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Polkadot Parachains: 5 Success Stories

Polkadot is becoming the ‘internet of blockchains’, where independent blockchains can communicate seamlessly between each other for simple and streamlined cross-chain transfers. Polkadot manages this innovation through its parachain system. In this article, we discuss what a Polkadot parachain is, while highlighting five of the most flourishing Polkadot parachains today.

What is a Polkadot Parachain?

To answer this question, let’s first understand Polkadot’s architecture. The Polkadot ecosystem is comprised of three main technical components:

  1. Relay chain: Controls the consensus mechanism and administers the system. It is the base layer where all $DOT transactions are ultimately settled.
  2. Polkadot parachains: Independent and interoperable blockchains optimized for various tasks, for instance: Defi, Privacy, Smart Contract, etc.
  3. Bridges: Functions as a bridge between Polkadot and other blockchains, such as Pendulum’s Spacewalk bridge between Polkadot’s Substrate chains and the Stellar network.

Thanks to these three components, Polkadot has an advantage over other blockchains to become one of the leading hosts for web3 applications: its parachain systems provide true independence and freedom for each project, while still maintaining low transaction fees and fast transaction times. So far, there is no easy way to make blockchains connect seamlessly with each other in an interoperable manner, and Polkadot parachains solve that. Thanks to the Parachain system, specialized blockchains can communicate with each other to provide a seamless web3 experience for the end user. To learn more about Polkadot and its parachain system, feel free to watch this video.

There can only ever be 100 Polkadot Parachains, making the competition to secure a parachain fierce. So, what are five of the most promising Polkadot parachains that are out today?

Overview of 5 Successful Polkadot Parachains

1. Moonbeam

Moonbeam is the EVM-compatible parachain, similar to Astar. What is great about Moonbeam is that it connects directly with your Metamask, so the integration is seamless! Another great element about Moonbeam is that if the code works on Ethereum, it will work on Moonbeam as well. The big advantage of using Moonbeam over Ethereum itself is, of course, cheaper gas fees and lower transaction times.

Moonbeam’s sister network on Kusama is Moonriver. Moonriver is a companion network to Moonbeam and provides a permanently incentivized canary network. Similar to Pendulum’s Amplitude parachain on Kusama, new code ships to Moonriver first, where it can be tested and verified under real economic conditions. Once battle-tested, the same code ships to Moonbeam on Polkadot.

2. Acala Network

Acala brands itself as the DeFi and Liquidity hub of Polkadot. The protocol provides:

  • An AMM DEX
  • A multi-collateralized stablecoin (aUSD)
  • Liquid staking rewards (stake DOT to earn some APY passively. Right now, it is around 16% APY.

Thanks to Acala, users can swap different tokens on the Polkadot network with ease. The interface is great and reminds us of using the large DEXes, such as Uniswap or Sushiswap.

Additionally, the platform has collaborations with Moonriver, ChainLink, and Shiden Network. Some of the notable organizations that have invested in Acala include Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Digital Currency Group and Alameda Research. Pendulum’s partnership with Acala means aUSD is set to become a major stablecoin on Pendulum when it obtains its Polkadot parachain slot.

3. Interlay

A big problem with Bitcoin is that it is tough to use it on other blockchains. This shows the robustness of BTC, although there is significant demand from people to use their BTC in Defi applications, either borrowing against their BTC or yielding them interest in a decentralized manner. Interlay solves this problem through its flagship product, the interBTC — BTC on any blockchain.

InterBTC is a 1:1 BTC-basket asset that is censorship-resistant, interoperable and unlocks BTC’s true potential in the DeFi world. InterBTC has plans to be bridged across all blockchains, from Ethereum to Cosmos while passing by Solana. Pendulum’s Spacewalk bridge utilizes a similar design mechanism to InterBTC.

4. Astar

Astar Network is a multi-chain smart contract platform that supports multiple blockchains and virtual machines. It is not only EVM-compatible, but also the WebAssembly virtual machine. So far, it can connect Ethereum and Cosmos applications to the Polkadot network, with more blockchains coming soon.

Astar Network rewards people for building dApps on top of it. dApp builders can earn rewards when users upvote their app. So far, over $250M worth of Ethereum assets have already been bridged to the Astar network, and there is more than $1B in TVL on the network. Astar has even more room to grow as more bridges and more virtual machines connect to the Astar network!

5. Efinity

Efinity is the next-generation blockchain for digital assets, such as NFTs. Using the Paratoken standard, Efinity accepts all types of tokens, fungible and non-fungible. Thanks to the Paratoken standard, Efinity can accept digital assets from virtually any blockchain, making it the one-size-fits-all hub for all of your digital asset needs.

Efinity will provide an interoperable site with fast transaction times and negligible gas charges for both collectors and users. As the platform reduces the barrier of entry required to get involved with NFTs, the network effect should help Efinity become one of the main players in the NFT and digital asset space. Furthermore, Efinity is being developed by the same team that produced the Enjin blockchain, a platform that makes NFTs accessible for everyone.

Wrap Up

This article has highlighted some of the most exciting Polkadot Parachain projects. These five Polkadot parachains represent only a fraction of the interesting Polkadot parachains that are live and being built, so take some time to research more. One very interesting Polkadot parachain soon to be built is Pendulum! Our Pendulum parachain auction is scheduled for Q4 of 2022 following the successful launch of our Amplitude Kusama parachain. The Amplitude crowdloan saw over $1 million contributed and our Grants Program is now funding developers to build out fiat on DeFi infrastructure on both Amplitude and Pendulum. Get funding and get involved with the Pendulum community to be part of the journey.

About Amplitude

Pioneering the internet of fiat. Amplitude is the sister network of Pendulum on Kusama. It will act as a testing ground for Pendulum applications and network parameters and be powered by the AMPE token. Developed by Satoshipay.

About Pendulum

Building the missing link between fiat and DeFi through a fiat-optimized smart contract blockchain based on Polkadot’s Substrate. Allowing traditional finance fiat services to integrate with DeFi applications such as specialized forex AMMs, lending protocols, or yield farming opportunities. Developed by SatoshiPay.

Keep your eyes on the Pendulum!

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Traditional finance infrastructure blockchain. The missing link between fiat and DeFi. Limitless fiat. Decentralized future.