Relay Chain

Understanding the Relay Chain

The Relay Chain serves as the central chain within the Polkadot network.

Polkadot is designed as a heterogeneous multi-chain and translation architecture that enables the connection of specialized and public blockchains within a unified network.

Role of the Relay Chain

The Relay Chain’s primary role is coordinating the overall system and the interconnected parachains.

Parachains are individual layer 1 blockchains that operate in parallel on the Polkadot network.

Unlike the parachains, the Relay Chain deliberately maintains minimal functionality and does not support features such as smart contracts.

Transaction Types in Polkadot

In the Polkadot network, validators stake the native DOT tokens and validate the transactions on the Relay Chain.

This architecture allows for various transaction types that enable validators to engage with governance mechanisms, participate in parachain auctions, and utilize nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS).

Parachain and Parathread Specialization

Most of the computational tasks within the Polkadot network are delegated to specific parachain or parathread implementations, tailored to handle specific use cases.

Polkadot does not impose constraints on what parachains can do, except for the requirement that they must generate a proof that the assigned validators can validate.