Handwritten by Gavin: Polkadot’s achievements in 2021

The holiday is here again, and as the New Year approaches, let us quickly review the achievements of the Polkadot project in 2021 .

Looking at it now, it seems to be a tradition to start by looking at the amount of code of Polkadot’s core technology . The Polkadot ecosystem is developing rapidly, and the core of Polkadot is certainly not bad. The Substrate repository that supports Polkadot and Kusama relay chains and every parachain in the ecosystem only takes up 500,000 lines of code. Adding to the size of the Polkadot, Cumulus, and Smoldot code bases, our line count has reached a little over 750,000. But more and more work falls outside these three main repositories.

There are many tools that can help use Substrate-based chains, including for processing transactions, viewing the history of the chain, checking what is going on, or helping to test the chain. Together, these are about 300,000 rows, and the total is far more than 100. Million lines .

Handwritten by Gavin: Polkadot's achievements in 2021

Over time, the Polkadot code base has grown larger. The large green area shows a lot of logic written during the year, mainly to ensure that Polkadot’s sharding (for scaling) is both secure and decentralized, although this is a difficult combination.

But there is more: In the field of smart contracts, including Ink contract language and tools, and Substrate EVM (Ethereum) compatible platform Frontier, there are about 200,000 lines. For Polkadot-JS, the JavaScript-based API, UI, and some implementations have another 600,000 lines. Even if you only look at the core code, Polkadot may have more than 2 million lines of code. These codes are distributed in implementation, tools, user interface, and key functions. Considering Polkadot’s grand vision, this may not be surprising, but this is still a quantity. Amazing code. Because last year, I estimated that it was around 600,000.

Today, nearly 10,000 developers are on Element’s Substate and Parachain technology channels, up from 2,600 12 months ago. More than 300 individual contributors have made more than 6,000 individual improvements to the Substrate code base. It has attracted more than 6,000 stars from the entire developer community, and has forked about 2,000 times, both of which doubled in this year .

In terms of Polkadot’s staking, the number has also increased a lot. Last year, we had approximately 6,000 nominated accounts to protect the security of the Polkadot network. This year, in addition to the improvement of Substrate’s staking logic, there are more than 20,000 nominated accounts on Polkadot, and a total of 297 validators have been selected to maintain network security.

At the time of writing this article, Polkadot Treasury has issued nearly 200,000 DOTs to teams and individuals, and Kusama Treasury has issued approximately 70,000 KSMs to teams and individuals, with more than one thousand individual funding proposals. Currently, Polkadot Treasury’s DOT exceeds 22 million, and Kusama’s Treasury is approximately 500,000 KSM. For more information, you can check the doTreasury website, which is also a project funded by the State Treasury.

At the end of this year, we saw 31 Substrate-based mainnets are now online . All parachains on Polkadot and Kusama have created nearly 3 million user accounts and are run by 6,000 validators. There have been 540 non-fork upgrades, most of which have been carried out through decentralized governance processes.

From an investment perspective, our ecosystem is also continuing to grow rapidly. We estimate that there are about 350 teams now (250 more than last year’s estimate). In 2021 alone, there are about 50 teams that have raised a total of more than US$670 million in early funding (seed round and A round) .


2020 is a crucial year for Polkadot. With the launch of the mainnet, we have been facing great challenges in 2021. However, I don’t think 2021 has disappointed. We have had an incredible year, launching Parachain, Slot Auction and Crowdloan not only on one but two relay chain networks. Kusama went live at the beginning of this year, and Polkadot went live in December.

Before Polkadot and Kusama can host parachains, special logic needs to be designed and written to ensure that each parachain runs at an equivalent security level with the relay chain. While maintaining scalability, improving this security through adequate decentralization is a task that cannot be underestimated. After the sharding logic of Polkadot is completed, it needs to be online to a chain in a real environment before the parachain can be started.

I want to make it clear that we are trying to convert a single chain into a “multi-chain” of shards. Not only that, but also the so-called heterogeneous multi-chain, where each shard is dedicated to efficiently accomplishing specific tasks. Not only that, it must also be done on a real network with a total value comparable to most of the Fortune 500 companies.

If the power of the WebAssembly meta-protocol is questioned, then this passage will definitely be a powerful counterattack . Substrate’s governance and real-time system upgrades make almost impossible things so simple, which is very magical, at least in the blockchain field. On block #7,229,126, each node of the Polkadot mainnet was upgraded to the runtime 9110 version with the support of a decentralized voting process. Thousands of nodes distributed all over the world are run by thousands of different people. From maintaining a “normal” single chain to helping run sharding heterogeneous multi-chains, the time required to generate blocks and create the next block is only It took six seconds, which set a world record on multiple levels .

