Hackernoon logoPolkadot and its Funky Family! by@falconite

Polkadot and its Funky Family!

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Rohit Chatterjee Hacker Noon profile picture

@falconiteRohit Chatterjee

Polkadot has been one of the most talked about blockchain projects in recent times. A host of innovative blockchain projects are being developed within the Polkadot ecosystem. What’s more, to the delight of investors, the project’s native token DOT has rapidly shot its way to the top 10 list of cryptocurrencies by market cap.

However, Polkadot is not a new project that has suddenly shot into the limelight. The team behind Polkadot actually had their ICO way back in 2017, when Bitcoin was yet to capture the public and media’s collective
attention and imagination.   

So What Exactly is Polkadot?

Polkadot is an open-source multi-blockchain protocol developed by the Web3 Foundation, an organization which funds research and development teams which are building the foundation of the decentralized Internet, or Web3.0. Over 100 developers have been employed by the Web3 Foundation to develop Polkadot.

Polkadot has been built on Substrate, a web application framework for creating decentralised systems. Polkadot connects private and public chains, permissionless networks, oracles, and other decentralized technologies. This will create an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information and transactions in a trustless manner.

The Polkadot network consist of an aggregated set of validators that leverage the technique of heterogeneous sharding for increasing throughput. Economic scalability is provided through a common set of validators which secure multiple blockchains, while transactional scalability is provided by spreading transactions across multiple parallel blockchains (or parachains).

What does it mean for DApp developers? Any type of arbitrary data can be transferred across Polkadot’s multi-chain application environment, just like real-world assets and tokens. Moreover, any blockchain can join the Polkadot infrastructure and interoperate with a wide variety of blockchains in the Polkadot network in a linear manner.

Some analysts are of the opinion that Polkadot might replace Ethereum as the de facto smart contract development platform in the future. While
Ethereum mainly aims to be a platform for distributed finance and smart
contract execution, Polkadot was designed to help developers build and
integrate entire blockchains. Though we’ll have to wait to see if the
prediction comes true, it is true that a variety of innovative projects are
being developed in the Polkadot ecosystem.

In this article, we will look at some of the new and funky projects being developed in Polkadot – a DeFi aggregator, a deflationary coin, an order-book based DEX, and an IDO platform.

Reef Finance

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Website: click here

Reef Finance is one of the latest projects making waves in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) world. Reef plans to be the one stop solution for all DeFi investors, by aggregating a range of DeFi investment opportunities over multiple platforms all under one roof.

Centralized exchanges (CEXs) are convenient to use, specially for first time investors. However, they offer limited DeFi opportunities, and are prone to hacks. On the other hand, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) provide a wider variety of liquidity pools and farming possibilities.

Unfortunately, DEXs are difficult to use and offer limited liquidity. Moreover, since most DEXs are built on Ethereum, they might end up charging exorbitant transaction fees depending on the price and congestion of the Ethereum network.

Reef plans to solve these problems by combining the best of liquidity that both the centralized and decentralized worlds have to offer. Reef’s ecosystem comprises of a smart liquidity aggregator, that forages the DeFi landscape and enables users to trade with access to liquidity from both CEXs and DEXs. The platform also offers various DeFi services, such as smart lending, borrowing, staking and mining.

To help users make informed choices while making investments, Reef will provide various baskets of DeFi tokens from multiple ecosystems. Each
basket will have a different risk level and expected profit. Furthermore, Reef’s Artificial Intelligence powered Smart Yield Engine will provide customized recommendations to Reef’s users, further helping them as they try to choose an investment best suited to their needs.

Reef’s vision is to encourage more people to explore the DeFi sector by making investment in DeFi far easier than it currently is. To this effect, Reef has already partnered with some of the biggest names from the DeFi
sector, including OpenDeFi, Kava, Hard Protocol and Avalanche. Once the product is launched, users will be able to access various features and scopes that these platforms all at one place.

Verum Protocol

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Website: click here

Inflation of cryptocurrencies has always been something of a thorn in the flesh of investors. The continuous unlock of tokens creates selling pressure, often leading to negative price action. Some projects resort to
periodic coin burns, where a certain portion of circulating tokens are
permanently destroyed, or ‘burnt’. Any crypto enthusiast would be familiar with Binance’s quarterly coin burns.

Verum Protocol is building the first deflationary coin on the Polkadot ecosystem. For every transaction that involves Verum, the smart contract will burn 2.5% of the total supply of VERUM tokens. The reduction in the supply of VERUM tokens with every transaction should prevent any tendency of increased selling pressure with time. No new tokens are supposed to be minted either, ensuring that Verum maintains its deflationary nature.

