Polkadex Mainnet Launch 101
Polkadex’s layers of complexity are just another way in which it stands out from other DeFi projects. Find out what exactly Mainnet Launch means for Polkadex and what to expect in the next few months in this article.
As you may know by now, Polkadex is composed of three products: Polkadex Orderbook, Polkapool, and PolkaIDO. These three products make up the DApp layer of Polkadex. However, that is not all there is to Polkadex! The trustless DApp layer that contains the Orderbook, swap platform and IDO launchpad apps is maintained and secured by the Polkadex network. In other words, the Polkadex network is the Substrate-based blockchain upon which the Polkadex DApps are built. It is a network of computers that secure data and in turn are awarded tokens (PDEX). The Polkadex network also connects to other blockchains through cross-chain bridges and allows for these tokens to be moved from one blockchain to another, which has a positive impact on the overall interoperability of Polkadex.
What does this mean?
It means there are currently six synergetic components of Polkadex which are all being developed simultaneously by different engineering teams:
- Polkadex blockchain
- PDEX token
- PDEX bridges
- Polkadex Orderbook
Due to the Polkadex team’s aim for perfection, each of these components has to go through the following phases:
- Coding/developing of the logic on the blockchain
- Deployment of the code to the Testnet
- Auditing of the code while it is deployed on the Testnet
- Release on the Mainnet
Therefore, while most of the components that make up Polkadex are technically independent of each other, they all have one common prerequisite: the Polkadex blockchain. The Polkadex blockchain is what holds all of the separate components together and allows them to interact with each other and with other blockchains. As such, it is the most important aspect of the project since it creates the secure and verifiable environment necessary for the Polkadex DApps to flourish.
So, what exactly does the ‘Mainnet launch’ mean for Polkadex?
When we talk about the Mainnet launch, we are referring to the launch of the Polkadex blockchain, as the first step. When the Polkadex blockchain is deployed and once it is secured by enough validators and nominators, other components of the Polkadex project will be rolled out onto the blockchain in their own Mainnet launches.
Metaphorically, the Mainnet launch can be seen as the completion of construction on a brand new apartment building, where the roll-out of components/products can be seen as the tenants moving into each different apartment unit within the building. The building needs to be completed and fully secured before anybody can move in. In a similar way, the mainnet needs to be live and stabilized with a healthy community of at least 100 validators before any component can be launched on top of it.
The gradual roll-out of features onto an established blockchain is an approach that is not too different from Polkadot’s launch. In fact, when Polkadot’s Mainnet was launched, users couldn’t even make balance transfers as that feature had not been activated yet. When dealing with such a complex project with a lot of moving parts, it’s important to ensure that the base layer is stable before adding more components to it. It is also important to build, audit, test and reiterate the components individually before they are deployed on the Mainnet and begin attracting large amounts of assets.
Okay, so when is the Mainnet scheduled to launch?
The Polkadex roadmap sets out the targets and timelines the team aims to follow during development. Since the conception of the roadmap, the Polkadex mainnet has been scheduled for a Q3-Q4 2021 launch. The team has remained on track to meet the roadmap goals and the mainnet will launch in or before the end of September 2021.
What comes after the Mainnet launch?
Immediately after the Mainnet launch, the first action will be to trigger the migration of PDEX from Ethereum to the Polkadex network. This will turn the PDEX ERC-20 token into the native token of the Polkadex network.
Polkadex roll-out schedule
Every component strictly follows the phases listed above. While exact dates are not available yet, the remaining components, including Polkadex Orderbook, Polkapool, and PolkaIDO will be gradually rolled out onto the mainnet in the following order starting in September:
- ERC-20 PDEX to native PDEX migration
- Deployment of Cross-chain Bridges. If Polkadex is ready for a Polkadot parachain spot by then, those cross-chain bridges will also be opened.
Q4 2021/Q1 2022
- Polkadex Orderbook
While we are scheduled to release in the dates listed above, it is important to keep in mind that these dates are tentative as the roll-out of features and components onto the Mainnet will ultimately depend on the ‘Go/No Go’ evaluation from the Testnet.
Why can’t everything be launched at once like on the Ethereum network?
