Polkadot Announces Imminent Launch of Parachains

Blockchain platform Polkadot has announced that it is approaching the launch of parachain functionality and the auctions and crowdloans behind them.

In an announcement on May 17, the world’s seventh-largest cryptocurrency project stated that it is nearing a milestone in its staged launch.

In order for parachains to launch as the fifth and final stage, two things need to happen. Firstly, a full external audit needs to have been carried out. Secondly, Kusama needs to execute at least one successful auction involving crowdloans and host at least one functional parachain.

Parachains are Polkadot’s version of side chains or shards, independent blockchains operating alongside and interacting with the root chain. Kusama is the testing and development network often dubbed Polkadot’s “Canary network.”

Final Stage of Polkadot Launch

Parity Technologies, the core team behind the development of Polkadot’s initial implementation, released Polkadot version 0.9 last week. This latest version includes the functionality for deploying parachains on Kusama.

It also includes the final logic for running parachain slot auctions and crowdloans, which can be used to crowdfund the auction bids. To “win” a lease for a parachain slot (which are scarce as only 100 are available), projects need to bid in an auction using KSM tokens. A crowdloan is a method by which a bidder can source tokens for their auction bids. The announcement added:

“The road to getting everything started on Kusama has already begun and is expected to be completed over the coming days in three steps.”

A “Shell Parachain,” or an empty parachain, needs to be deployed first to test if it produces blocks correctly. Secondly, it will be upgraded to become a “Statemine Parachain” following a governance vote. The third part of the process is the auction which can occur once it has demonstrated that parachains with transactions and consensus work well on the Kusama network.

There will be a two-month testing period when transaction limits are throttled to test reliability.

“As the code becomes faster and more robust, these artificial limits will be lifted and transaction volume will increase toward its theoretical limits.”

Three new features, beyond those originally envisioned for Polkadot, called “Parathreads,” “Off-chain XCMP,” and “Spree” will come after the testing period.

DOT and KSM Price Update

At the time of publication, Polkadot’s native token had fallen 1.4% on the day and is currently trading at $39.03. DOT has fared well during the market correction. It has retreated just 20.7% from its all-time high of just over $49 on May 15.

KSM tokens were performing even better, surging to an all-time high of $620 a few hours ago. KSM has cooled off a little as it is currently trading at $571.48.

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