Chain Selection: Polkadot!

The title really says it all, but read on for details. Our last chain selection update left us with eight chains that we were researching. Over the past few months we have tried out various attempts on these chains and for some of those we have published experimental code. Throughout the research, none of the chains met all our cost and feature requirements to support the scale of social media. We wanted to expand the advantages of the class of messages that DSNP needed to succeed to other protocols as well.

Today Project Liberty announced an agreement with the Web3 Foundation to collaborate on DSNP. We are officially building a Polkadot parachain. You can read more about our approach in Introducing Frequency: A Parachain for Scaled Messaging. Frequency is not just for DSNP, but here we are going to focus on why we thought a Polkadot parachain was the best route for DSNP.

Polkadot and Cost

Cost is a recurring theme of blockchain and the search for an initial chain for DSNP. We believe in making sure the cost doesn’t limit growth or participation. Lower cost often results in lower security for the chain or an increase in centralization such as through a small set of validators. We were intrigued by Polkadot’s shared consensus model for parachains. Getting a new chain to have secure consensus is hard and expensive. Polkadot’s “relay chain” provides block validation at a fixed price. Future improvements in Frequency will provide lower cost for all and options to lower costs in the future.

If you want a deeper look at the economics of Polkadot, this talk on YouTube is a great starting point.

Polkadot and Energy

In addition to controlling the economic costs, Polkadot has a low environmental cost. While that comparison doesn’t include the cost of parachains, the vast majority of the environmental impact is covered because the majority of computationally intensive work is shifted to the Polkadot relay chain.

Polkadot and Substrate

Polkadot is built on Substrate, a framework for building parachains and blockchains. So while we are working toward a parachain, we can easily spin up independent networks for testing or early adoption without waiting to win an auction slot. Using Substrate allows us to follow

the successful open source model of sharing code with others from Polkadot to Kusama to other parachains. Together we can build a better foundation for everyone.

Polkadot Community and Ecosystem

Polkadot also means that we are not stuck in a vacuum. The community of parachains is growing with new parachains offering new use cases. We are excited about the potential of what the community will build from these building blocks.

We also appreciate the energy of the Polkadot community. We’ve gotten to interact with some of you at the Paris Blockchain Week Summit, and are excited to attend Polkadot Decoded 2022 in a few weeks.

Why Not [Favorite Chain Here]?

The DSNP roadmap has always included multichain support. While we are focusing on the Frequency implementation right now, if you are excited about a particular chain, please try out the concepts of DSNP on it and see how it works. We’d love to hear how it goes!

While not every chain works perfectly, we try to build DSNP to be able to work in many different blockchains and substructures. First we wrote an Ethereum implementation, and now the Frequency implementation specification will be coming soon. The core DSNP specification will continue to be implementation agnostic. We think Frequency provides unique advantages as the first production launch of DSNP.

What’s Next?

The work on Frequency is in full force. Follow the progress of the implementation of DSNP on Frequency in the DSNP Spec GitHub. Frequency has a GitHub to follow the development of the chain and we have a post introducing Frequency. Learn more about Polkadot in their wiki. We will have more concept posts coming soon about Frequency, the ideas behind it, and how they connect together.