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Getting Started with Polkadot

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An introduction to interacting with decentralized applications on Polkadot.

By: Squiffs Loading...

Getting Started with Polkadot

What is Polkadot?

Polkadot is a decentralized multi-chain network that was created by Ethereum cofounder Gavin Wood.

Polkadot functions as a “Layer 0” blockchain, meaning its base chain, also known as the Relay chain, provides security and interoperability to all of the Layer 1’s built on top of it. These L1s are known as parachains.

Onboarding to Polkadot

To use Polkadot, you must first create a wallet compatible with the network, such as SubWallet or Talisman.

Polkadot’s native token is DOT, so to begin using the chain, you must fund your Polkadot wallet with some DOT, which can be acquired on the Polkadot network by transferring funds from a centralized exchange (CEX) like Coinbase or Binance or through a native bridge solution like Acala.

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Exploring the Polkadot Ecosystem

Most of the top applications on Polkadot can be found directly in the dApp directory. Within the directory, you can explore dApps and parachains that are built specifically for their niches, such as DeFi, NFTs, real-world assets (RWA), and decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

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Polkadot dApp Directory

The user experience on Polkadot is similar to that of Ethereum and Solana.

When using the NFT platform KodaDot, for example, you can begin by connecting your wallet in the top right-hand corner using the “connect” button and then proceed to buy, sell, and browse NFT collections.

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Currently there are over 300 different dApps to choose from in the Polkdaot ecosystem. Out of these, some of the most popular applications include its cross-chain utility hub, Acala, DEX’s such as HydraDX and Beamswap, and DeFi lending protocol Centrifuge.

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