Polkadot’s native token has only been transferable for around a week, but it’s already proving immensely popular. The “new DOT” as it’s dubbed following a redenomination last week, has skyrocketed through the rankings to land in seventh place between Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, according to CoinGecko. The ranking reflects the current market cap of the project, which is currently valued at over $5 billion.
Perhaps tellingly, CoinMarketCap is proving slow to update its ranking tables to reflect the position of Polkadot. This could be down to the fact that CoinMarketCap was acquired by Binance earlier this year, and Polkadot’s success doesn’t necessarily reflect well on the BNB token, which is currently occupying twelfth position on the CoinGecko rankings but sitting in tenth on CoinMarketCap.
However, BNB is far from being the only token pushed down the tables by the success of DOT. In terms of development platform tokens, DOT is now second only to ETH in terms of its valuation. All other rival blockchains, including Cardano, EOS, Tezos, Cosmos, TRON, and Binance chain, now have tokens in lower positions on the rankings than DOT.
More than Hype
The launch of Polkadot was one of the most highly anticipated mainnet openings this year. However, it would be unfair to the project to say that the current token price is down to hype. The platform has been in development since 2016, having been originally conceived by Dr. Gavin Wood, one of the original co-founders of Ethereum and the creator of Ethereum’s Solidity smart contract programming language.
Dr. Wood went on to found the Web3 Foundation, which is the main sponsor of Polkadot, and Parity Technologies. Parity, which is now led by Ethereum’s original security chief Dr. Jutta Steiner, developed one of Ethereum’s most popular software clients but has also been the main development shop for Polkadot.
However, aside from the stellar credentials, the blockchain community has other reasons to be excited about the launch of Polkadot. The platform is fully interoperable, allowing any other blockchain to connect to its main relay chain as a shard using bridge chains. Therefore, Ethereum, EOS, or any other chain could interact with one another using Polkadot as a “meta-chain.” The sharding capability means it’s already capable of scaling to the level that Ethereum is aspiring to once the full ETH 2.0 implementation is complete.
These capabilities mean that Polkadot also already boasts a suite of applications that are starting to build on its platform. To date, the only blockchain that has attracted dApp development in any meaningful sense is Ethereum. In fact, a recent study from researchers based in London found that a significant proportion of transactions on EOSIO, Tezos, and the XRP Ledger are effectively meaningless, carrying no economic value.
In contrast, Polkadot has developers lining up to build dApps covering a variety of use cases. Some examples include stablecoin Acala Network, Joystream, a user-governed video platform, and Blink Network, for instant payments.