The Polkadot blockchain protocol and its underlying ecosystem have their own cryptocurrency, DOT. It is used to aid in the security and consensus of the Polkadot Relay Chain and other network components (parachains, collators, fishermen, and nominators). DOT can be bonded using parachains, staked using validators, and used for a variety of other purposes. It is usually given to users who stake DOT to run a validator node. Through validator staking and other mechanisms, DOT assists the Polkadot ecosystem in maintaining a fair and transparent governance structure.