One core design principle of the Polkadot Network and other more modern Blockchains is to communicate and exchange value with other chains.
First-generation Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, on the other hand, are more like isolated islands. This interconnected multi-chain environment allows optimizing different blockchains for different use cases and communicating with each other.
With Polkadot's co-founder, Gavin Wood, who was previously the co-founder, and CTO of Ethereum, Polkadot follows the vision to drive the Web3 development forward into a future with many interconnected Blockchains.
Today the first Parachain Slot Auction was completed, and the Acala Network secured the first Parachain Slot.
Each week, a new parachain slot auction will be held in the following months, where the best projects compete for a place in the Polkadot Ecosystem. With Polkadot's unique Crowdloan mechanism, you can contribute as well. If you want to understand how Crowdloans and candle auctions work, I recommend reading my previous article, "What are Polkadot Parachain Slot Auctions and how to take part?"
But now we want to talk about different ways on how to fire your Crowdloan contribution.
There are three ways to Contribute to the Parachain auction and receive their native token as a reward. Each way to contribute has advantages and disadvantages; in the end, I will reveal my favorite way.
Option 1: Crowdloan via Exchanges (Beginner friendly)
The easiest and most beginner-friendly way to contribute is via your favorite exchange.
Some exchanges that are contributing possible are:
- Kraken (via Earn > Parachains)
Of course, there are also advantages to this way of contributing to the crowdloan campaign.
Advantages to join Slot Auctions via an Exchanges
- easy and beginner-friendly, you need to buy $DOT and can contribute
- Due diligence by the exchange, contribution only to the most significant projects.
Disadvantages to join Slot Auctions via an Exchanges
- Your DOT is locked for two years via an Exchange you do not have on your private address.
- You will not receive extra rewards like NFTs in Acala etc.
- Maybe there are fees.
If you are a beginner, you are overwhelmed and feel that going through exchanges is the only way to contribute; that's a good way for you. If you are willing to learn some new skills, dig a bit deeper, I would suggest one of the following options.
Option 2: Join Crowdloan Campaign via Project Website
You can also join your favorite project directly via the website of your favorite project. Acala already won a slot auction and is over, but you can join Moonbeam, for example. I will give a detailed explanation of how to get the most out (including bonuses) of it later on.
On the project website, you will need to connect your Polkadot Wallet to join the auction bid.
Polkadot.js is one of the Wallets that you can use to do so. I prepared a tutorial here on setting up your Polkadot.js wallet and transferring funds to it from your Binance account.
Usually, the process looks like this, which can vary a little bit from project to project.
I will give a step-by-step guide for the most popular projects later on.
1. You need to connect your Polkadot Wallet - e.g., Polkdot.js
2. You need to choose an account with $DOT on it and sign a message that you want to contribute
3. Choose your contribution amount (Minimum Contribution is 5 $DOT)
You also can choose a wallet address where you want to receive your rewards. In the case of Moonbeam Crowdloan, that is an Ethereum address.
4. Sign and send your contribution
Done, that's it.
Advantages to join Slot Auctions via Parachain Project Website
- You are holding your private keys to your lent DOT and your rewards. There is no dependency on a centralized exchange.
- you can receive additional tips like the Acala NFT
- you can maximize your bonuses and rewards through some tricks. (later more)
Disadvantages to joining Slot Auctions via Parachain Project Website
- Not as beginner-friendly as like through exchanges, but still doable.
- people will try to scam you, always double-check everything before you make your contribution
If possible, I would choose this path of contribution.
Option 3: Crowdloan directly On-Chain
If you do not want to deal with any third-party entities, there is also a way to contribute directly to the Polkadot Blockchain.
To do so, you again need one of the following Polkadot wallets with funds on it.
In this option, it's harder to claim your rewards, which may need an additional step, and probably you need to use the Project website, in the end, to claim what you deserve.
Advantages to join Slot Auctions via Blockchain Directly
- you never give up ownership of your DOT
- you never leave the blockchain by not using any third-party website. That is a very safe way to contribute.
