Acala — a decentralized finance (DeFi) consortium and a cross-chain hub planning to bring stability, interoperability, and liquidity to the mainstream, has launched the first shard — or Parachain, on the Rococo Testnet as per an update on Aug 21. The test network is the first on Polkadot — an interoperable sharded network; and is a few hours after DOT’s 100:1 re-domination.
The Rococo Test Network
The Rococo test network was launched earlier this month allowing developers to register shards (Parachains). They act independently but are part of the larger Polkadot ecosystem.
Available as a Proof of Authority (PoA) network, Rococo is a testing ground for shards that play an important scaling role in Polkadot.
As per a blog post on Aug 6, the test network was specifically designed to test the sharding functionalities like registration, security, and cross-chain messaging.
Polkadot Candidate 1 is Now Active
Describing today’s launch as a milestone, the Acala Mandala PC1 shard will be Polkadot Candidate 1 running on Rococo.
Although at the testing phase, the eventual launch of the Rococo mainnet will enable Parachain consensus through shared security made possible by Cumulus.
For the uninitiated, Cumulus is a consensus layer for Substrate that follows the Polkadot Relay Chain, running a node internally and dictating to clients and synchronization algorithms which chain to “follow, finalize, and treat as the best.”
Concurrently, cross-chain communication will be through Horizontal Relay-chain Message Passing (HRMP) whose messages are first routed through Relay Chains.
At the latter stages, direct shard communication will be done through Cross-chain Message Passing (XCMP).
Acala Focus on DeFi
Focused on DeFi, Acala can now test their suite comprising multi-collateralized stablecoins, derivatives, and DEXes, through a cross-chain consensus and message passing.
Most importantly, they will flesh out a cross-chain fungible token standard and further develop a cross-chain message format implementation. Additionally, they can now test Acala Collator nodes with other parachains like Plasma and Laminar.
The immediate plan after Mandala is for Acala to test staking capabilities on their Collator nodes and enable Homa staking derivative (LDOT) Relay-chain bridge on top of stepping up their cross-chain communication testing more so with other shards.
However, low DOT prices might fool investors and they must be wary of “suspiciously” low ones. Though most exchanges will represent DOT accurately, said Polkadot, there is a chance that some unscrupulous exchanges may choose to enact the redenomination prior to the date agreed by the Polkadot community, and thus report the apparent price at approximately 100 times lower than the actual market price.
The firm said it believes such action is irresponsible, possibly constituting fraud through deceptive advertising and certainly puts Polkadot stakeholders at risk.
As reported, Polkdot’s native coins, DOT, have been re-dominated and made transferable after a 100:1 split.