After the first successful parachain on Kusama is demonstrated, Polkadot will transition towards a complete main net launch, allowing for Wood’s dream of a scalable multichain platform to be completed.
The creation of parachains will be groundbreaking, but their viability must be tested thoroughly before deployment. Parachains are fine-tuned chains for specific purposes, and they benefit from a central security model (the Relay Chain), which protects them collectively from malicious vectors (such as a 51% attack).
An initial Shell parachain (an empty chain with no blocks) will be deployed to Kusama to test its basic functionality, mainly the upgrade mechanism via decentralized governance. Via this system, Shell will be voted into Statemine (a feature-rich parachain that allows assets to be hosted).
The final phase will be the parachain auction itself – completing these stages will demonstrate that both parachains and their purchase system are functional and viable for real-world usage.
Polkadot’s Scaling Vision
Scaling has been a problem that has plagued the cryptocurrency world time after time – it caused the Bitcoin Cash hard fork and has caused Ethereum fees to skyrocket. Right now, nodes in major blockchains have to process transactions one by one, causing a backlog with high fees. Polkadot, however, hopes to implement multiple parachains that run simultaneously, each with their own specific purpose.
Since they run parallel to each other (with a Relay Chain), the entire system becomes multiple times faster (with the possibility of hundreds of thousands of transactions per second), all while retaining the security of a single blockchain. Chains can also become highly efficient and specialized, as one chain doesn’t have to carry the data structures of other chains, thus allowing unnecessary metadata/assets to be dropped.