Dot Leap 11

Polkadot's phase 2 begins, Hackusama, the god of all hackathons has launched, version and tool upgrades all around, and governance full speed ahead!

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Polkadot (v 0.8.13)

The vision of Polkadot


This post is part of an ongoing series introducing readers to the basic concepts and functionality behind Polkadot. For a brief introduction to Polkadot’s technical benefits, read Part 1 here.

Polkadot has moved into Phase 2 and is now being secured by a community of third party validators - the W3F validators have been phased out.

The next step is increasing the number of validators in the system and removing the Sudo module. Once this is done, the community can initiate a referendum to activate balance transfers, and Polkadot will finally be fully decentralized. Voting on referenda is now allowed, though only on Council and Technical Committee submitted referenda - public referenda are next!

Kusama (v 0.8.13)


Hackusama, the first-ever hackathon for the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems, has just started! ~40 more days to submit something awesome!

Seven in Seven


The Kusama treasury funded 7 teams in 7 weeks. We’re at the precipice of a new way of building blockchain tools and communities - on chain, through democracy, and funded by the chain itself. A full report is available in this post by council member Raul.

🚨 Something I didn’t know! 🚨

When nominating, if you set your reward payout destination account to a dead account (one which has not been instantiated by the existential deposit), the reward is burned instead. The system supports payouts only to alive accounts. The UI will now warn of this, but it’s a UI-level fix, so at the protocol level people still need to be careful.

That said, the account will be created if the reward is higher than the existential deposit. Caveat: on Polkadot, that means you need to be staking at least 18 DOT to earn more than 0.01 DOT per era.

⚠ Updates

  • Kusama is now running smoothly with 400 validators!

🏛 Kusama Governance

Digest of week of June 15th available here and June 22nd is here. These contain more details than the highlights below.

  • A user accidentally sent their Kusama tokens to their Ethereum address. Council was able to verify that the user owned the Ethereum address and fixed the mistake, moving their KSM to the correct address.

  • Motion 165 kicks off Forging Block's project for a Kusama Payment Gateway. The motion covers the first milestone of the project. Based on community feedback, the team split the payment by milestones. If passed, we should expect the first delivery at the end of July.

  • Motion 166 kicks off the vote for Usetech treasury proposal for M2 and M3, discussed this week. It’s sent to Council as treasury.rejectProposal due to a large amount of constructive feedback resulting in a UX pivot.

  • Runtime upgrade motion 168 was made into a referendum and voted into Kusama’s runtime. v2012 runtime includes a staking reward curves upgrade. The ratio on the ideal amount to be staked in Kusama will be now set at 75:25. Here is a summary of that discussion. More information on what the release includes can be found here on the release page.

  • While auditing/working on migration stuff, Alexander Popiak caught an error in one of the Democracy migrations on Kusama. There were still some old storage items under Democracy.VoteOf. Shawn Tabrizi opened motion 169 to kill the storage prefix for this item via a Root call to System pallet. Unfortunately, 169 is not propose external (meaning it does not go into the regular queue alongside public referenda). For this, he opened a new motion, 170 with the same goal. 169 has been rejected by the Council, and 170 has been voted in as an external proposal.

    Anyone can verify the existing storage items by querying Kusama under the prefix: 0xf2794c22e353e9a839f12faab03a911b02a7afbcd5cd4ad2c68bbc63279ae52e which is equal to xxhash("Democracy") + xxhash("VoteOf"). It was a typo in the migration code that would normally have cleaned this storage up.

  • Motion 171 is a new runtime upgrade for Kusama which, among other things, includes a bugfix for the transaction pool (see core stack below).

  • Referendum 69 - upgrade to 500 validators - has been downvoted in favor of a scheduled periodic increase of 2 validator slots per era.

🔩 Core Stack

🚨 Substrate 2 RC4 is out. The changelog is a recommended read for all users. Everyone should switch ASAP except Hackusama participants who should still use RC3.

( ͡✧ ͜ʖ ͡✧)

You can now spin up a testnet of two validators and a sentry node with a single command by running the Docker file in .maintain/sentry-node. Simply run docker-compose -f .maintain/sentry-node/docker-compose.yml up and enjoy. A set of monitoring dashboards is also prepared in .maintain/monitoring!

( ͡✧ ͜ʖ ͡✧)

🛠 Tools

  • Ryabina’s Telegram bot (for Kusama / for Polkadot) got some upgrades. Now be alerted if

    • validator changes its fee,

    • account has nominated some validator

    • validator account is nominated.

  • Polkadot JS Apps will now warn you if you try to bond your whole balance, thus locking yourself out of doing further transactions.

  • PolkadotJS Apps now shows balance info for accounts in the sidebar.

👨‍🎓 Education

  • A tutorial on moving Solidity contracts over to a Substrate chain with the EVM pallet:

  • The Parachain Implementers Guide now lives online as a static website.

🤝 Ecosystem

That's it for this week - I hope this was as useful for you to read as it was for me to write! Special thanks to Bill for his Daily Digest!

The Dot Leap is put together by Bruno Škvorc. Got any links for me for the next edition? Find me on Riot at, on Twitter, or via email at