Polkadot has recently rolled out the final stage of its roadmap: parachains. These customizable blockchains are bid for via parachain slot auctions. The first winner, Acala, has attained a coveted place in crypto history, being the premier project to deploy on Polkadot. 

As the world’s leading infrastructure provider, Blockdaemon is committed to supporting Polkadot’s parachain technology. To this end, we use our industry leading infrastructure to support Acala

Blockdaemon offers high-quality validators to support Acala. Acala is a revolutionary parachain project delivering a seamless liquidity solution to Polkadot. 

In this post, we’ll help explain just what a parachain is, to bring some context around this successful launch. 

Polkadot Parachains: A Primer

Polkadot is at the frontier of crypto innovation. In 2014, Ethereum took the industry by storm by first introducing programmable money, using smart contracts. Now, seven years later, Polkadot ushers in fully programmable, deployable blockchains. 

Polkadot has gathered huge interest to date. Blockdaemon is here to give you an overview of this powerful addition to its ecosystem.

Polkadot’s Architecture 

Parachains are the self-sovereign blockchain islands connected to the Polkadot blockchain. 

Parachains create blocks of transactions which are sent to validators operating on the Relay Chain. These validators confirm that the blocks can be added as a permanent addition to the ledger. The result is that all parachains enjoy the same level of rigorous security guarantees.

Parachains 101

Parachains allow developers unprecedented access to custom blockchain infrastructure. We have already seen the successful roll out of parachains on Kusama. This proved that the technology works on Polkadot’s live canary network.  

However, for a parachain to exist it must inhabit a parachain slot. There are a limited number of such parachain slots available in the network. This scarce resource means projects need to compete for space. 

Occupying a slot is necessary to guarantee that blocks produced will be included at every Relay Chain block. Occupying a parachain slot is determined by a parachain auction.

Parachain Auctions

The bedrock of these custom parachains is the social contract between each project and its community. Community members show support for a project by locking-up their crypto for a substantial length of time. 

In return, supporters enjoy the spoils of success through the native token of that parachain project. This democratic, decentralized form of crowdfunding is a key factor in deciding who wins a parachain auction. Winning this auction grants the right to a parachain slot

Parachain slot durations are capped at 2 years and divided into 3 month periods. 

By splitting each period into a 3 month duration, the protocol can cater to both big and small players alike. Projects attract DOT to support their bid for a parachain slot. 

Parachain auctions supported with large amounts of liquidity support have a higher chance of being selected. 

Bonded DOT is illiquid throughout the parachain duration. It cannot be unlocked until the auction is finished.

Wrap-Up 

As the premier blockchain infrastructure provider, Blockdaemon supports innovation.

We are excited to provide validator support for Acala, improving liquidity in the Polkadot ecosystem. We also operate Polkadot infrastructure. Be sure to check out our marketplace for a full overview of available Polkadot ecosystem infrastructure available for purchase!