What are Parathreads? A deep dive

Polkadot Architecture

Why connect as Parachain?

  • Shared Security: Parachains leverage the multi-billion dollar economic security of the Polkadot relay chain.
  • Forkless upgrade: Chains become future proof with their ability to upgrade without a fork. Upgrading a chain is as simple as updating a mobile app, with no need for conventional hard forks that sometimes split the nodes.
  • Trustless communication: XCM enables trustless communication between parachains with the trustless transfer of tokens and messages across other parachains via channels, which are as secure as the relay chain.
  • On-chain governance: Chains can be governed via on-chain voting. Polkadot’s governance is considered one of the most decentralized in the entire web3.
  • Solve blockchain trilemma: Since parachains outsource their security from the relay chain, they can be highly scalable and decentralized.

An Issue with Polkadot’s Auction Mechanism

What are Parathreads?

How do Parathreads work?

  1. Step-1 Parathread (Pt) Collators send their blocks (represented in different colours) with a fee in DOT.
  2. Step-2 Parachain Block Authors pick the parathread block with the highest bid (Yellow in this case), includes it in the Polkadot block candidate, and relays it to the Relay chain.
  3. Step-3 The Polkadot block candidate is verified by the relay chain validators and ultimately included in the relay chain. This way, the state of parathreads and parachain gets updated.

What projects might favor the parathread model?

  • These could be the chains that have more readable and less actionable content. The perfect example could be a social media platform. The users of a social media appchain would spend more time consuming the content than taking actions. For such chains, it would be more efficient to get their blocks executed at a certain time interval.
  • Another example could be a gaming chain. The users would only need to sign transactions while changing skins or equipping weapons. Thus, the parathread model would suit such chains as they don’t need to frequently add blocks to their chain.

Parachains vs Parathreads

Parathread economic model

Myth Buster


Important Links



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store