Polkadot Parachain Auctions 2022

Polkadot

Mar 24, 2022

3 min read

Polkadot Parachain Auctions 2022

Six parachains, winners of six auctions set to begin in six days for a lease period (LP)7. In this article, we will discuss the development of Polkadot parachain auctions for this year. But let us just remind you what these auctions are and how do they work.

What is Parachain Auction?  

Parachain auctions are auctions that are held on the Polkadot (or Kusama) relay chain to determine which blockchain will connect to the parachain slot. Once auction begins, then every project on the network is free to submit their bid to the relay chain.

How do Parachain Slot Auctions Take Place?

Parachain auction is a 1-week candle auction that is one auction that takes place every week. Polkadot governance leases individual parachain slots for a period of up to two years. At the end of this period, the slot will go back for auction, and the team bids for a slot again. These slots are fungible, and teams can secure an adjacent slot before their current lease period ends.

Auction Timetable

Each auction takes place over the course of 1 week and assigns a total slot duration of 96 weeks (divided into 8 12-week lease periods). The schedule is determined via Polkadot’s on-chain governance community.

Current Schedule and Parameters

The current schedule, enacted by referendum 39, had two more auctions scheduled for LP 7-14:

  • Block 9,070,110 (17 Feb)
  • Block 9,271,910 (3 Mar)

Likewise, the runtime includes a few parameters that, while changeable via runtime upgrade, we will consider as fixed for this proposal:

  • An LP is 1,209,600 blocks long (approximately 12 weeks).
  • An auction is for 8 LPs (i.e., a full lease is 96 weeks long).
  • At least 2/3 of the Council (on Polkadot, 8 of 13) can initiate an auction, however,
  • Root origin (read: referendum) is needed to cancel an auction.
  • The ending period for auctions is 72,000 blocks (approximately 5 days).

Parameters

  • Opening period: 27,00 blocks (just under 2 days)
  • New auction starts every 172,800 blocks (12 days)
  • This leaves 73,800 blocks between auctions (about 5 days, 3 hours)

Considerations

Number of Auctions

With Kusama's parachain count well ahead of Polkadot's and the network running smoothly, the Parity team thinks that it is safe to make a longer-term ramp up schedule for adding parachains to Polkadot. Based on the Kusama Polkassembly thread, this schedule should keep the number of parachains on Polkadot below 75% of that on Kusama.

This proposal suggests seven auctions per LP for the next 12 months (4 LPs). Kusama currently has 22 parachains running plus five more about to be onboarded in LP19. This proposal therefore assumes moderate growth in Kusama's parachain count, but any need to slow down auction cadence would have ample time for discussion/voting.

For Which Lease Periods

The first two auction batches were all for the next lease period after Polkadot's current LP. This was a trade-off between onboarding immediately (auctions for the current LP) versus losing part of your lease (when the auction is late in the LP, your parachain has missed the majority of one of its LPs).

With Polkadot's LP's length of 12 weeks, it can be a long wait for the first winners to onboard. Winners of auctions that are early in an LP might prefer to trade a few weeks of their LP and onboard immediately.

Lease Period (LP) 7, begun around 11 PM UTC on the 11th of March. Having explained this, please beware of any scam/phishing site.

A community driven curated list of potentially less-than-honest operators: https://polkadot.js.org/phishing/


DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. Staking, delegation, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk, and there is always the possibility of loss, including the failure of all staked digital assets. Additionally, delegators are at risk of slashing in case of security or liveness faults on some protocols. We advise you to do your due diligence before choosing a validator.

Subscribe to Stakin Monthly

The latest Proof-of-Stake news in your mailbox, once a month.