It’s a multi-blockchain world.
Crypto noobies are often puzzled by the number of different cryptocurrencies, getting a false impression that it is easy to create a blockchain, and therefore “the cryptos” have little value.
It is difficult to create a blockchain, and especially a blockchain that brings a new quality that other blockchains do not have. Bitcoin was the first one, but then Ethereum brought complex smart contracts, Stellar brought high-speed transactions and small fees using a variant of PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) consensus, while Binance Chain aims at doing this with a PoSA ( Proof-of-Staked Authority) consensus, Solana – with a PoH (proof of history) consensus, and Cardano – with PoS (proof of stake) and enhanced mathematics. Ripple was initially created to facilitate money flow between financial institutions, and Terra – to deploy algorithmic decentralized stablecoins…
Each blockchain has its advantages and trade-offs, as well as different ecosystems and projects that are being built on them. So quite naturally, in such a multi-blockchain world the focus is now on interoperability.
Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood understood the need for a multi-blockchain environment quite early and in 2016 founded the Polkadot project aiming at connecting networks, oracles and “future technologies that are yet to be created”. It has a complex structure composed of parachains (parallel chains), which not only work in parallel, but can also exchange arbitrary data, keeping cross-chain registries and performing cross-chain computations.
Last year Polkadot’s Genesis block was launched, and yesterday – after 5 years in development – the first 5 parachains went live (their slots were auctioned off in November).
It is not easy to make a blockchain, and the development of Polkadot’s parachains will show if its long years of development will pay off.