2021 parachain launch on Kusama: Data and Insights

The most recent parachain launch on Kusama was characterized by fierce competition among participants. There were 5 parachains from June 15 to July 20, 2021, and four-fifths of the teams surveyed intended to go live on Polkadot (DOT/USD). Each auction continued for 7 days (2 day starting period and 5 day candle auction or bidding period). This article lists all the important data and insights surrounding the 2021 launch.

18 crowdloans registered to participate

That’s how many crowdloans registered to take part in the auctions. What’s more, 19,017 unique accounts funded them. Crowdloans are simple modules that allow projects to attract decentralized support for their parachain. Tokens are gathered on behalf of the teams. The Relay Chain holds and secures them.

Project types

The most popular project types at the launch were confidential cloud computing, smart contracts, and DeFi infrastructure. A total of 1,320,458 KSM were contributed. Slightly less – 1,114,629 KSM – were locked until May 13, 2022. Almost half of all the tokens were locked in staking.

Participants overpaid for many of the slots, which was a positive development because a higher number of tokens was distributed and project value increased. Among the key insights was that parachains have the potential to evolve into DAOs, raising and collecting funds during their operation.

Candidate production rate

The target rate of one block produced per parachain for every 2 relay-chain blocks was achieved. Over the long term, the goal is to improve parachain protocol to allow for more block time because validators and collators don’t have enough time to produce a parachain block at the moment, which makes the system vulnerable.

Impressive network connectivity

Nodes are randomly selected to check parachain block validity. There were 900 validators on Kusama, which 200 being randomly selected to take part in parachain consensus at every session. The majority of validators are overconnected. Those that aren’t have more than 100 connections in every case. Parachains weren’t near peak transaction volume, and the average network bandwidth across validators was very stable, ranging from 400 to 500KBs.

Infrequent finality stalls emerged as the only issue during the latest parachain launch. It will be resolved before parachains are launched on Polkadot.

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