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Polkadot moves towards sharding as Acala Network secures first Rococo parachain slot

29 Mar 2021   #Polkadot

Polkadot’s vision for a sharded parachain ecosystem is moving toward becoming a reality. The Polkadot ecosystem continues to progress, with DeFi platform Acala Network becoming the first to win a parachain slot on the Rococo testnet. Acala, the self-described decentralized finance hub for Polkadot, announced it had secured the slot on March 26.

Acala was launched in January 2020, with the DeFi consortium striving to create a cross-chain open finance infrastructure for the Polkadot ecosystem. In February, Acala launched an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) based on Polkadot’s Substrate framework, facilitating interoperability with Ethereum-based assets.

The official parachain launch takes the platform a step further towards its goal of providing cross-chain interoperability on the rapidly expanding Polkadot ecosystem. Polkadot’s multi-chain “parachain” ecosystem will use sharded sidechains to process transactions in parallel. Parachains are acquired in an auction process whereby projects try to outbid each other for the slot.

Polkadot launched Rococo as a parachain testnet in August 2020 to test it’s inter-shard communication protocols before projects progress to deploying on Polkadot’s sister-network Kusama, and eventually the Polkadot mainnet.

Acala also has plans to launch a dollar-pegged stablecoin designed for use across any Polkadot-based project. A new Polkadot DAO Alliance has also been announced on March 26 to promote the development of decentralized governance in the Polkadot ecosystem. The Alliance was launched by eleven genesis members, including leading Polkadot projects SubDAO, Plasm, Phala, Stafi, Bifrost, Darwina, Zenlink, and DeepDAO. The alliance also hopes to establish a development fund for Polkadot-based startups, with the announcement stating:

“The Alliance will establish a DAO Ecosystem Development Fund with several million dollars to offer financial support for early-stage projects of DAO and Web 3.0.”

The rapid growth of Polkadot has propelled its native DOT token up the crypto market cap charts in 2021 as it has gained 250% since the beginning of the year, and is currently trading at $32.70 at the time of writing.


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