Polkadot, one of the most anticipated projects in the crypto-space is coming close to launch. During the recent Ready Layer One virtual event, Dr. Gavin Wood walked the listeners through the protocols launch process. While no specific dates were mentioned, the different stages of the launch give you a good idea about how the process is planned to unfold. Here’s what you can expect:

The Polkadot network will have a phased roll out towards decentralization & permissionlessness

— Gavin Wood

More precisely, this phased rollout can be divided into three sequential phases, which we will cover in this post. In case you are interested, you can check out the full presentation by Dr. Gavin Wood in the video down below.

Phase 1: Proof-of-Authority (PoA) Chain

The Web 3 Foundation will initiate the process by launching the first chain candidate. This chain, while limited in functionality, can be seen as a proposal for the Polkadot Relay Chain, hence the central chain of the forthcoming Polkadot ecosystem. According to Dr. Wood, it is similar to a testnet that will eventually transition to mainnet. This chain candidate is a Proof-of-Authority chain, since it is completely controlled by the Web 3 Foundation. At this point, all validator nodes are controlled by the Web 3 Foundation. Furthermore, the Web 3 Foundation is in control of the sudo module, rendering it the only actor that can issue any kind of command. Therefore, during phase 1 the functionalities of the chain are limited to:

  • users claiming their DOT token [check out our how to video here]
  • DOT-holders signaling that they want to validate or nominate
  • the Web 3 Foundation updating the chain as it desires (sudo module)

Phase 2: Nominated Proof-of-Stake (nPoS)

Once the Web 3 Foundation is confident about the stability of the network and enough entities have signaled their interest to become validators, the second phase of the rollout is initiated via the sudo module. The chain will move from Proof-of-Authority to nominated Proof-of-Stake. Henceforth, the chain will be operated by a diverse and independent set of international validators. From that moment onwards, the functioning of the chain is subject to cryptoeconomics rather than people trusting the Web 3 Foundation. Nominated Proof-of-Stake is Polkadots’ version of Proof-of-Stake. In case you are interested in the different nuances of nPoS, check out this short intro to nPoS by our technical lead, Florian Liss.

Phase 3: Governance Modules

Phase 3 of the Polkadot launch process will be initiated once the network operates well with a large validator set. Again, this will be done by the Web 3 Foundation using the sudo module. This phase will introduce a number of governance modules:

  • Referendum Module: DOT holders can engage in the networks’ governance via a coin-weighted voting system.
  • Council Module: Council members are elected by DOT holders. They steer the legislative agenda and are able to remove dangerous updates.
  • Technical Committee: This module represents a non-voted body and is composed of members from the teams that implemented Polkadot. Their main objective is bug-fixing and fast-tracking certain upgrades.
  • Treasury: A pot of funds that can be spent through making spending proposals such as development, community activities etc.

In a last step, the Web 3 Foundation will remove the sudo module, placing the power over the network in the hands of DOT holders and ultimately rendering Polkadot a live, decentralized, permissionless network!

We hope that we could shed some light onto the Polkadot launch process for you. In case you want to hear it from Dr. Gavin Wood himself, check out this video:

The Polkadot Wiki is also a great source for anyone looking to dig a little bit deeper into Polkadot!

Successfully operating validator nodes for Kusama and Edgeware, both part of the Polkadot ecosystem, made us feel very excited about the Polkadot launch. We want to thank our nominators for their trust and very much look forward to act as a validator for Polkadot as well!

Our mission is to develop industry standards for convenient staking with compelling project selection while retaining the highest security standards. Polkadot is a top-notch project and we got a little something up our sleeve to make staking within the Polkadot ecosystem a seamless experience — stay tuned!

In case you have any questions, always feel free to comment or directly reach out to us via Telegram, eMail, Twitter or LinkedIn!

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