Soon after this, Polkadot’s first parachain “Shell” was launched. The job of the Shell chain is to warm up a parachain seat so that it can be upgraded to a public welfare parachain Statemint in the future, which has been launched in late December. In addition to Statemint, several community parachains have also been launched. In order to choose which teams can start first, 5 parachain slots were leased to the team with the highest bid in the two-year lease.

Polkadot completed the first five Auctions and saw them go online a few days ago. Polkadot also completed the final stage of the online process. All in all, in order to lease the first few slots, more than 100 million DOT (106 million, 9% of the total supply) has been locked for two years. As a result of our extensive testing on the Rococo testnet, all five parachains on Polkadot and Kusama are already in operation, and blocks are produced as soon as their slots go live.

The other six Auctions are underway, starting on December 24 and will end on March 11. Unless there are major technical issues, Polkadot Auction will not stop in 2022.

At the same time, Kusama now has 20 parachains up and running on it, and more than 3 million KSMs have been locked for 12 months, accounting for 31% of the total supply. For more information about Parachains, please visit the Parachains.info website.

With the introduction of parachain, Rococo’s initial positioning as a parachain logic test network has ended. However, it will have a new role as the center of the community parachain testnet, which was also a project initiated not long ago. Community teams can test their parachains on Rococo and test their XCM and other technologies in a risk-free environment.

In 2021, we will also see the launch of some important third-party services. Two powerful multi-chain indexer services, SubSquid and SubQuery, have been launched and have been widely adopted in the ecosystem. SubSpace and OnFinality launched their Kusama archiving plan, using Web3 technology to archive all chain data in the entire Kusama parachain ecosystem. In terms of institutions, Deutsche Telekom announced its participation in the security and maintenance of Polkadot. At the same time, they also announced that they have obtained DOT tokens and are running validator nodes as a way to promote Polkadot and XCMP. About 12 months ago, in early 2021, Fireblocks (a cryptocurrency custodian based on service organizations) also announced its support for holding and staking DOT.


While the features and functions of Polkadot are under continuous development, in 2021 we will also release several core parts of the Polkadot ecosystem puzzle . The new metadata format is a huge change for many developers in the ecosystem, minimizing development friction and reducing the chance of bugs.

Metadata is essential for checking, understanding, and trading between various systems connected to Polkadot, Kusama, and Substrate-based parachains. Whether it’s block explorers, dashboards, mining operations, exchanges, or user interfaces, you need to have an in-depth understanding of what the business logic is doing on the chain. Since the Substrate chain is heavily customized for its specific work, it usually introduces complex data types to effectively represent the information they process, so this arduous task becomes more difficult. The upgradeability of Substrate makes this more difficult, which means that these data types may change at any given time through on-chain upgrades to the core logic.

With the new metadata system, Rust language developers who are writing business logic on the chain can easily ensure that all remote systems (usually written in different languages ​​and running on different platforms) have a deep understanding of these differences Data types, the whole process will be perfect and easy, and you can understand any changes that may occur at any time.

Another major delivery of Polkadot this year is the second version of XCM . Polkadot’s message format allows different consensus systems to interact easily. XCM v2 is the first “production-ready” version of XCM, and it debuted on Polkadot last week. It converts Polkadot governance upgrade instructions into Statemint parachain content.

The current main purpose of XCM is to allow multiple forms of asset transfer between chains, and to provide a general transaction layer that allows mutually understood chains to interact with their specific functions. It also brings version awareness, allowing the chain to upgrade at its own time without worrying about losing contact with other people who upgraded before. It also contains several features to provide protection in the event of unexpected errors, from error detection and reporting to a special “safety net” that can capture unexpectedly unused assets at the end of the message.

Polkadot’s staking technology will also continue to evolve in 2021. The number of nominated accounts it can support has tripled from 6,000 at the end of 2020 to 22,000 at the peak of this year. This is mainly achieved through a change to ensure that pledge elections can be conducted in multiple stages.

FRAME, API and framework allow easy combination of business logic modules on the chain, and have also been fully upgraded, so now all modules use cleaner and more idiomatic program macros. In 2021, it added several modules, including Assets and Uniques, which unlocked Polkadot’s abilities in tokens and NFT respectively. The Statemine and Statemint chains will use these modules for their core feature set.

