Polkadot’s first-ever parachain auction is heating up, with leading Polkadot ecosystem projects competing for the coveted first slot.
DFG Group, a global blockchain investment firm with $1 billion in assets under management, announced on November 15 that it had pledged 300,000 DOT tokens (worth $12.65 million) in support of Astar Network’s parachain bid.
Polkadot’s sharded proof-of-stake ecosystem will be realized through parachain auctions. Projects compete in auctions to secure a parachain or shard on the Polkadot network by bidding to lock up large sums of DOT for the duration of a parachain slot’s lease. Projects competing for parachain slots award governance tokens to users who contribute dot to their parachain auction bids.
Astar Network, formerly Plasm, is competing to build a Polkadot-based decentralized application hub that supports Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Web Assembly-based smart contracts.
According to the Nov. 15 announcement, DFG made the pledge via Bifrost’s Slot Auction Liquidity Protocol (SALP), which allows users to participate in parachain auctions on both Polkadot and Kusama.
The SALP platform from Bifrost allows users to participate in a variety of parachain auctions while also providing participants with liquid staking derivatives representing their underlying DOT contributions.
According to DFG Founder and CEO James Wo, “aside from a very strong team, Astar addresses a critical interoperability issue and bridges Polkadot with Ethereum, which will bring a large number of experienced teams to this ecosystem.”
Polkadot, Kusama, Avalanche, Solana, and Near are among the protocols in which the company has made an early investment.
Astar is currently ranked third in the first Polkadot parachain auction, which started on November 11. According to Dotmarketcap, which is tracking the auction progress, Astar has 6.6 million DOT worth approximately $281 million staked for its crowdloan.
Acala Network is currently leading the crowdloan race, having pledged 30.7 million DOT worth approximately $1.3 billion. Moonbeam, an EVM-compatible smart contract platform, comes in second place with 30.6 million DOT.
DFG also pledged 500,000 DOT to Acala before the auction began in early November.
The first auction will be held until November 18th, and the winner will be determined using the Dutch candle method, with the precise time of the auction’s close determined retroactively at the end of the bidding period.
Polkadot’s first five parachain slots will go live on December 17 and will remain in place until their lease period expires.