The Polkadot blockchain is a multi-chain blockchain that is designed to bundle multiple chains together so that they can be executed in parallel. The goal is for every block on the Polkadot blockchain to contain multiple blocks from other chains. This will enable the network to contain the transaction information from multiple chains and dramatically increase the overall interoperability between different blockchain networks. Polkadot was created by the Web3 Foundation, which is led by Gavin Wood, one of the founders of Ethereum. Polkadot is their flagship project, and aims to solve the issues in the blockchain ecosystem related to disjointed governance and interoperability.
IRISnet is a blockchain network that is built on top of Cosmos. It aims to enable the integration of off-chain computing, as well as greater inter-operability across blockchain networks. IRISnet uses the Tendermint protocol as a consensus mechanism.