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A parachain is a term used in the Polkadot blockchain ecosystem to describe an application-specific blockchain that runs in parallel to the main Polkadot network, and is designed to communicate with and leverage the security of the Polkadot network.

In the Polkadot network, there is a main relay chain that acts as the backbone of the network, and multiple parachains that connect to it. Parachains are designed to be customizable, allowing developers to create specialized blockchains that can perform specific functions or execute particular applications.