Blockspace Products and Mechanisms in Polkadot

I wrote a longer-form post here Polkadot: Blockspace over Blockchains | rob.tech which is worth discussing in the forum.

The short story is that we should be able to allocate the secure blockspace of the Polkadot network in a multitude of different ways, not just to long-term reserved slots. We would like to build out a number of these, like parathreads and short-term auctions, and allow projects to compose them into the blockspace they need.

Collators will be the purchasers of “Just-in-Time” or JIT blockspace used by parathreads, and any account should be able to participate in a short-term auction for blockspace. There is an interesting design space that emerges here which I’ll refer to as the “reimbursement layer”: ways that purchasers of blockspace on behalf of some chain can be reimbursed for their spend. I think the key insight here is that reimbursement for blockspace purchases can happen outside of the chain which received the blockspace.

Let’s discuss the topic of blockspace, blockspace allocation, collators, and reimbursement products here.

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One implication of the reimbursement layer is that it opens up an opportunity for a Common Good Parachain, pallet, or smart contract where people can fund parathread blockspace and which handles the reimbursement of collators behind the scenes. It’d be something like a limit orderbook for blockspace, where orders are populated by on-chain funding and orders are filled by collators providing “proof of purchased blockspace”.

This could be a dead simple way to get started on Polkadot: upload Wasm, pay the deposit, and fund blockspace through a simple UI. Hackathons could even be used to give credits to projects which win, in the same way that AWS or Azure credits are given to winners.