The prices of DOT and KSM — the native tokens of the Polkadot and Kusama networks — have increased over 140% and 540% respectively since the start of 2021 as Polkadot edges ever closer to its rollout. The first Kusama slot parachain auction is taking place next week, from June 15 to 22.
Polkadot — created by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood — is a blockchain protocol that connects multiple specialized blockchains into a multi-chain network. In the Polkadot ecosystem, individual blockchains, or parachains — blockchains in parallel — connect to and are secured by the “Polkadot Relay Chain” and will share in the security of the entire Polkadot network.
The relay chain is the heart of the Polkadot protocol. Given the limited number of parachains that can be supported on the relay chain, slot auctions are being used to select the parachains to be added to the relay chain — first on Kusama, followed by the Polkadot network. Kusama is built as a fast-moving “canary in the coal mine” for Polkadot.
A number of teams are developing parachains in the Kusama and Polkadot networks, each optimized for various purposes, such as smart contracts, DeFi and NFTs.
Stake Technologies, the company behind the Plasm and Shiden networks — multi-virtual machines scalable smart contract platforms supporting layer 2 applications like rollups — has been one of the most active contributors in the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems.
The Singapore-based company, which aims to become one of the first Kusama and Polkadot parachains, today announced a US$10 million fundraise led by venture capital firm Fenbushi Capital. Other prominent investors include Hypersphere Ventures, Gumi Cryptos and Nobuyuki Idei, the former CEO and chairman of Sony.
“I am proud of our fundraising story and token distribution. We have raised 0 cent from people. Instead, we have done lockdrops, crowdloan, and raised funds from institutional investors. The net profit of community contributors is always positive,” said Sota Watanabe, Stake Technology’s CEO and founder of the Plasm and Shiden networks, in a recent tweet. “This is crypto for me.”
Stake Technologies intends to deploy the fresh capital to support the participation of Plasm Network and Shiden Network in the Polkadot parachain auctions and expand its geographical footprint in the U.S. and Asia.
Polkadot has been especially popular in China, largely because of Wood’s star power, given his association with Ethereum and the Web3 Foundation’s strong funding support for Polkadot projects in the country.
Ethereum Virtual Machine is now, but WebAssembly is the future
“Plasm is focusing on smart contracts because the Polkadot relay chain, the heart of Polkadot, does not support smart contract functionality,” Watanabe told Forkast.News in an interview. “Plasm Network and Shiden Network are going to be a smart contract hub on Polkadot and Kusama.”
“We have a cross virtual machine, so we are going to support Ethereum Virtual Machine as well as WebAssembly, and we are going to make them interactive so anyone can deploy Solidity contracts or any smart contract on the Plasm network,” he added. WebAssembly is an open standard that allows developers to write code in any language and deploy the code on the web.
“Ethereum Virtual Machine is now but the future is WebAssembly,” Watanabe said, echoing Polkadot’s founder Gavin Wood’s recent comments at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 that it was important to support the Ethereum Virtual Machine given its wide use by blockchain developers. But, he added: “it’s not foolish to start thinking about where the next thing is, and that for me is using WebAssembly as smart contracts.”
Multi-chain is the future
Watanabe sees the future as multi-chain, and he is excited by the possible use cases that a parachain offers. “We would like to use Bitcoin for purchasing NFT or using Ethereum for possible payment, and so on… by using cross-chain messaging passing, we can have a lot of new innovative use cases that we have not ever seen before.”
“In the future, the blockchain will be connected just like the Internet of today and Polkadot is going to be a protocol of connecting blockchains,” Watanabe said, adding that work on bridging Polkadot with other blockchains such as Cosmos and Ethereum through Plasm Network has been underway.
According to Watanabe, a big difference between Polkadot and Cosmos is that Polkadot parachains can rely on the relay chain’s security in addition to sending and receiving tokens seamlessly from one parachain to another.
What’s next after the Kusama parachain slots auction
The slots auction is a core feature of Polkadot and Kusama, Watanabe said, adding the more tokens are locked on a network, the more difficult it would be to tamper the network.
“Once we win the auction, we are going to launch the mainnet very soon and we are going to connect our mainnet to Kusama mainnet for 11 month… and after that KSM token will be returned to users who joined the crowdloan and the auction,” Watanabe said.
“I think I’m one of the first Polkadot and Kusama contributors, and we have been waiting for this moment for more than two years, so this is a very significant moment and very exciting,” Watanabe added. “Polkadot will be fully functional after supporting parachain, so this is really the start of the Polkadot new journey.”
See related article: Binance Labs invests in Plasm Network to expand Polkadot