How to Buy Polkadot (DOT) in 3 Simple Steps
Polkadot is a blockchain created with interoperability in mind. Its unique design lays the foundation for an "internet" of interconnected blockchains, and claims to offer improved scalability, security, flexibility, and privacy compared to competitors.
In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know in order to buy DOT, the native token of Polkadot. Read on for our three-step guide, as well as a more in-depth look at the project.
3 Steps to Buy Polkadot
1. Choose a broker or exchange
The most important part of buying any cryptocurrency, Polkadot included, is choosing a vendor that is safe, affordable, and easy to use. We’ve listed our top choices below to help you select the right platform according to your needs.
2. Create and fund your account
Signing up is generally easy, and simply requires you to input your personal details. To fully verify your account, you’ll need to upload a copy of your photo ID and sometimes a proof of address as well. Once you’re verified, make your first deposit using one of the available payment methods.
3. Buy Polkadot
Search the available markets for Polkadot, and find a trading pair with the currency you deposited (i.e. DOT/USD or DOT/GBP). Enter the amount of DOT you want to buy, then execute the trade.
Buy Polkadot in just a few minutes
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Where to Buy Polkadot: Compare the Top Platforms
Different investors prioritise different things, but it’s wise to choose a platform that strikes a balance between ease of use, security, and low fees. Here, we’ve ranked a few of the best crypto brokers and exchanges that offer DOT to help you make sense of all the available options.
What Is Polkadot?
Polkadot was created to enable different blockchains to connect and communicate with one another. The project’s central assumption is that in a decentralised future built on a number of different blockchains, there will be a premium placed on interoperability.
Polkadot acts as a base upon which developers can build their own blockchains (“parachains”), that then “plug-in” to the main Polkadot chain. These parachains can facilitate a range of different applications, from gaming and decentralised finance to NFTs. Polkadot can also “bridge” to existing blockchains, such as Ethereum—which, incidentally, was also co-founded by Gavin Wood, Polkadot’s creator.
The parachain model claims to offer greater flexibility for developers compared to competitors like Ethereum: decentralised applications (dApps) can have their own custom blockchains, rather than being constrained by the “rules” of Ethereum’s chain. This flexibility allows parachains to set their own parameters, such as being public or private, all the while benefitting from the security of the main Polkadot blockchain.
Ways to Invest in Polkadot
Polkadot investors may choose from a variety of different strategies depending on their risk tolerance, time horizon, and investment goals. In this section, we’ll briefly discuss your options.
Buy and hold Polkadot
This strategy involves simply purchasing Polkadot tokens and holding onto them with the expectation that they will gain value over time. This doesn’t require you to have the time or skills to actively trade the market, and can still generate returns if Polkadot’s price continues to appreciate.
If you opt for this strategy, you can also generate some passive income by staking your DOT tokens. Staking is a process where you “lock up” your tokens for 28 days at a time in order to help secure the Polkadot network, and are rewarded with newly minted DOT tokens for your trouble. Annualised staking rewards for DOT are typically around 5% in dollar terms.
Best Polkadot wallets
If you opt to hold DOT for the long term, you’ll want to set up a private cryptocurrency wallet. These are more secure than the free, web-based wallets provided by exchanges, and come in two varieties: software and hardware.
Software wallets such as Atomic Wallet and Trust Wallet allow you to safely store your DOT on your computer or smartphone, whereas hardware wallets such as those offered by Trezor, BitBox, and Ledger offer top-level security at varying price points. Ledger products also allow you to stake DOT directly from your wallet.
Traders aim to buy and sell Polkadot over shorter timeframes in order to generate profits. This requires skill, time, and effort, but due to the inherent volatility of the crypto market, there are plenty of opportunities for traders to exploit the price movements of DOT.
Exchange wallets, while less secure, are likely to be more appropriate for frequent traders, as regularly transferring coins to and from a private wallet can be inconvenient.
Should I Buy Polkadot Now?
If your vision for the future aligns with Gavin Wood’s, then investing in Polkadot could merit a closer look. However, whether or not you invest in Polkadot is ultimately your decision, and should be based on your own personal research.
If the future does indeed turn out to be multi-chain, then there is a chance that Polkadot could be heavily involved. By positioning itself as a collaborator rather than just a competitor, it could be argued that DOT has side-stepped the increasingly tense confrontation between the leading dApp blockchains such as Ethereum, Solana, and the Binance Smart Chain.
This approach means that regardless of which chain ends up being dominant, Polkadot still stands to gain from the success of the winner (or winners). By both bridging to other dApp ecosystems and hosting its own community of developers, Polkadot’s “internet of blockchains” has the potential to become a key piece of blockchain infrastructure.
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Frequently Asked Questions
There is a limited number of parachains that will be supported—approximately 100—so developers who wish to build projects in the Polkadot ecosystem must bid for slots. Bids can also be “crowdloaned”, whereby the community provides the bid upfront in return for rewards further down the line.
Substrate is Polkadot’s proprietary blockchain framework. Think of it as a blueprint that developers can use to design a Polkadot-compatible parachain.
Gavin Wood is the founder of Polkadot. Also a co-founder of Ethereum, Wood is a stalwart of the crypto industry and is involved in numerous other ventures including Parity Technologies.
Kusama is Polkadot’s “canary” network, a fast-paced, low-cost version of the blockchain used for more experimental uses. You can find out more about Kusama on our website.
Acala is the self-styled “DeFi hub of Polkadot”, a parachain designed to enable Ethereum-compatible decentralised finance on Polkadot. Acala was funded by a crowdloan.