It is important to note the difference between building a project on Substrate versus building it on Ethereum. After all, the product that we are launching aims to remedy the issues of Ethereum-based DApps, so the tech stack and approach must differ. DeFi projects can simply develop a smart contract and deploy it on the Ethereum blockchain, which has been live and ‘stable’ for years. In Polkadex’s case, not only are there multiple DApps being built, but the blockchain they are being built on is new and specific to those apps. This makes Polkadex exponentially more complex than the average Ethereum DApp, which means it also requires more thorough auditing and development. The complexity of Polkadex also makes a stronger case for a gradual roll-out of applications on top of the Polkadex network as the more advanced DApps, like Polkadex Orderbook, will require a more stable blockchain to operate on. For these reasons, it is unfair to compare the development of Polkadex to the development of a DApp on the Ethereum blockchain.
Difference between Polkadex and other Substrate-based projects
Unfair comparisons are also drawn to other Substrate-based projects with single-purpose logic blockchains. Many Substrate-based projects are just built with one purpose, whereas Polkadex is addressing at least three different markets and improving upon existing competitors with three different products. Again, the level of complexity and the amount of moving parts that are set to work together on Polkadex is unprecedented.
The role of PDEX
PDEX is a key piece of the puzzle. A consolidated supply of PDEX is crucial in order for Polkadex to have a healthy network of validators and thus, a secure blockchain. In other words, the utility of PDEX starts with securing the blockchain as soon as it is migrated over from Ethereum. After the Mainnet launch, PDEX will gain utility immediately as part of securing the network, and with every application added to the Polkadex network.
Since PDEX has been built specifically for the Polkadex network and its tokenomics are intertwined with the network, it is also important for it to follow through with its original release schedule and post-Mainnet native migration. The PDEX release schedule was pre-determined with the security of the network in mind and with a September 2021 Mainnet launch date target. In other words, the PDEX release schedule is not directly linked to the separate Polkadex component releases, but rather the overall timing of the Polkadex network’s launch.
Have there been delays? Will there be?
The Polkadex team’s mindset is that of ensuring that every product we launch has to be as flawless as possible, even if that means incurring delays. This does not mean delays are guaranteed. What this does mean is that taking the extra time if needed will be prioritized over buggy releases. Therefore, if there is ever a delay with any component, it will be for the good of the product and the project, and ergo, its users.
The development team has not only remained on track to meet the timelines set out in the roadmap, but we have already completed most of the code for all the components of Polkadex. This has led to a slight backlog on the frontend side, which has delayed the beta tester program and public Testnet release but has had no impact on the timing of Mainnet launches of each different component.
The Polkadex team is adamant about building the best possible product and thus will not settle for a rushed or sloppy audit. For this reason, only top auditing companies are working on approving the Polkadex code. These auditing companies are extremely busy and have long pipelines. This, combined with the complexity of Polkadex’s components, might mean that some components may take longer to be fully audited and thus released onto the Mainnet. With that said, each component of Polkadex from code to DApps is currently either audited or scheduled to be audited at the earliest available date.
What about the Testnet?
The ‘Testnet’ is a version of the Polkadex network that contains simulation assets and exists as a testing and experimentation space that does not put the Mainnet at risk. Within the next week, a new version of the Testnet with BABE (Blind Assignment for Blockchain Extension) consensus will be launched with instructions and guidelines on how to get hands-on with the code. This version will allow anybody to play around in the Polkadex Testnet staging network and, as mentioned above, will not be integrated with the frontend user interface just yet.
The Testnet with the integrated frontend UI (simply put, Polkadex products that you can play around with) will begin a feature-by-feature rollout to beta testers this month (August 2021), starting with PolkaIDO. Gradually, Polkadex’s other components will be rolled out, first to beta testers and, a few weeks later, to the public Testnet. The exact date when everyone in the Polkadex community will get a chance to test the network and take our user interface for a spin will be announced soon.
Towards the fall, all of the components listed above will be launched on the UI-integrated version of the Testnet. That upcoming Testnet release will mark a milestone for Polkadex merely a year after its foundation as it will mean that the backend and frontend code that aims to realize the original Polkadex vision will be fully completed and released.
Taking a step back, it is important to realize that Polkadex is not simply a copy-paste smart contract with a rebrand. That would be too easy to build. The Polkadex team is building things that have never been built before. We are blazing our own path without cutting corners. The journey might take a bit longer but the end result will make the extra effort all the more worth it.
Thank you for your continued support! We’re building Polkadex for you. If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out.