Polkadot emerged as one of the biggest “Ethereum killers” this year, with its high throughput, low-fee network, and the demand for such features booming as the DeFi sector surged in 2020. It is maintained by five individual teams.
For the uninitiated, Polkadot achieves this using its Parachain network, dividing its blockchain networks into many sub-pieces so that verifying transactions can become more efficient. This ensures that a designated community or validator verifies data on every shard, instead of an entire network going through and getting updated with every new information.
Today, Irina Karagyaur, Western Europe Ambassador for Polkadot and Kusama, sat down with crypto edutainment platform Cryptonites to discuss the features that set the two blockchains apart, its technological advances, the burgeoning DeFi market, and other nuances with host Alex Fazel.
Karagyaur previously worked for real estate and city planning roles for over a decade before entering the blockchain space in 2016. She has never looked back since.
Kusama vs. Polkadot
While Kusama and Polkadot are independent, standalone networks built on very similar codebases, the former supports more experimental protocols and projects and has faster governance parameters, alongside lower barriers to entry.
As per the Polkadot blog, governance on both Polkadot and Kusama is decentralized and permissionless, and while the networks will evolve independently, they may or may not converge or diverge over time.
“If you are a startup and you have small funding, or you just have a very raw idea. You’re looking for developers to join you. You’re looking to test for bugs and things that may go wrong,” said Karagyaur on Kusama.
On the other hand, Polkadot prioritizes stability and has a much more methodical governance and upgrade processes. “We have very serious applications, very serious companies building on Polkadot. And it’s the new internet, right? There’s that element of a web 3.0,” added Karagyaur.
How does Polkadot fit into an Ethereum world?
For the uninitiated, Ethereum is a platform for deploying smart contracts or pieces of logic that control the movement of native assets on the Ethereum network. However, Polkadot aims to provide a framework for developers to both build their own blockchain as well as the ability to connect different blockchains with each other.
“So you can connect and you can build complementary projects on (Polkadot’s) parachains and. And of course, Polkadot doesn’t have forking, so prices of Gas cannot fluctuate so much and the whole idea is to enable the flow of transactions and never create a bottleneck.”
Meanwhile, Karagyaur noted that despite there being Polkadot and Ethereum, Kusama will continue to exist. “My opinion: Kusama will always be there. Initially, it was viewed as a project where you would experiment and the bulk of that will run into experiments, and then it could potentially cause, but then it stayed there.”
(Want to watch Irina Karagyaur discuss Polkadot’s use in digital currencies, CBDCs, Kusama in more detail, and city planning using blockchains and smart contracts? The entire video is available for streaming below.)
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