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Definition: Polkadot

A cross-blockchain protocol from the Web3 Foundation that allows public and private blockchains to interoperate. Created by former CTO of Ethereum Gavin Wood, the Polkadot protocol allows multiple chains of different designs to interoperate, and each chain can be optimized for a specific purpose. It allows any type of data to be sent between any blockchain design, both public and private, and DOT is Polkadot's native token.

By connecting multiple chains together, Polkadot bridges them into a so-called "sharded" network, although sharding has always been associated with dividing data (see database partitioning). Along with the cross-chain architecture, the Web3 Foundation touts scalability, ease of upgrading and transparent governance. See blockchain and Ethereum.