is one of the best-known projects within the crypto space. It is similar to projects such as Ethereum (ETH)
and Solana (SOL)
, but slightly different.
Ethereum and Solana are seen as layer-one blockchains or standalone blockchains that can be built on. Lots of crypto projects you know about are probably built on Ethereum, like UniSwap (UNI)
, for example.
Polkadot, however, is seen as a layer-zero blockchain. A blockchain on which other projects can build their own blockchain, to create a network of layer-one blockchains. It complicated all, but the bottom line is that other cryptocurrency projects can also be built on Polkadot.
That is exactly what we are going to talk about today: the top 5 biggest cryptocurrencies on the Polkadot blockchain. So read along quickly!
1. Polkadot (DOT)
Of course, the DOT token is the largest cryptocurrency on the Polkadot ecosystem. Polkadot provides a foundation to support a decentralized web, controlled by its users, and to simplify the creation of new applications, institutions and services.
The Polkadot protocol can connect public and private blockchains, permissionless networks, oracles, and future technologies, allowing these independent blockchains to share information and transactions without trust through the Polkadot Relay Chain.
Polkadot's native DOT token serves three distinct purposes: staking for operations and security, facilitating network governance, and connecting parachains (other blockchains on the Polkadot chain) through a bonding mechanism.
2. Kusama (KSM)
Kusama is a case in point. Kusama, self-described as "Polkadot's wild cousin", is an experimental blockchain platform designed to provide a massively interoperable and scalable framework for developers.
Kusama is built on Substrate - a blockchain-building kit developed by Parity Technologies. Kusama has almost the same codebase as Polkadot - one of the most successful interoperable blockchains.
Implementing on Kusama gives fast projects access to a highly scalable, interoperable sharded network, with features not yet available on Polkadot. To this end, Kusama describes itself as a "canary network".
The platform is intended as a testbed for developers looking to innovate and deploy their own blockchain and can be used as a preparatory network before launching on Polkadot - although many projects choose to stay with Kusama for their final product.
Kusama benefits from a low barrier to entry for deploying parachains, and low binding requirements for validators, and is mostly used by early-stage companies and for experimentation.
So simply put, Kusama was established as a test network for Polkadot but is now starting to take on a life of its own as some developers choose to stay on Kusama.
3. Moonbeam (GLMR)
Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract parachain on Polkadot. Moonbeam makes it easy to use popular Ethereum developer tools to build or reinstall Solidity projects in a Substrate-based environment.
Moonbeam is much more than just an EVM implementation: it is a highly specialized parachain that mirrors Ethereum's Web3 RPC, accounts, keys, subscriptions, logs, and more. The Moonbeam platform extends the basic Ethereum feature set with additional features such as on-chain governance, staking, and cross-chain integrations.
4. Moonriver (MOVR)
Moonriver is Moonbeam but on the Kusama network. As discussed earlier, Kusama is actually meant to be a test network, and in this case, it is actually used that way. New code arrives at Moonriver (MOVR) on Kusama first, and if it works well, then the new code is implemented at Moonbeam.
5. Acala (ACA)
Acala is an all-in-one decentralized financial network offering a blockchain platform secured by Polkadot.
The project includes a set of cross-chain financial applications that allow users to trade on Acala Swap, issue self-service loans with the Acala Dollar stablecoin (AUSD), become liquidity providers, access strike derivatives with Liquid DOT strike (LDOT), and earn high-yield APY on their digital assets.
The network is scalable, Ethereum-compatible, and optimized for DeFi. Also, the network is fully controlled by Acala Token (ACA), which also serves as a utility token for the operation of the network.