Brief history of Polkadot
Polkadot was created by Dr. Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum. However, it was not intended to replace Ethereum. The idea was to create a complementary platform to Ethereum by removing intermediaries, which would have allowed blockchains to interact in a secure way, thus building trust within the blockchain community.
Polkadot came into existence after Dr. Wood expressed his frustration with Ethereum’s slow development. He then founded Polkadot in 2016 alongside Robert Habermeier and Peter Czaban. This happened as part of the Web3 Foundation, which aims to support cutting-edge applications for decentralized web software protocols.
Originally, the trio wanted Polkadot to use Ethereum technology to build their network, but eventually ran it on Substrate, a software development framework provided by Parity Technologies, a company co-founded by Dr. Wood in 2015. Substrate was used to create secondary chains to a blockchain called “parachains”, which function to execute high-speed transactions1.
In October 2016, Dr. Wood released the first draft of the Polkadot white paper, printed on bright pink sheets with white polka dots. In it, he explains the logic behind the development – at the time experimental – of the blockchain model that Polkadot would achieve: a network with multiple blockains.2.
A year later, Dr. Wood’s concept of a “scalable heterogeneous multi-chain” platform that would serve as the foundation (or “relay chain”) to host the parachains is becoming a reality.
This meant that the multi-chain network could execute many transactions on many parallel chains running at the same time. This was a unique feature that made Polkadot stand out.
In October 2017, Polkadot launched its initial coin offering (ICO). The DOT token was launched in 2020 with an initial price of $0.29 and 2.48 million tokens available3.
To date, Polkadot has raised over $200 million selling its DOT cryptocurrency1. As of December 2021, Polkadot’s market capitalization was $26 million.3.