During yesterday’s blockchain Unitize conference, the developer, Bruno ‚kvorc, illustrated how a blockchain based on Polkadot can be launched in one hour.
Speaking at the event on July 7th, Škvorc explained in detail how to create a block chain based on Polkadot’s modular „Substrate“ architecture. He also illustrated how blockchains built in this way can be upgraded without the need for a hard fork.
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kvorc explained that Substrate-based block chains can be configured by choosing from many available modules to best suit the needs of whoever is building them. He also states that because they are connected together, blockchain security is guaranteed by other chains.
Updates without forking
All the software needed to run a node in the new block chain is present in both the Rust code and the Web Assembly (WASM). Rust can be compiled into a really efficient binary file, while WASM code is less efficient but also takes up less space.
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This enables the non-branching update system, a prominent feature of Substrate-based block chains. By default, one node runs the most efficient compiled Rust code, but a copy of the WASM node software is also kept in a string.
Before running the Rust software, the node compares it to the daisy-chained WASM code and switches to it if it is newer. This way even node operators who have not actively upgraded their machines will always run the latest version of the software, and only need to download the Rust version to run their nodes faster.
The Security Implications of Integrated Upgrades
Cointelegraph asked ‚kvorc‘ about the security implications of being able to change the software that the nodes run, without the operator’s permission, without any problems. He explained that the concern is greatly alleviated by the verification process that occurs before the WASM code is implemented in the chain:
„What happens is that the WASM code that is in the chain first needs to be examined, first during the development phase and then during the governance phase. The governance phase is the phase when the token holder community votes for or against a change in the chain, which is automatically enacted.
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Polkadot has been actively seeking new avenues to obtain more support and funding for developers. In June, Cointelegraph reported that Polkadot received support on Gitcoin, a developer-focused platform that combines crowdfunding and grants for development initiatives.