If you’re new to Polkadot, you might want to check out our recent article, What is Polkadot, which explains how the new smart contract and interoperability platform works, and some of its use cases.
Polkadot (and it’s experimental ‘canary network’, Kusama) are currently preparing to open up their parachains for auction, meaning that the projects who manage to raise the most funds (in the native DOT and KSM tokens) will win their space for at least 2 years. Fundraising will include crowdloans, where DOT and KSM holders will be rewarded with project-specific tokens by loaning their DOT and KSM in support of individual projects’ campaigns. In this article, we’ll take a more detailed look at some of these exciting new use cases that are looking to inhabit Polkadot’s limited number of Parachains.
1. SORA Network / Polkaswap - connecting cross chain finance
The SORA Network aims to become a kind of ‘decentralised central bank’, an efficient, all-in-one hub that hosts a large network of DeFi applications. With plans to occupy a parachain on both Polkadot and Kusama network, SORA will be one of the ecosystems that helps the Polkadot project to connect to other blockchains, such as Ethereum and Binance, by creating token bridges across ecosystems. Imagine a DApp (decentralised application) that allows you to lend, borrow, stake, swap, invest and spend your money across any platform, without the inconvenience of having to log in to different wallets / chains.
The network is already partially built, and currently hosts three tokens: the native XOR token, which will be used for transaction fees, staking and governance; the VAL token, which will be rewarded to transaction validators, and the PSWAP token, which, once minted and distributed, will reside in the middle of the network’s upcoming Polkaswap DEX (decentralised exchange).
Polkaswap will be the first DeFi application built on the SORA network, and will likely function in a similar way to Ethereum’s Uniswap, except with the addition of cross-chain swaps (ie. not just limited to Ethereum-based assets) and lower fees (due to the apparent scaling improvements in Polkadot’s design). PSWAP will be rewarded to users who provide liquidity to the network.
Another useful DApp being built on SORA is Fearless Wallet, a mobile wallet that runs on both iOS and Android, and aims to be the go-to wallet for safe storage and instant token swaps on both Polkadot and Kusama. The design focuses on making the entire DeFi ecosystem easier to access and easier to understand, with the Polkaswap platform being built into its user-friendly interface.
2. Acala - spend your money twice.
Acala is another DeFi hub that has plans to become a self-sustaining DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation), comparable to Maker DAO on the Ethereum blockchain. Also, like Maker, Acala are developing their own stablecoin, the Acala Dollar, which is fixed at the price of 1 US dollar, and will be available for use not just across the Polkadot ecosystem, but any blockchain in the space which bridges itself to Polkadot.
One thing that sets the platform apart though, is that Acala will allow users to release tokens called L-DOT from their existing DOT tokens, without the need to un-stake their DOT from the network at large. This means that users can speculate with their assets, without affecting the security of the Polkadot ecosystem, creating a true have-your-cake-and-eat-it scenario.
The decentralised financial hub of Acala is called Karura. Built with almost the same code as Acala, Karura (which takes its name from a type of Japanese Phoenix) plans to be the DeFi hub of the Kusama network, and, in true phoenix style, has the ability to constantly adapt and reinvent itself as more applications are built and linked to it by community developers.
3. Phala Network - Privacy for Web 3.0
Have you heard of Web 3.0? Much of what is being built now in the blockchain world is intended to be a contribution to this third evolution of the internet age, where artificial intelligence and decentralised applications allow users to not only interact with websites and applications, but to help build and refine them with their own contributions. User data, already a huge source of wealth and power in the modern world, will help mould these DApps and make them suitable for the individual needs of diverse users.
Phala Network is a very tech-heavy project that aims to do one ‘simple’ thing - protect user confidentiality across all interactions with Web 3.0.
Without going too deep into the tech, this basically means that users can launch and interact with smart contracts, use secure web analytics and benefit from Phala’s computational power all with a strict level of privacy that is guaranteed through Trusted Computing hardware. The platform was built as a response to the numerous data breaches across both the blockchain and traditional finance, and as an antidote to the hoarding of user data by large tech companies.
The network’s native token, PHA, has multiple use cases, including for network governance, staking and use of Phala’s confidential computing and transaction tools.
With over 300 projects being built on Polkadot at the time of writing, and 23 projects listed as planning parachain auctions, 2021 promises to be an exciting year for the Polkadot ecosystem.
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This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.