Gavin Wood: Polkadot is a ‘bet against blockchain maximalism’

The Polkadot founder doesn’t buy into the narrative that we only need one blockchain.

Polkadot doesn’t have to be an “Ethereum killer” to succeed, according to protocol founder Gavin Wood. 

In a “fireside chat” with podcaster Laura Shin during the Polkadot Decoded business summit on Thursday, Wood was asked whether his protocol could exist alongside Ethereum given its lofty development goals and growing success in bringing on new developers.

Wood acknowledged that the blockchain ecosystem is big enough for both protocols, but said Polkadot is essentially a “bet against blockchain maximalism.”

He said the narrative surrounding Ethereum today is that “there only needs to ever be one blockchain,” but he added that he never bought into that concept.

“If Ethereum ends up being a chain that is sort of bridgeable [...] I think that there’s a very good chance that Polkadot and Ethereum will happily coexist.”

Polkadot is being built as a “network of networks,” with “bridging and connectivity” being the two key factors driving the creation of a more fluid ecosystem.

Founded in 2016, Polkadot is a multi-chain interoperability protocol that enables the transfer of any type of data or asset on its network. It’s sometimes referred to as an “Ethereum killer” due to the surge in active development on the platform and potential use cases.

The project’s initial coin offering, or ICO, generated $144.63 million in proceeds in 2017, making it one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns. Since launching its mainnet in May and following a successful redenomination of its token, DOT, in August, Polkadot has quickly emerged as a top-ten cryptocurrency.

At the time of writing, DOT had a total market capitalization of just over $4.8 billion.

During the more than hour-long conversation with Shin, Wood was also pressed about the possible legal implications of Polkadot’s so-called initial parachain offering, or IPO, which is being billed as a more transparent funding method for decentralized applications and other cryptocurrency projects.

Although Wood admitted that there have been no legal consultations on parachain offerings yet, he’s not too concerned with regulations because IPOs are more akin to staking than value transferring. He described IPOs as a “guaranteed lock-up situation and a guaranteed return when lockup is over.”

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