance can be upgraded and perfected to match the change in conditions and needs according to time.

Easy Upgraded

It is mandatory for blockchains to undergo upgrades, just like every other software, in order to remain relevant and improve as time goes on. For conventional chains to go through an upgrade, hard forks are required and it can be too burdensome.

The result of hard forks is the creation of two distinct transaction histories that can break a community in two. To even get it to full functionality, months of work will be needed. With Polkadot, a forkless upgrade is a possibility, which will allow blockchains to easily adapt and evolve at the introduction of better technology.

A combination of these core features to usher in a world of possibilities through new and improved services which will restore control to people over their digital activities. Polkadot already has various teams of professionals who are working around the clock to build impactful solutions in various niches such as social networking, IoT, gaming, finance, cloud technologies, and supply chain management.

These teams are not left to fend for themselves, they are supported with grants by the Web3 Foundation, the organization championing the development of Polkadot.

What is Dot Token?

DOT are tokens originating from the Polkadot network. Being an indigenous token of Polkadot, it will serve the purpose of performing the fundamental functions of the platform. The functions of DOT in the Polkadot network are grouped into three, namely (1) being in charge of the governance of the network, (2) taking over the operation of the network, and (3) the formation of parachains by bonding DOT.

The first function of DOT gives holders the right to absolute control over the platform. The administrative aspect of this function includes deciding what the network fees will be, the timetable for parachain addition, the auction dynamics, and other notable events like repairs to the Polkadot platform, as well as upgrades. Formally, holders of DOT will not be granted these functions, however, in the aspect of governance, they will be allowed to participate fully as a result of Polkadot’s underlying code.

Next in line in the functions of DOT is the facilitation of the consensus mechanism that strengthens Polkadot. The smooth running of the Polkadot platform rests on DOT holders. The platform aims to have high-quality functionality, as well as carry out valid transactions.

For this to take place, Polkadot will require DOT holders to actively participate on the platform. The DOT token belonging to holders will be put at risk, a situation referred to as bonding or staking, to prevent malicious activities from taking root in the network. Every activity to be undertaken in the network will determine the DOT required, how long DOT is staked for, and the number of DOT that should be staked.

The third function has to do with adding new parachains. To do this, DOT will be tied up, this process is also known as bonding. As the bonding period is ongoing, the DOT will be locked. Once the duration of the bond has come to a close and the parachain is no more, DOT will be returned to the account that bonded them.


With every passing day, the Polkadot platform experiences more growth. The ecosystem is expanding and becoming more robust as its benefits and efficiency are becoming clearer to teams who are ready to deploy their project to Polkadot. Polkadot has a design that is so unique that innovation and flexibility come naturally to projects, a thing that was unheard of with previous networks.

Through Polkadot, multiple specialized chains have found a way to coexist together on a single scalable network. This has become a dream come true for blockchain technology, enabling it to reach its full potential which is simply attaining worldwide adoption.