Many low-level improvements are also quietly incorporated into the Substrate code base, especially the production preparation of ParityDB. Our highly optimized blockchain database is designed for the Substrate chain that requires maximum performance. The tools, especially the weighting system-the reason why the Substrate chain does not require a smart contract platform for slow dynamic measurement-have been honed and are ready to be released.

Smoldot has also been improving in the background. Smoldot started as a part-time project and is an alternative implementation of the Substrate/Polkadot node. It aims to run particularly well in resource-constrained environments where it is impractical to keep large databases and execute every transaction. Smoldot has proven that it is feasible to use Polkadot and its Substrate-based parachain in environments such as web pages and Raspberry Pi.

Social Media & Website

One of the first things that happened last year was that the on-chain governance of the network approved the rebranding of Polkadot. A few months later, Polkadot became the world’s first global decentralized system where more than 2,000 DOT holders voted to determine their own brand. Use a secondary voting system to balance DOT ownership and personality, and try to ensure that the results are broadly appealing.

Polkadot’s online growth has been growing rapidly in 2021: the website has about 2 million page views, of which about a quarter are independent users, which is about four times the total number of the previous year. Twitter’s fans have increased by more than 10 times at the same time, from less than 100,000 at the end of 2020 to more than 1 million now, and WeChat subscribers have increased from 18,000 (2020) to nearly 50,000 now, which has almost tripled. At the same time, Kusama’s Twitter fan base has grown from approximately 30,000 to over 200,000, a slight increase but still more than 500%.

The total number of other media channels is also growing. Polkadot Reddit now has 70,000 members, while Discord has 20,000. The YouTube channel now has more than 40,000 subscribers and 1.1 million viewers have watched 126,200 hours of Polkadot educational materials. In the past twelve months, we have published hundreds of articles, news and videos related to Polkadot and Substrate.

At the same time, Polkadot Wiki underwent some major renovations in 2021. 160 contributors created its content, with 1.5 million visits and 3.2 million page views throughout the year. The Ambassador Program will continue until 2021, and the total number of candidates and ambassadors has increased to 2,391.

Obviously, the Element chat room is not the best forum for round-the-clock technical Q&A, especially in terms of the ability to search for previous answers. We see Stack Exchange as a potential utility that can help in the near future. After just a few months of “self-certification”, we already have the Substrate beta Stack Exchange website. Thank you very much to everyone who participated in this work.

Polkadot party

Despite the epidemic, we still saw many community events this year. There were nearly 400 gatherings (offline and mixed) around the world. The most popular event was the event held in Lima on December 15th. RSVP alone had 500 events. Piece. Community-led online events also accounted for the majority, with hundreds of people attending, and more than 1,500 people registered for the Polkadot Korea gathering.

However, Polkadot Decoded in May of this year is undoubtedly the largest conference in the Polkadot community. It invited more than 40 speakers chosen by the community, covering everything from parachains and NFTs to privacy and identity. More than 27,000 people have registered for the live broadcast, four times the number in 2020.

However, Decoded is nothing compared to the recently held Parachain Launch Party, which is the largest Polkadot event in history. 220,000 people watched the event, and the winning Parachain founder and some key figures behind Polkadot shared it.

Polkadot and Substrate are also the topics of some of the largest conferences in the crypto ecosystem. They appear in major conferences such as Coindesk Consensus, Messari Mainnet, Unfinished Live, Paris Blockchain Week, ETH Denver, EthCC Paris, Blockchance Europe, and Digital Euro Summit.

In 2021, in China, together with the community and local partners, we organized more than 50 online and offline events and speeches, including being invited to attend some of the most high-profile blockchain events, such as the Wanxiang Blockchain Summit, the World Blockchain Conference and CNBC Global Technology Conference show Polkadot and Substrate to the world.

Handwritten by Gavin: Polkadot's achievements in 2021

2021 Wanxiang Blockchain Summit

In 2021, more than 1,000 developers participated in one of ten Substrate courses, and 70% of them graduated. At the same time, four hackathons have been held in the ecosystem, and 50 teams are developing projects in our ecosystem. 10 of them have won relay chain slots, such as Acala and Astar. Some teams are bidding for these plug-ins through Crowdloan. groove.

In addition, twelve teams graduated from the Web3.0 training camp. These teams were selected from more than 50 projects in the United States, Europe, and China. The training camp is an incubation and education re-operation plan. It includes four online groups, regular check-in, numerous promotional activities, public lectures and one-on-one meetings. It provides the team with the greatest chance of success by providing a full range of help. Alumni teams such as Acala and Moonbeam have successfully obtained parachain slots on Kusama and Polkadot.

