Parachains are individual blockchains (although they don’t necessarily have to be in the form of blockchains) that operate parallel within the Polkadot network.
They follow a “hub and spoke” architecture connected to Polkadot, allowing developers to create independent networks using the same framework as the main chain.
Substrate, a next-generation blockchain framework with web3 functionality, supports the technology behind parachains.
Parachains in Polkadot
Each parachain is linked to the main chain through the central Relay Chain, enabling independent operation while maintaining connectivity to the entire network.
A parachain can be treated like a regular blockchain, with its own functionality, token, governance system, and other attributes.
This means there is no need to create a separate validator community to maintain a parachain.
Enhancing Parachain Security and Connectivity
Collator nodes play a role in assisting validators in securing parachains.
Unlike validators, collator nodes do not secure the network itself.
They maintain a record of parachain data, select new block candidates, and validate inputs and statuses alongside validators.
Additionally, cross-chain message passing (XCMP) enables interaction between parachains and the main chains.
Due to the potential economic differences within a parachain compared to the broader Polkadot ecosystem, parachains can set their transaction fees based on the preferences of their respective communities.