Polkadot Goes Live as Web3 Foundation Pushes Prospective Mainnet

Polkadot is now live, following the launch of its first “chain candidate” (CC1).

AccessTimeIconMay 26, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:45 a.m. UTC

Polkadot is now live following the launch of its first “chain candidate” (CC1).

Announced Tuesday, the genesis block of the blockchain-of-blockchains has been mined, according to a blog post from Web3 Foundation, Polkadot’s lead developer. 

“This first stage of Polkadot CC1 provides two key things: Claims & attestation and staking,” Polkadot co-founder Gavin Wood wrote in another post. In other words, Polkadot’s governance parameters are being walked out for the first time with limited functionality.

Wood hinted at the impending soft-launch of the interoperability project earlier this month at the Ready Layer One conference.

An alternative vision for hosting decentralized applications (dapps), Wood began the development of Polkadot in late 2016. Wood also co-founded Ethereum – including writing the network’s yellow paper and its programming language, Solidity – before becoming disenfranchised with that blockchain’s progression toward a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm (an overhaul commonly referred to as Eth 2.0). 

“Polkadot CC1 is freshly born; beginning its ‘life’ at 17:36:21, Zug time,” Wood wrote. “We’re now at block #400, with Grandpa and Babe chugging along quite happily. So far so good.”

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Polkadot's CC1 genesis block.

Polkadot will first launch under a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) consensus algorithm controlled by the Web3 Foundation. The network will test out various “Sudo” modules in the same manner as Polkadot’s experimental Kusama network did in 2019 until a chain candidate is selected.

Polkadot will then transition to a PoS consensus algorithm with disbursements of the network’s DOT token, the blog states. Following the network’s $145 million token sale in 2017, the Web3 Foundation has prioritized building out integrations with its Substrate custom blockchain protocol along with “parachain” connections to other blockchains such as Chainlink and the Shyft Network.

“Polkadot is, in many respects, the biggest bet in this ecosystem against chain maximalism,” Wood said in a video interview published today. “Even if there were one perfect chain, I don’t think it would stay perfect for very long. I would argue that it’s really not such a good plan to be so focused on backing one winner above all others.”

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