Polkadot launches parachains, creator promises freedom from Ethereum ‘economic enslavement’

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The first set of Polkadot parachains is now live. Polkadot is an underlying ecosystem for connecting different blockchains. These individual networks run in parallel to create a harmonized, interoperable ecosystem, CoinDesk wrote.

Five years in coming

After five years in development, the launch is subsequent to the completion of the first five parachain auctions. This is a crowd loan system that accumulated vast amounts of DOT, Polkadot’s native token, from each blockchain’s respective community.

First five parachains focus on DeFi, loans, investments

Acala, Moonbeam, Parallel Finance, Astar, and Clover are the first parachains to go live. They are focused on a number of topics ranging from loans and investments to decentralized finance (DeFi). Ethereum cofounder Gavin Wood created Polkadot as a way to solve issues involving interoperability between blockchains as well as different use cases. Wood said:

No single blockchain design works optimally for every use case. Each chain comes with trade-offs making it good for some applications and not others. The parachain model was created with the belief that the future of Web 3 will involve many different types of blockchains working together.


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Polkadot will ultimately offer 100 parachain slots available for leasing. Additional slots will become available in sets over the coming months. Some will be allocated via parachain slot auctions, while others will be used for governance-enabled parachains. Acala cofounder Bette Chen said:

After taking a bet on Polkadot and the Substrate framework when we started building over two years ago, we couldn’t be more excited to be launching Acala’s parachain to provide a DeFi platform and native, decentralized stablecoin (aUSD) to the Polkadot ecosystem and beyond.

According to Acala VP of Growth Dan Reecer, the launch is the first step in creating a highly anticipated DeFi-fintech mashup with Current, a banking app, and other projects.

Newfound ‘freedom’ from Ethereum

At the end of last month, Wood delighted in the newfound freedom brought about by the completion of the first Polkadot parachain auction. He spoke to CoinDesk about the economic constraints of Ethereum smart contracts.

Wood said Polkadot’s economic leasing parachain model is the reason why users don’t need to know anything about DOT or even buy a platform token. This model is completely different from Ethereum and most of Ethereum’s competitors, according to Wood, who told CoinDesk in an interview:

The users of applications that are built on Ethereum are enslaved to it in an economic sense. These users have to own ether on Ethereum and oftentimes some other token that allows them to use whatever application that is built using Ethereum smart contracts. This is a huge limitation.