Ethereum
$385.62 -4.60%
ETH · 1w

Ethereum Blockchain Killer Goes By Unassuming Name of Polkadot

LISTEN TO ARTICLE Photographer: Ulrich Baumgarten/Getty Images Photographer: Ulrich Baumgarten/Getty Images

While Ethereum has become the blockchain of choice for many of the digital-asset world’s hottest cryptocurrencies, a next generation network is capturing the attention of application developers.

Created by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, the innocuously named Polkadot platform has seen the biggest jump in active developers of all major crypto protocols, according to a recent report from Outlier Ventures. While developer interest in Bitcoin and Ethereum has declined, the number of monthly active developers building on Polkadot increased by 44% in the 12 months ended in May, the report found.

“It absolutely does stand out, from the sheer standpoint of design as well as the size of the community around it,” said Wilson Withiam, an analyst at crypto researcher Messari.

Some 253 projects, ranging from so-called stablecoins to social networks, are being built on the network, which was launched in May, according to tracker PolkaProject. That’s up from fewer than 200 in early September.

Instead of operating apps through smart contracts -- relatively small pieces of code running on the Ethereum blockchain -- Polkadot allows each app developer to create her own blockchain that can talk to other ledgers. Developers can decide what kind of transaction fees to charge and how fast to confirm blocks of transactions across the digital ledgers.

“We are going to see a lot of different innovative products that can’t exist in a sm...

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