The Web3 Foundation was launched a few years ago with a mission of nurturing “cutting-edge applications for decentralized web software protocols”. This is to serve the the new upcoming phase of the internet: Web 3.0. The latter will revolutionise the way data and privacy is handled by allowing users to control their own data, identity and privacy and decentralisation is a crucial step.
Shortly put, Polkadot is a sharded network that allows interoperability between blockchains. Its creator Gavin Wood, also the founder of the Web3 Foundation, has been working on Polkadot since late-2016. Prior to this project he has helped co-create the Ethereum protocol and was the co-founder and CTO.
Dr. Wood has stated: “I really hope we can create a whole new class of development teams and development application where you don’t have to know everything, you don’t have to do everything to develop your whole new blockchain. But you can do just enough that you do have a domain-specific chain that has its own parameterization and its own features that allow you to get a particular job done – and done well – that wouldn’t have been possible before because smart contracts are too bloaty and writing your own chain is too much work”.
The first chain candidate (CC1) has been released which may become the protocol’s mainnet; however this is not a certainty. Overtime there may be multiple chain candidates that are released if certain technicalities deem it necessary.
Polkadot CC1 has multiple nodes now functioning on it as well as several blocks having been created.
The network’s native asset: “DOT” has not yet been released and the 5 million DOTs sold in the 2017 pre-sale remain non-transferrable.