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Polkadot is an open-source sharded multichain protocol that integrates and protects a network of specialized blockchains, allowing for cross-chain transfer of any data or asset type, not only tokens, and thereby making blockchains interconnected. Polkadot was created to serve as the cornerstone for Web3, a decentralized internet of blockchains.Polkadot is a layer-0 metaprotocol that underpins and provides the format for a network of layer 1 blockchains called parachains (parallel chains). Polkadot, being a metaprotocol, may also update its own software autonomously and forklessly via on-chain governance, according to the will of its token holder community.Polkadot is one of a number of competing blockchains attempting to build a cryptocurrency ecosystem, other well-known examples include Ethereum (ETH) and Cosmos (ATOM).