Dot Leap 6

The launch is nigh

Bruno Škvorc

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The content in this newsletter is the author’s own opinion and not in any way endorsed by the Web3 Foundation. This is an independent and unaffiliated effort.


Due to Polkadot’s approaching launch, there’s more material than usual to pay attention to in this section. Dive in!

⚠Recommendation to redenominate DOT in a ratio of 1:100!⚠

A new referendum is active in governance which is, essentially, just a remark referendum. A remark referendum is used to officially gauge interest of tokenholders on a given topic, but does not necessarily affect a change on-chain.

The referendum proposes the following:

  • The total allocations of DOTs will increase one hundred times from 10 million to 1 billion.

  • DOT allocation balances will increase by a factor of one hundred, such that 1 DOT will be 100 DOTs.

  • The distribution of DOTs does not change, and holders of DOTs still own an equal share of the network as before the change.

  • The precision of DOT will change from 12 decimal places to 10 decimal places.

To re-iterate, the distribution of DOTs does not change, and DOT holders still own an equal share of the network as before the change. The main benefit of this change is to avoid using small decimals when dealing with DOT, and to achieve an easier calculation system.

Voice your opinion on Polkassembly or vote directly in the UI or join the fierce discussion going on in the Kusama Direction channel:

Recommended viewing: Gavin Wood explaining the upcoming launch process of Polkadot

🚨🎉 Polkadot Overview Paper! 🎉🚨

The new Polkadot Research Overview Paper is out! Grab it and read up on this amazing new tech stack we’re building!


Extrinsic weights have been rebalanced based on benchmarks run on some “standard hardware”. Standard hardware is a relative term which will change over time as the protocol and related technology evolve.

The guarantee is that block production and import will not take more than two seconds on the current standard hardware, so potential validators can adequately prepare. Right now, this setup is along the lines of: “an Intel i7-7700K (4.2GHz 4-core, 128K L1), 64 GB RAM (2.4 GHz) and NVMe storage

The standard hardware is actually above the minimum because it assumes running in wasm mode, not native, and on RocksDB, not ParityDB. So an up to date node would find much weaker hardware than this more than adequate.

Kusama (v 0.7.33.)

Off-chain Phragmen Update (since 0.7.32)

When nominating several validators in Kusama, the Phragmen algorithm distributes your nominations such that the lowest staked validators get more and end up as close to other validators as possible. This used to take a long time on-chain, so it was moved off-chain where off-chain workers do the calculation and submit the outcome along with the block they produce.

The off-chain mode of Phragmen has some caveats. As explained by the implementer:

In the last quarter of each session leading to a new era, some staking operations are disallowed. This is to make sure election solutions that are submitted in the meanwhile stay valid. Most notably:

  • bond_extra, unbond, withdraw_unbonded, rebond

  • validate, nominate and chill

  • payouts

are disallowed.

Furthermore, off-chain workers run an optimization on the output before submitting it to reduce the size, without changing any validator's backing stake (compared to the good old sequential phragmen, which is what you were getting prior to this update), but this will further change how the nominator's stake is distributed:

So far, in sequential Phragmen (old Phragmen), if you vote for two validators and both of them are winners, almost always your stake is distributed among the two of them. One might get more stake, but both get somethingreduce() in new Phragmen is very likely to remove as many edges (i.e. votes) as possible. So all in all, it is likely that if I vote for two validators, both of whom are in the winners set, all of my stake will actually be given to one of them.

🚨 Something I didn’t know! 🚨

In order to submit RPC calls to a node from 0.7.32. onward, you need to run the node with the flag --unsafe-rpc-expose. This will let you issue rotate_keys calls and other RPC calls you might need as a validator. From version 0.7.33 onward - and from Substrate alpha.7 - this flag has been renamed to --rpc-methods VALUE and can have the following values:

  • Safe: Exposes safe RPC methods only

  • Unsafe: Exposes all RPC methods

  • Auto: acts as Safe if RPC is served externally, e.g. when --{rpc,ws}-external is passed, otherwise acts as Unsafe

🏛 Kusama Governance

  • Referendum 51 speed-added (council + technical committee boost) the runtime for 0.7.33 into the chain.

🔩 Core Stack (Substrate v2 alpha.7)

( ͡✧ ͜ʖ ͡✧)

🚤 Further improve your node’s I/O reads/writes by using the new and fast ParityDB instead of the slower RocksDB. Add the flag --db=paritydb to take advantage of it - your node will now tell you what you’re using. 🏃‍♂️

( ͡✧ ͜ʖ ͡✧)

🛠 Tools

👨‍🎓 Education

🤝 Ecosystem

📅 Upcoming Events and Webinars

  • [Conference] ANON SummitMay ~18th: Bruno (that’s me!) participated in an interview and a separate panel which will both get published around then.

  • [Panel] May 19th: Fireside chat on Crowdcast featuring Zoé Meckbach as host and Bruno Skvorc, Joe Petrowski, and Dieter Fishbein as guests (subscribe to the channel for notifications!)

  • [Conference] ANON SummitMay 20th: Web 3.0 And Polkadot, a non-technical introduction and Q&A session

  • [Webinar] May 21st: Polkadot for Beginners, non-technical intro by Bill Laboon and Dan Reecer

  • [Conference] May 25th / 26th, Blockconf Digital: talks by Bruno Skvorc (workshop), Jack Platts, and Dan Reecer

That's it for this week - I hope this was as useful for you to read as it was for me to write! Special thanks to Bill for his daily digest!

The Dot Leap is put together by Bruno Škvorc. Got any links for me for the next edition? Find me on Riot at, on Twitter, or via email at