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Parachains are custom, project-specific blockchains that are integrated within the Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM) networks.


Parachains are the diverse individual layer-1 blockchains that run in parallel on Polkadot and Kasuma, connected to the relay chain and secured by the relay chain’s validator set. Since the relay chain is responsible for security, parachains benefit from these same base features. Parachains use cross-network bridges to connect to external networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Parachains can have a wide variety of designs and can be optimized for specific use cases. Parachains connect to the Relay Chain by leasing a parachain slot. These parachain slots are available via parachain slot auctions, by being granted a slot by Polkadot or Kasuma governance as a common good chain, or by connecting as a parathread.Parachains can be built for any blockchain use case, from DeFi to identity and supply chain, gaming and NFTs, IoT, DAOs, and much more. In other words, depending on their intended function, parachains can take on different forms.Parachains, in many instances, support their own tokens.

Parachain slot auctions

In order to become a parachain on Polkadot and Kusama, projects have to participate in a parachain slot auction.These will be candle auctions, using the currency of DOT tokens. Candle auctions have a termination point that is unknown to the bidders. While the auctions do have a scheduled beginning and end, bids will be counted according to a non-disclosed termination date within this time frame.


June 15, 2021
Polkadot holds its first parachain slot auction, beginning June 15, 2021 and concluding on June 22, 2021

Further reading


Everything you need to know about Parachain Auctions


June 20, 2021

Parachains Explained | What are Parachains on Polkadot & Kusama? | Kraken


Three Promising Polkadot Crowdloan Projects To Watch

Jacob Wolinsky


May 25, 2021

Documentaries, videos and podcasts


Kusama & Polkadot parachains explained in simple terms

April 27, 2021


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