The first-ever parachain auction on Polkadot is heating up, with leading projects from the Polkadot ecosystem competing for the coveted first slot.
On Monday, DFG Group — a global blockchain investment firm controlling $1 billion in assets under management — announced it had pledged 300,000 DOT tokens (worth $12.65 million) in support of Astar Network’s parachain bid.
Polkadot will use parachain auctions to realize its sharded proof-of-stake ecosystem. In order to secure a parachain or shard on the Polkadot network, projects compete in auctions by bidding to lock up large sums of DOT for the duration of a parachain slot’s lease. Projects competing for parachain slots distribute governance to tokens to users who contribute DOT to their parachain auction bids.
Astar Network, previously known as Plasm, is vying to build a decentralized application hub on Polkadot that supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Web Assembly-based smart contracts.
According to the Nov. 15 announcement, DFG has made the pledge through theBifrost’s Slot Auction Liquidity Protocol (SALP), which allows users to participate in parachain auctions held on both Polkadot and Kusama.
Bifrost’s SALP platform allows users to contribute to a wide range of parachain auctions, while also providing participants with liquid staking derivatives representing their underlying DOT contributions.
DFG founder and CEO James Wo commented that “aside from a very strong team, Astar addresses a critical interoperability issue and bridges Polkadot with Ethereum, which will bring a great number of experienced teams to this ecosystem.”
The company is an early investor in new and emerging protocols including Polkadot, Kusama, Avalanche, Solana and Near.
Astar is currently in the third spot in the first Polkadot parachain auction, which began on Nov. 11. Astar has a total of 6.6 million DOT worth around $281 million staked for its crowdloan, according to Dotmarketcap, which is tracking the auction progress.
Acala Network is currently leading the crowdloan race with 30.7 million DOT (roughly $1.3 billion) pledged. Moonbeam, an EVM-compatible smart contract platform, ranks in a close second place, also with 30.6 million DOT locked up.
DFG also pledged 500,000 DOT to Acala in early November before the auction commenced.
The first auction will run until Nov. 18 and the winner is decided by the Dutch candle method, with the precise moment of the auction’s close determined retroactively at the end of the bidding period.
The projects that win Polkadot’s first five parachain slots will go live on Dec. 17 and will hold the slots until there their lease period ends.