Polkadot introduces parachain functionality with Rococo testnet, a Proof of Authority (PoA) network, allowing users to send direct messages to the Relay Chain and other parachains as well as connect a Substrate-based chain as a parachain. The announcement on August 6 stated the testnet would start with three parachains – Tick, Trick, and Track.
Introducing #Rococo, a testnet designed for parachains!
With Rococo, developers can:
• Register a @substrate_io chain as a parachain and message the Relay Chain.
• Write logic for parachains to send messages to other parachains through the Relay Chain.https://t.co/8O2VMk2Emw
— Polkadot (@Polkadot) August 6, 2020
Polkadot (DOT) aims at scaling transactions across blockchains through sharding implementations on its parachain network. Sharding breaks down the data components on a blockchain, making them smaller hence a faster transaction speed. However, shards require constant communication between each other to enable cross-shard transfers and records not to be scattered as different blockchains.
This system is what Polkadot’s parachains aim to accomplish with the Rococo testnet, teased on August 4 by Parity developer Bastian Köcher. The testnet will work to improve the internal communication of shards within the Polkadot blockchain.
With Rococo, users will be able to register a Substrate, “blockchain building kit for other networks to interoperate as a Polkadot parachain,” and send messages across them. Additionally, users will be able to write logic on parachains and share these messages (tokens) across other parachains.
Rococo testnet integrates Polkadot with Cumulus and Horizontal Relay-chain Message Passing (HRMP). The latter allows messages and tokens to be sent and received between parachains and the Relay Chain. This testnet is the first step towards having an ecosystem of directly connected blockchains through the Cross-Consensus Message (XCM) format, which removes the need for a Relay Chain.
Not so Ready Proof-of-Authority (PoA) Network
Rococo employs a PoA consensus algorithm, a decentralized consensus mechanism that integrates an admin key. This is due to the incomplete state of the testnet. Dev leads at Parity Technologies will hold the admin key. The testnet kicks off with three internal parachains, tick, trick, and track, with custom parachains also interoperable.
However, the platform is yet to be fully stable, the Polkadot dev team warns, saying the Rococo testnet will be reset severally to check on it and upgrade it.
Recently, Polkadot holders voted overwhelmingly to create a 100x DOT split that saw the project raise nearly $45 million in a private sale of the resulting tokens.