Verum’s team, which includes an ex-developer from Wanchain, has initially built their product on Ethereum. However, in a bid to avoid the excessive Gas fees that Ethereum transactions incur under high network traffic, Verum will migrate to the Moonbeam/Polkadat parachain once it’s launched in Q2 of this year. Being a part of the Polkadot ecosystem will also help Verum make use of their inter-operability features.

The team plans to introduce community governance features in the near future, where VERUM holders would be able to vote on changes in the
transaction model, such as the amount of tokens that are burnt with each transaction. Yield farming schemes are also in the offering.

Verum is a unique experiment in crypto token dynamics. With every transaction resulting in a reduction in token supply, it would be interesting to see how the yield farming mechanics, which typically involve multiple smart contract interactions, affect the token price in the future.

Polkadex

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Website: click here

Polkadex is developing a fully decentralized, peer-peer, orderbook based cryptocurrency exchange powered by Substrate, the same technology that powers Polkadot. While traders are already spoilt for choice when it comes to DEXs, Polkadex claims to have developed some unique techniques which solve some of the common issues that modern DEXs suffer from.

Front-running is one such problem. In a DEX, a trader can get prior knowledge of pending transactions by going through the list of broadcasted orders (which is public data). It takes a while for orders to get confirmed, depending on the gas fees associated with the pending transactions.

This allows professional trader with sophisticated hardware to exploit this situation by setting a higher fee for his transaction, to get ahead of others in the queue and make a profitable trade. Front-running does not happen in a CEX since the owners of the CEX are the only people who know the incoming list of orders.

Polkadex solves this problem by introducing feeless transactions, which
not only allows faster trade execution but also provides equal opportunity for anyone placing a trade on the orderbook. While this is economically impossible to apply on general-purpose public blockchains, an application specific blockchain network such as Polkadot makes this possible.

Another recurring problem associated with DEXs and liquidity pools (LP) is
impermanent loss, which happens when a user provides liquidity to a LP and the price of the deposited assets changes compared to when the deposit was made. Since the user is entitled to a certain share of the pool, he might end up getting less dollar value at the time of withdrawal than at the time of deposit.

Polkadex uses a protocol known as Fluid Switch Protocol (FSP), that switches between automated market making (AMM) and orderbook based
trading, ensuring that both liquidity providers and traders can seamlessly
access liquidity and providing guaranteed trades. This prevents both price
slippage (another problem associated with DEXs) and impermanent loss.

Apart from these features, Polkadex is also building trustless cross-chain bridges with Polkadot through Parachain and Ethereum through Snowfork, allowing token issues on both Ethereum and Polkadot to list their assets
on Polkadex.

Polkastarter

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Website: click here

IEOs have been the rage over the last couple of years. However, such IEOs are usually heavily lopsided towards users who hold native tokens of the exchange – the more tokens you possess, the higher your chance of purchasing the project tokens in the IEO.

As every centralized event has an equal and opposite decentralized
occurrence in the blockchain world, not surprisingly, IDOs were born. These offer investors both the comfort of knowing that the DEX has done its due diligence before listing the project, and the convenience of participating without having to hold huge quantities of any particular sort of tokens.

Polkastarter is a protocol for cross-chain token pools and auctions. In other words, it’s an IDO platform built on the Polkadot ecosystem, which enables projects to raise capital in a decentralized and interoperable manner.

Polkastarter allows users to make cross-chain swaps, powered by the interoperability the Polkadot ecosystem offers. This provides higher
throughput for faster and cheaper transactions while allowing users to remain connected to the Ethereum network and other blockchains for liquidity. Investors will be able to participate in a secure and compliant environment, and invest through assets that go beyond the current ERC20 standard.

Apart from these, Polkastarter offers features such as permissionless
listings, liquidity mining, token swaps through smart contracts, private pools with password protection, whitelisting features and high slippage price alerts for users. In the near future, popular auction techniques like sealed-bid auction and Dutch auction will also be supported by the platform.

Projects like MahaDAO, PAID Network and Bridge Mutual have already organized decentralized public funding rounds through Polkastarter. With the battle for the IDO space heating up in the presence of players like
Balancer and Bounce Finance, it remains to be seen if Polkastarter can carve out a niche for itself.

Let me know if I’ve missed out on any funky project being developed on Polkadot. Remember, the idea is ‘unique’ project, not ‘popular’.

PS – The author has no vested interest in Reef Finance, Verum Protocol, Polkadex or Polkastarter. The author doesn’t hold any DOT tokens either, a decision which he might repent in the future!

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