Paper 2020/641

Overview of Polkadot and its Design Considerations

Jeff Burdges, Alfonso Cevallos, Peter Czaban, Rob Habermeier, Syed Hosseini, Fabio Lama, Handan Kilinc Alper, Ximin Luo, Fatemeh Shirazi, Alistair Stewart, and Gavin Wood


In this paper we describe the design components of the heterogenous multi-chain protocol Polkadot and explain how these components help Polkadot address some of the existing shortcomings of blockchain technologies. At present, a vast number of blockchain projects have been introduced and employed with various features that are not necessarily designed to work with each other. This makes it difficult for users to utilise a large number of applications on different blockchain projects. Moreover, with the increase in number of projects the security that each one is providing individually becomes weaker. Polkadot aims to provide a scalable and interoperable framework for multiple chains with pooled security that is achieved by the collection of components described in this paper.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Contact author(s)
handan @ web3 foundation
2020-06-03: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Jeff Burdges and Alfonso Cevallos and Peter Czaban and Rob Habermeier and Syed Hosseini and Fabio Lama and Handan Kilinc Alper and Ximin Luo and Fatemeh Shirazi and Alistair Stewart and Gavin Wood},
      title = {Overview of Polkadot and its Design Considerations},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/641},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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