Announcing PolkaVM - a new RISC-V based VM for smart contracts (and possibly more!)


Interesting, so this VM isn’t expected to be of much interest/use to those participants? From the thread subject:

a new RISC-V based VM for smart contracts (and possibly more!)

Okay, but the Substrate universe need not just be Polkadot. Not my itch, but I can imagine one day someone wondering how close to a Solana type of block tick Substrate can get.

You can never have too much headroom.

@koute Can you approve “PVM” instead of “PolkaVM” because @gavofyork is doing so already here:

Or, can you christen the precise difference between the terms “PVM” and “PolkaVM” and what “P” in “PVM” refers to (“Polka” vs “Polkadot” vs “Play”)? Having clarified by you will help the marketeers and community get some nice clear terminology to run with for the rest of 2024! Thank you!

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Nothing Polkadot has built so far as been proprietary so i don’t see how PolkaVM would bring negative connotations.

The name is great IMO and if necessary we can always subtitle it with “free and open source” in marketting campaigns.

To be fair this is almost always the case. There lies a tradeoff. If you want a correct name you will need a new term like “PolkaVM” or “Pallet”. But if you want a recognizeable term like “RISC-V VM” you will need to accept to be wrong. This is because of all the meaning people already connect with this term.

The point @natalie is trying to make if I get it correctly is that it is better to be wrong but have a recognizeable name from a marketing perspective. I understand that engineers rather be correct :slight_smile:

That doesn’t mean I am agreeing that RISC-V VM would be a good name. Nor do I think that PolkaVM is a bad name.

Just wanting to point that out because that argument was used to make, in my opinion, bad naming decision in the past.

But from a marketing perspective it should be enough to talk about RISC-V based VM? I mean PolkaVM is the Parity provided implementation, but that doesn’t mean that every Polkadot node implementation will need to use this. They can use whatever implementation of the same standard.

Yes. I think when talking about PolkaVM the implementation we should mention that it is a “RISC-V based VM”. But it is more a description than a name.

And if you think about it “RISC-V based VM” is basically a placeholder for the standard we have yet to define.

To me this seems sensible:

  1. Keep PolkaVM as the name for Parity’s implementation of a “RISC-V based VM”.
  2. Come up with a name for the “RISC-V based VM” standard. Ideally, something marketable.

This will connect our implementation to Polkadot. But keep the standard neutral in naming. Basically what @koute suggested.

The only downside of the name PolkaVM is that it will probably not be connected to the name of the standard. wasmtime, wasmer and wasmi are all connected in that way. Not sure how important that is though.


That sounds reasonable :slight_smile:

RVM/R5VM? Does it need to be more complicated than that?

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