Universal Faucet Integration: Polkadot

By: Jesse Abramowitz 
Blockchain Developer

It has been a while since I had been truly excited about a new blockchain. This is not to say applications. I think the applications on the blockchain are crushing it and there are some truly amazing products.

However, Platforms themselves…other than Ethereum have not excited me. In my mind they either sacrifice decentralization for scalability or copy Ethereum’s road map and call themselves a 3rd generation blockchain.

One current way to scale blockchains is horizontally. This means to create more blockchains that can burden the load. For this to truly work seamlessly users must be able to walk in between those blockchains as easily as they switch websites on the internet.

We also can see further issues with horizontal scaling. It is the difficulty, not to create a blockchain, that is actually really easy with the tools we have today. However, to truly decentralize, bridge and secure a chain is a vastly more complex situation.

You need to balance incentives and convince both users and network maintainers to hop on board whatever you are building. Once that is complete then you can actually build whatever application you had in mind.

Polkadot offers a fascinating solution to this. They do scale vertically with a higher TPS than Ethereum but they also offer a horizontal scaling solution. Polkadot was built with Substrate. Substrate is a bunch of node modules that allow you to build your own blockchain fairly fast and customize it.

In the core substrate modules you are connected to Polkadot. As well, you can borrow from Polkadot’s consensus security. Thus, if I now want to build my own chain I do not have to worry about the bridge or the security.

I can customize and deploy a specific chain for a specific use case. We have seen this model pop up with Ethereum and some other really cool projects. For example, Burner wallet is all the rage and for good reason. It allows you to spend DAI by bridging over to the PoA network. Thus the burdens of gas are reduced astronomically. With Polkadot the creation of specific blockchains for this use purpose will have a lot of friction removed.

Well, not only does Polkadot excite me, it left me staring up at my bed unable to sleep imagining a world with as many blockchains as websites communicating with each other. After spending a few hours deploying my own demo parachain, I knew I wanted to get my hands wet with Polkadot itself, so it’s been added to our Universal Faucet!

Blockchain

Tokens

Chain: Alexander

Why this Blockchain?

  • They didn’t have a faucet yet and it will be an amazing chain.
  • I love anything by Parity

Getting coins

  • The community was super nice, after we demoed what we built people were tripping over themselves to send us more DOTs

Sending a Transaction

  • This wasn’t bad at all, the documentation was pretty decent. I personally had an issue with some older packages
  • The JS package are getting updated quite frequently, the blockchain is new not even mainnet so constant updates are a good thing, makes it a tad bit challenging trying to use it though

Technical notes

  • The Endpoint we were using was a websocket which was really cool. Should make updates from the network easier
  • We had to force a disconnection from the websocket after we send a transaction.
if (provider.isConnected()) provider.disconnect()

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Jesse Abramowitz is a Blockchain Developer at BlockX Labs. He has worked on multiple DApps, projects, and Blockchain Networks. Currently, he is also a professor at George Brown College in Toronto. He is always looking to help, teach and build on the blockchain. You can reach him at: [email protected]

BlockX Labs specializes in building developer tools and solutions for blockchain ecosystems.We aim to sift through the noise to bring some sense and clarity into the Blockchain space. Our accomplishments include AIWA — a wallet and DApp interaction tool for the Aion Network, and Universal Faucet — a test token faucet for Ethereum, Aion, and Tron.

Follow Us on Twitter: @BlockXLabs

Disclaimer: BlockX Labs is a recipient of a Web3 Foundation Grant to build Enzyme — a dApp wallet for the Polkadot Network. This was announced on Wednesday March 29, 2019.

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