Join the Polkadot community

Polkadot is a 100% open-source project created to enable a decentralized
web and better society. Anyone can contribute.

Run a node and interact with the Polkadot testnet

If you'd like to play with Polkadot, you'll need to install and run the Parity Polkadot client.
Get the client at Parity’s Polkadot repo

Westend is the current testnet for Polkadot. By default, any node running on the Westend testnet will appear on

For details on Westend and other networks in the Polkadot ecosystem, see the Polkadot Wiki

The testnet allows you to create accounts, propose governance referenda, stake testnet DOT to become a validator or nominate other accounts as validators with your testnet DOT.

Connect your running node to the main Polkadot user interface to play around.

Get testnet DOT to stake by following these instructions on the Polkadot Wiki

If you don’t want to run a node, you can still interact with the network by using the explorer

Before interacting with the testnet, please read this legal notice

Getting Involved

From running a validator on Polkadot, to applying for a Web3 Foundation Grant, to joining the Polkadot Ambassador Program — there are many ways to engage with the Polkadot community.

Become a validator

1. Set up your machine

In addition to any usual CLI parameters that you run polkadot with, you'll need to add an extra two:

  • --validator This tells your node to try to validate when it sees itself as a listed authority on the network;
  • --key <SEED> This provides your node with a secret key that lets it know whether it's a listed authority on the network, and, if it is, lets it sign statements to authorise the creation of new blocks.

2. Apply to validate

New validators will be chosen every 24 hours on mainnet. You’ll need to create separate accounts for Controller, Session, and Stash keys on the Polkadot UI ( These accounts will be used to represent and control the validator node you just set up.

Next you will need to get some DOT from the faucet or by asking on Element. Assuming you have more DOT than the lowest staked validator or there is an open validator slot, you can register to be staked. A step-by-step guide demonstrating how to set up your accounts and bond your DOT is available on the wiki.

Want to become a validator? Read More You can see validator stats on Telemetry.
Get a grant to build the Polkadot ecosystem

Web3 Foundation provides grants to steward research and development of Polkadot and the Web3 tech stack. The program funds work on runtime modules and parachains, development tools, UI, protocol integrations, maintenance, and more.

Learn more
Apply for funding from the Polkadot treasury The Polkadot community supports projects that benefit the network with funding from the Polkadot treasury, an on-chain pot of DOT tokens. Submit a proposal for a project related to software, infrastructure, or app development, marketing, community outreach, educational initiatives, and more. Learn more
Become a Polkadot Ambassador Check out the post and apply to join the vibrant polkadot community. Apply to Become an Ambassador

Upcoming events

Want to host a Polkadot meetup in your city? Check out the resources and guides for hosting your own Polkadot meetup.

Host a Polkadot Meetup
Get your questions answered Join the Polkadot Chat or learn how to build on Polkadot.