Kraken

Polkadot & Kusama Parathreads Explained


Parathreads lower the economic barrier to entry for projects that wish to leverage Polkadot and Kusama’s network security, consensus mechanisms, transaction settlement functions and resources.

Access to parachain slots must be either won through a parachain slot auction (which may require a substantial amount of DOT or KSM) or in limited circumstances, may be granted a slot outside the auction process as a “public goods” chain. If a project cannot or is not interested in winning an auction, or does not want to commit to a fixed duration for parachain slot access (up to 48 weeks on Kusama and an expected 48 months on Polkadot), the project can instead access Kusama or Polkadot's network resources as a parathread. Parathreads provide projects “pay-as-you-go” access to the Polkadot and Kusama networks, with no fixed duration or up-front costs.
 

 

Parathreads are very similar to parachains in potential functionality, but they differ in the economical model. Each transaction a parathread commits to the Relay Chain requires payment of a fee that is larger than the fee being offered by other parathreads on the network. Because of this, parathreads may be a beneficial model for some projects (e.g., those that rarely need to commit transactions to the Relay Chain) while being problematic for others (e.g., those that must constantly commit transactions to the Relay Chain). 
 

Parachain parathreads

Parathreads vs. Parachains


Parathreads are very similar to parachains in potential functionality, but they differ in the economical model. Each transaction a parathread commits to the Relay Chain requires payment of a fee that is larger than the fee being offered by other parathreads on the network. Because of this, parathreads may be a beneficial model for some projects (e.g., those that rarely need to commit transactions to the Relay Chain) while being problematic for others (e.g., those that must constantly commit transactions to the Relay Chain). 

Importantly, when a parachain slot auction winner’s parachain access expires, the project must either obtain a new slot to continue operating as a parachain, or be automatically converted to a parathread. Thus, all parachain auction participants should familiarize themselves with the mechanics of, and trade-offs involved in, operating as a parathread.  

Parathreads may also be used by various other types of projects looking to leverage Polkadot or Kusama, including projects looking for an on-ramp to the network, projects that do not want to participate in a parachain slot auction, and projects that have more reads than writes.
 

 

 

Useful Polkadot and Kusama Parathread Resources


If you are interested in learning more about Polkadot and Kusama, please visit Kraken’s “What is Polkadot?” and “What is Kusama?” pages.

Ready to buy DOT or KSM? Check out our How to Buy Polkadot and How to Buy Kusama guides.

Also visit our Polkadot price chart and Kusama price chart.

Want more in depth information on specific cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects? If so, visit our Learn Center to further your education on this ever-growing space.


Kraken Parachain Slot Auctions on Kusama & Polkadot

 

How to participate in parachain auctions with Kraken:
 

  1. Sign up for a Kraken account
     
  2. Deposit or buy Kusama (KSM) or Polkadot (DOT)

     

  3. Navigate to Earn > Parachains

     

  4. Select the project you would like to support
     
  5. Enter amount of KSM or DOT to contribute
     
  6. Select contribute and confirm

 

Note: parachain auctions on Kraken are not available to residents of the US, Canada, Japan and Australia at this time.

 

 


How to buy KSM and DOT on Kraken

 

  1. Sign up for a Kraken account

    Enter a valid email address, username and a strong password to protect your account.

  2. Verify your account

    After providing your name, date of birth, country of residence and phone number, you can buy KSM and DOT with other cryptocurrencies. In order to use cash (i.e. USD or EUR), you’ll need to provide our experts with additional supporting documents verifying your identity. Read about our verification processes here. 

  3. Deposit cash or cryptocurrency

    You can fund your account in a number of ways. How you do so will depend upon your location and preferences.

  4. Purchase DOT or KSM!

    Once your account is funded, you’re ready to purchase your first KSM and DOT. At this point, you’ll also have access to our advanced charting tools, 24-hour global client support and the ability to utilize margin trading.


Parachain Auction FAQs

  1. How is a winner of the parachain auction determined?


  2. What happens to my KSM or DOT if the project I support wins?


  3. What if the project I support doesn’t win the parachain auction?