Disadvantages to join Slot Auctions via Blockchain Directly
- not beginner-friendly
- can get annoying to claim the rewards
- claiming rewards may need the use of the project's website.
- no extra bonuses
Those basically were the three ways that contributors have to join one of the projects.
How to join ...
You can not, the crowdloan is over, and Acala is the winner of the first slot with a contribution of 32.515.980 $DOT or 1.285.681.858 USD. A historic moment. The Parachain Slot lease starts on Dec 18, 2021. If you want to know why Acala won, even if Moonbeam had a higher total contribution, in the end, read my article on how Slot Auctions work here.
Moonbeam has the best chance to win the next slot. From 22. November on it is not possible anymore to contribute to the Moonbeam Slot Auction. They raised 35.759.931 DOT Tokens or $1.442.913.232 and ended the possibility to contribute earlier. They are about to win the second slot if ASTAR is not 24.000.000 million DOT in three days. I am sorry you missed this opportunity. Now we are looking forward to seeing how the initial market cap of Moonbeam will be.
Four more slot auctions are happening until the end of the year, and Astar has excellent chances to call them Auction Winner.
Let's see how to contribute to the Astar Network.
Option 1: Directly through the Astar Network Site with 1% Bonus
You can directly contribute through the Astar Network Crowloan Website (Affiliate Link)
- Visit the Crowdloan page.
- Allow your page to use your Polkadot JS extension. If you did not set up your Polkadot JS wallet yet, you find a tutorial here. You will also find in the tutorial how to send DOT to your wallet.
- Select your wallet and choose the amount you want to contribute to the Astar Crowdloan.
- If you use my referral code, you will get a 1% bonus for using the referral link. My code is 1ExFmCkWP5nKMS6Di8rrEmdJquSUkcxrbuqm2aPmRMTEWsc
- Click 'Contribute Now.'
Option 2: Contribution through Parallel Finance with multiple Bonuses
If you contribute via my Parallel Finance Link, you will get:
- 5% bonus in PARA Tokens (you and I get this)
- 1 % Astar Bonus
- Early Bird ASTR Bonus for contributing
- 11/18/21-12/2/21 - extra 4%
- 12/2/21-12/16/21 - extra 2%
- By default, we will be giving Astar referral bonuses to Parallel users per Astar's distribution rules for referrers and referees. For every 1 DOT contributed, you will get 10 ASTR, in addition to the 1% bonus on contributions.
- After Parallel launches on Polkadot, users will be able to do mining on their locked ASTR.
Here are the steps.
- Visit the Astar Crowdloan Page on Parallel Finance
- Allow your page to use your Polkadot JS extension. If you did not set up your Polkadot JS wallet yet, you find a tutorial here. (insert link after writing the article) You will also find in the tutorial how to send DOT to your wallet.
- Select your wallet and choose the amount you want to contribute to the Astar Crowdloan.
- If you use my referral code, you will get the bonuses mentioned above. Here is my referral link and my referral code 0x8e65bdb67cbc9109b516d657fa47bf8c90008bc036b30f72b64618fd173bd0fb
- Click 'Contribute to Astar'.
In this tutorial, I explained three different ways how to contribute to other crowd loans. If you are not a total beginner, I suggest contributing through the project pages because it is an excellent combination of convenience and rewards.
Most of the crowd loans seem to be a good opportunity to make money. I made a detailed calculation and estimation on how profitable a Moonbeam Crowdloan contribution could be here. I will make estimations for other Polkadot Projects as well. Leave your Email address if you want to get informed about updates around that topic and my further Research around Blockchain and Cryptotopics.
There are opportunity costs since your contributed $DOT is locked up for 96 weeks till the lease end Oct 20, 2023, before you get your DOT back. Most of the more significant projects still seem to be good investment opportunities.
The article contains affiliate links. If you are using them, you and I will get a Bonus.
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Polkadot.js.org Wallet & Browers Extension https://polkadot.js.org/
Fearless Polkadot Wallet https://fearlesswallet.io/
Polkadot Wallets https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/build-wallets