Substrate Builders: working side by side with the project

The Substrate Builders Program is booming: 163 new teams applied for seats in the program in 2021, and 36 of them were lucky enough to be admitted. Over the past year, the project team has conducted 53 technical reviews, 11 of which have completed all the set milestones.

Some of the highlights of this year include Ajuna Network’s launch of a fully functional SDK for combining Unity and Unreal with Substrate. Bit.Country, a metaverse and gaming platform, has also completed its first milestone, confirming its economy, governance, and the final logic of the global NFT market. SubSpace (a scalable platform based on Substrate for storage and computing) has completed the initial work of its novel consensus mechanism Proof-of-Archival-Storage and launched the Aries test network, which is their goal for this great new technology Test net.

In terms of infrastructure, the privacy-oriented DeFi middleware stack Automata Network completed the first milestone, launching the ERC20 token cross-chain bridge and the ContextFree canary network.

In terms of assets, Chainflip Labs (a cross-chain asset exchange expert) crossed their second milestone and deployed their technology and their main State-chain testnet on the Ethereum testnet (naturally based on Substrate!). Firefly (dTrade), the decentralized exchange that brings fast transactions to DeFi, has reached their third milestone, deployed on Kusama’s Moonriver, and finalized its deployment plan on Polkadot’s Moonbeam. As early as April, Chainlink brought some good news to the Polkadot community: it allows all Substrate-based chains to use its oracle service, which means that parachains can use it effectively as needed.

As (actually the only one in the world) a layer-0 (Layer-0) platform, our layer-1 platforms are building their own developer community. Both Astar and Moonbeam have now launched their own Builders Programs.

At Parity, we have seen some significant team expansion, and in 2021, the team has grown to 200 people. Parity’s team is as always distributed globally, but will see some new recruits concentrated in London, as well as recruits in some other parts of the world. The Web3 Foundation has also produced a number of outstanding employees, especially since the introduction of Bertrand Perez as its chief operating officer.

No fraud in the world

In 2021, people from the Web3 Foundation and Parity Technologies gathered to form an anti-fraud team, determined to prevent the rampant scammers and make Polkadot an ecosystem that can ensure the safety of stakeholders. The Polkadot Treasury and the Web3 Foundation also spent $130,000 on fighting fraud.

Over the past year, nearly a thousand websites and other fraudulent websites have been deleted as a whole, and the community has identified more than 460 fraudulent websites. In order to encourage reporting behavior, the reporter has received a reward of 550 DOT. The phishing scam library repo is a complete list of phishing and scam websites and addresses, and now contains more than 2,300 entries.

In 2022, the “Anti-Fraud Community Initiative” will continue to develop to cover more fraudulent websites, be community-driven, collaborate with other ecosystem projects and teams, and lay the foundation for the first on-chain and distributed fraud crackdown activities.

Go all out to meet the future

Looking back at what I wrote 12 months ago, I hoped to get more physical freedom from the control of the new crown at that time, and hoped that the global gathering culture at the core of social networking in the crypto industry could return. Regrettably, these wishes have not been realized in 2021, but hope that 2022 will be better. I am looking forward to eating Chongqing hot pot and sukiyaki again -too long has passed.

Leaving aside the desire to travel, 2021 is the year of final delivery and the end of a chapter we opened in 2016, when we released the original White Paper (Well…should it be Polka Dot Paper?) book. 2022 is the beginning of the next chapter of Polkadot’s story, unlike any previous year . As more and more parachain teams win auctions and join Polkadot parties, we will see the prospect of extended hyper-connections under the single security umbrella provided by Polkadot. There are more than 150 chains serving various purposes under development, many of which already have testnets, and there are many things to look forward to. We are also looking forward to launching decentralized bridges, first the bridge connecting Polkadot and Kusama developed by Parity, and then the bridge connecting Polkadot and Ethereum developed by Snowfork.

In terms of core development, we will spend some time refactoring and optimizing the code, and introducing new technologies that help reduce messaging-related costs and delays. Our goal is to increase each Parachain of Polkadot to 1,000 sTPS per shard . (STPS is our standard number of transactions per second, which is a cross-chain transaction standard. Simply put, it means that balance transfers are made from one existing account to another, and neither of these accounts has been read or written into the block. .)

In addition, the Polkadot team will focus on the parallel threading function to ensure that the team that has not won the auction can also have the security provided by Polkadot and get all the benefits of XCMP.


It’s the end of the year again. I will set out for the new year, wishing you a happy holiday, a happy new year, peace and health!

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/handwritten-by-gavin-polkadots-achievements-in-2021/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.