Polkadot Ecosystem Goes Multi-Chain With XCM Launch

Polkadot Ecosystem Goes Multi-Chain With XCM Launch

key takeaways

Polkadot introduced XCM, a “cross-consensus message” format that allows communication between the various parachains of the network. With the integration of XCM, Polkadot is finally delivering on its promise to be a fully interoperable multi-chain ecosystem. The system has been reviewed and tested at Polkadot’s pre-production testing ground, Kusama.

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Polkadot has completed one of its most anticipated milestones: the release of the “cross-consensus” messaging format, XCM, and become a fully interoperable multi-chain ecosystem.

Polkadot becomes fully interoperable

Polkadot’s long-awaited interoperability upgrade is finally live.

Polkadot, the scalable, heterogeneous, multi-chain ecosystem developed by Parity Technologies, today announced the launch of XCM — a “cross-consensus message” format that allows communication between the various parachains of the network. According to Wednesday’s press release, the launch of XCM means the network has achieved its goal of becoming “a fully interoperable multi-chain ecosystem.”


Polkadot is a blockchain network that wants to achieve interoperability by hosting a network of interconnected, modular and independent blockchains called parachains.An independent network called the Relay Chain sits at its core as the underlying security layer for its parachains. XCM, also known as Cross Consensus Message Format, is a language that enables communication between parachains, smart contracts, and Substrate pallets that provide custom functionality for blockchains. Comment on the release of XCM, a star Chief Technology Officer Hoon Kimsassistance:

“I see traditional smart contracts on isolated layer 1 chains, it’s like opening a shop in a kingdom surrounded by walls. Then we have bridges, like a trade route that first connects country to country. Now We have XCM, which is like a free trade agreement for blockchain. It’s the natural future.”

Full cross-chain interoperability has been the most anticipated feature of the Polkadot ecosystem. This is the essence of Polkadot’s vision and has been on the roadmap since the project entered development in 2017. The cross-consensus message format that will eventually allow communication between Polkadot’s parachains landed nearly two years after the network went live in May 2020. According to today’s announcement, the system has been fully audited and tested on Kusama, an independent blockchain network serving as Polkadot’s public test environment.

Polkadot also confirmed that it is working on a future iteration of the system called XCMP or “Cross-Chain Messaging,” which would allow direct parachain-to-parachain communication without any intermediaries from the relay chain. XCMP will also allow messages to be sent to blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin when it goes live.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owns ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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