Polkadot Security

Have a (dumb) question on security. Lets assume a project on DOT becomes widely successful and generates much higher market cap than Polkadot itself. For example, lets pretend Bittensor actually executes on its plan and becomes an AI blockchain marketplace with marketcap higher than Bitcoin (not saying this is even remotely possible just hypothetical). Would Polkadot still be able to provide same level of security for projects with much higher market cap than itself? As bad actors may have an incentive to obtain over 50% of Polkadot to compromise the security of a much more valuable project than Polkadot itself?


I asked the same question about dapps and ERC20 tokens on Ethereum years ago and although it never happened there, I think it is worth contemplating this question.

On DOT it would basically mean that such a project could potentially obtain all parachain slots because it could outbid all others

Or it could dominate the set of validators on the relay chain with all the consequences (starve the competing parachains by degrading their block production?)

However, we should also ask what the benefit for that project would be. If I’d run that project I’d probably consider to change the consensus to solochain with its own PoS because the security would be higher than as a parachain of a less capitalized DOT relaychain

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my assumption is that such scenario is improbable. Cryptos work in a way where that first mover hoards the value, and all others’ growth is capped by the market cap of the first mover. If the platform’s sub-token would grow, it would raise the valuation of the platform.

e.g. in a similar way Polkadot will have troubles to grow beyond ETH2.0, unless new verticals will be found that are not facilitated by ETH.

Same goes for adoption, Polkadot has network effects, it has strong SEO, so the users will always discover and learn about Polkadot first and then sub-token second. I’m not 100% strong on this, but the tendency is there.

Parachains have a number of ways to solve this issue. One of it is to have the parachain obtain enough of DOT to make it infeasible for malicious actors to gain control of them to attack Polkadot (and the parachain).


Not that easy: obtaining “enough DOT” to protect the relaychain costs more than the less capitalized parachains can afford, because the “supercapped” parachain stakehokders may be able to afford to buy up a majority of DOT even at rising prices in this scenario.

Not 100% get what do you mean.

Are you saying that small parachain safety is a concern when big parachain are able to buy up a majority of DOT? Why will big parachain attack relaychain in this case?

Bigpara will not attack its own L0 security. But it could potentially bend it in its favor. Or destroy a competitor. Or coerce a smaller para into some action by threatening to destroy it otherwise. A majority of DOT can do everything that governance allows.

I’m not saying this is likely to happen. But the scenario in the OP would worry me for sure