It’s been almost one year since the start of the ecosystem’s signature parachain auctions.
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According to data from programming repository GitHub, Polkadot recognized more than 500 contributions each day in September — an all-time high for the multichain protocol. Simultaneously, data from Polkadot’s cross-consensus interoperability standard XCM show that a record 26,258 messages were sent between its parachains. In total, 14,930 contributions from developers were recorded on Polkadot’s GitHub in the month of August.
As told by project developers, 66 blockchains are now live on Polkadot and its parachain startup network Kusama. Since its inception, over 140,000 messages have been exchanged between chains via 135 messaging channels. Together, the Polkadot and Kusama treasuries have cumulatively paid out 9.6 million DOT and 346,700 KSM ($72.8 million total) to fund spending proposals in the ecosystem.
Parachains are individual layer-1 blockchains that run in parallel on Polkadot and are first tested on Kusama. Auctions for parachain slots are held in the form of crowd loans, with the position going to the highest bidding project. The first of its kind took place last November.
Moving forward, Polkadot founder Rob Habermeier has recently published a roadmap on enhancing Polkadot and Kusama’s scalability. Highlights include asynchronous backing, or the de-coupling of the extension of parachains from the extension of the relay chain, as a potential mechanism for cutting parachain block time by 50% while increasing block space tenfold. The upgrade, should it go live, will increase network speed to between an estimated 100,000 and 1 million transactions per second.
The asynchronous backing upgrade is scheduled for development on Kusama by the end of the year and then on Polkadot. Another network upgrade, which will introduce “pay-as-you-go” parachains, would theoretically combine launching a blockchain on Kusama with simultaneously launching smart contracts. The move would shorten the development process for building on Polkadot.