Polkadot does not support smart contracts initially, but a solution for this problem has been found. And although initially, the zero level of the system was created for inter-chain interaction, smart contracts have found their place in it.
Find out the specifics of implementing Polkadot Smart Contract into projects right now!
Polkadot offers two types of existing tools for smart contracts:
member networks which are smart contract platforms and are gradually joining Polkadot;
EVM implementation for smart contracts.
Traditional smart contract platforms have the following characteristics:
high development speed;
low deployment costs;
absolute control over resources in on-chain governance;
ease of use.
The Specifics of Parachain Control
A smart contract must be able to upgrade when the transaction conditions change. Often, this is quite complicated. Parachains allow changing the code by using root commands or the governance pallet.
The second difference is the operating principle. For example, Ethereum smart contracts exist as a target chain, and in the new blockchain, this happens autonomously, due to which anyone can use a smart contract and deploy their own startup or an existing application.
To write smart contracts, a program code is created that describes the logic of the transaction and the rules for its implementation. It is built using basic algorithm structures — forks and cycles. Anyone can write a code using development platforms which often results in errors. If a program works incorrectly or halts, it affects the on-chain governance.
In order to avoid the infinite looping or halting of the program code of a smart contract, Ethereum introduced gas fees for executing the code. This is a kind of transaction fee. If the smart contract account runs out of money, the execution stops.
Polkadot uses a different system — the weight-fee model. It allows limiting the use of resources by users.
Weight is a mechanism that allows controlling the time spent on block validation. Each block in the chain has a limited weight. In the Substrate environment on which the Polkadot code is written, 1,000 weight is one nanosecond in reference hardware. Thus, developers can determine the block weight, managing the speed of operations on their blockchain.
The control is integral to the foundation of a parachain: the system smart contracts pallet calculates the accumulation of weight for a block during its execution and monitors the restrictions, while the payment pallet calculates the fees based on these indicators.
This approach makes it easy to write smart contracts even when using the most difficult programming languages but requires great attention to detail.
What Are Smart Contracts Based On?
The base for deploying nested layer networks is Substrate. They are integrated into the Polkadot ecosystem, just like the smart contract pallet. As an alternative, an EVM pallet (Ethereum virtual machine) is offered. You can create a virtual machine compatible with the Ethereum blockchain on it.
However, the smart contract pallet offers more advantages.
WASM (WebAssembly) support
You write smart contracts in any language, and the main thing is that it is compiled in WASM. This means flexibility and freedom in the choice of tools. Of course, it is better to use existing and proven tools, but this approach makes it possible to create something better.
In order for the existence of a smart contract to be meaningful, it needs a financial base. Rent or deposit is usually used. In their absence, the smart contract is removed from the system, which saves its resources.
Each smart contract is hushed at the time of launch. This greatly reduces the overall load on the storage in the entire chain. The presence of a hashed version allows the service to function in a standard way – a smart contract can be created if a transaction is necessary.
Parachains That Support Smart Contracts
In order to support smart contracts, parachains strive to enter the Polkadot structure.
A separate blockchain that implements compatibility with the Ether network. Writing smart contracts is implemented on Inc! It appeared in 2020 and is developing successfully, as evidenced by the amount blocked for participation in the auction – 1.2 million ETH. Bidding is still pending, so everyone can take part in supporting the project on Polkadot. The startup device itself looks promising – a live network with protection from DDoS attacks and other hacking attempts.
The Moonbeam network
It is a smart contract platform that supports EVM applications created on Frontier. Its users can take advantage of the traditional Ethereum tools. The platform offers in-built support of DOT, ERC-20, and Chainlink.
It goes beyond the EVM environment by extending the basic service set and supporting on-chain governance, staking, as well as cross-chain integrations. It allows to re-deploy existing smart contracts without any rewriting or refactoring. So far, it has been launched on Kusama, and the auction is expected to take place very soon.
This is a multi-chain hub for smart contracts supporting DeFi, NFT, and DAO. This is a layer 1 network with several blockchains that are created by participants based on smart contracts. The hub supports EVM implementation and WASM. It is built using the Parity platform, and it implements the optimistic virtual machine to standardize layer 2 protocols. It focuses on the scalability of the horizontal (first) and vertical (second) layers. Layer 2 can be used to deploy any application — from DeFi to games.
This is a smart contract platform that is customized for DeFi, has built-in liquidity and offers ready-made financial applications. It can be upgraded without forks as requested by developers. It is based on the Substrate environment and offers Ethereum compatibility. The platform accepts numerous tokens, including USDC, USDT, DOT, aUSD, BTC, and ETH. Its sister network, Karura, is already being tested at Kusama, with 75,761 account holders.
It is a smart contract platform that ensures data privacy and offers complete contracts. The platform is positioned as providing data protection at all stages of the contract, providing access authorization, code integrity of smart contracts, availability regardless of the state of the environment and compatibility with external cryptocurrency networks.
This is a DeFi platform that allows users to roll out a smart contract by means of escrow. It is based on bridges that operate as liquidity pools. The main advantages are ensuring the interoperability of the pools and creating a decentralized lending service. Tokens are locked into the smart contracts that act as bridges between blockchains.
How to Become a Polkadot Member
Polkadot was designed as the Internet of blockchains. One of the main problems of the crypto economy is the lack of technology that would allow cross-chain integrations. Like the Internet solved a similar problem concerning computer networks, the relay chain should solve this problem between blockchains. The developers position this project as a unified protocol or a layer zero network that can be used to connect with a layer one sister network.
This approach helps to ensure security for exchanging data between various hubs. This is a WASM-based living and scalable network.
To activate the account, a user needs to have 1 DOT, which is the network’s utility token. A lower balance could result in the user being blocked. To participate in the auction to include your blockchain in Polkadot, you must be the owner of 5 DOT tokens.
The main concept of the Polkadot is the concept of a blockchain. It is a platform for creating private applications. The goal is to ensure consistent interaction, regardless of the implementation technology and proprietary protocols. Sometimes it can take the form of a blockchain, but this is not necessary. It’s just that many people are more accustomed to perceiving a cryptocurrency system. There are requirements for building the structure of parachains, for example, processing parallel transactions. Due to this approach, the underlying network is infinitely scalable.
So far, the project supports up to 100 slots for parachains. They are allocated in three ways.
Common good parachains
These are allocated by the system itself and are considered to be the common good for everybody. An example of these parachains is a bridge between blockchains.
For most projects, this is the only way to enter the Polkadot relay chain. Startups can bid with their own utility token or collect tokens from active participants and startup ambassadors using the crowdloan. For users, this is an opportunity to make some profit with a delayed effect. If the crowdloan has won the slot, all of the provided tokens are locked for two years. However, users will later receive these tokens together with interest thereon. Companies also try to attract investors by offering various rewards and incentives.
The space that the vicious rents is called a slot. If the entrance to it is too expensive and impractical, you can become a member of parathreads. Several networks are connected in parallel, while the owner, who allows blocks of other blockchains to himself, can take a commission, thus receiving additional income.
The Polkadot concept has great potential. If properly implemented, it can completely transform the entire blockchain system and take the cryptocurrency ecosystem to a new level. The first block of the network was launched in May 2020. So far, the system operates two test networks: Rococo is for sharding, and Kusama is for testing layer two blockchains. While Polkadot is still starting out, joining it is quite easy and relatively inexpensive. And this can be a great chance to assert yourself and join Polkadot in shaping the world of the future.
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