About: Polkadot is built to connect private and consortium (Consortium is a word meaning "partnership", "association" or "society") chains, public and permission less networks, oracles, and future technologies that are yet to be created. Polkadot facilitates an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information and transactions in a trustless way via the Polkadot relay chain. Polkadot is a network protocol that allows arbitrary data—not just tokens—to be transferred across blockchains. This means Polkadot is a true multi-chain application environment where things like cross-chain registries and cross-chain computation are possible. Polkadot can transfer this data across public, open, permission less blockchains as well as private, permissioned blockchains. This makes it possible to build applications that get permissioned data from a private blockchain and use it on a public blockchain.
Polkadot may be considered equivalent to a set of independent chains (a set containing Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Namecoin and Bitcoin) except with important additions: pooled security and trust-free interchain transactability.
History: Gavin Wood, Thiel Fellow Robert Habermeier and Peter Czaban are the co-founders of Polkadot. Gavin Wood was previously the Chief Technology Officer and is co-founder of the Ethereum Project. That means that the owners of this project are already experienced people in this area.
Coin: The DOT token serves three distinct purposes:
Governance Polkadot token holders have complete control over the protocol. All privileges, which on other platforms are exclusive to miners, will be given to the Relay Chain participants (DOT holders), including managing exceptional events such as protocol upgrades and fixes.
Staking: Game theory incentivizes token holders to behave in honest ways. Good actors are rewarded by this mechanism whilst bad actors will lose their stake in the network. This ensures the network stays secure.
Bonding: New parachains are added by bonding tokens. Outdated or non-useful para chains are removed by removing bonded tokens. This is a form of proof of stake.