Building a Coretime Marketplace

RegionX is a project that aims to minimize deployment and operational costs for projects on Polkadot

So far, we have developed CoreHub, a user interface for managing and purchasing Coretime regions. Additionally we have built Polkadot Weigher, a tool enabling parachains to monitor their Coretime usage. We’ve also established the process for cross-chain Coretime region transfers and created the foundational component of the secondary market, which will enable users to buy and sell Coretime.

What are we looking to build

Before explaining what we are looking to build it is important to understand how the primary market(Bulk Sale) works and what are its drawbacks. For a more detailed overview, we would recommend reading the paper we wrote explaining the project’s core components: RegionX-Core.

To summarize: The Coretime chain offers cores for sale every Bulk period (4 weeks). During these sales, anyone can purchase a full Polkadot core, which can be used in the upcoming bulk period. The Agile Coretime model introduces the ‘tokenization’ of Polkadot cores in the form of regions. These regions can be divided into smaller parts. This means someone can have access to just a portion of a core, rather than owning an entire core.

The need for a secondary marketplace arises from two main limitations associated with buying regions directly from the Coretime chain:

  1. The Coretime chain exclusively offers regions that represent ownership of an entire Polkadot Core over a 28-day period. This allocation is excessive for most projects, leading to inefficient usage of Coretime.

  2. Regions purchased from the Coretime chain become ‘active’ only at the start of the upcoming 28-day cycle. This limitation means that any task assigned to such a region can only be scheduled on a Polkadot Core during the upcoming bulk period. Therefore, projects in need of immediate or imminent Coretime access must choose Instantaneous Coretime.

Unlike the regions offered by the Coretime chain, the marketplace will contain regions with diverse properties. This variety is made possible because users can modify the regions before listing them for sale, utilizing the partitioning and interlacing methods available on the Coretime chain.

This will provide teams looking to deploy on Polkadot with a significantly broader range of options for Coretime procurement.

Procuring Coretime from the secondary market via UI is sensible if the parachain has not yet been deployed on Polkadot. In such cases, the team behind the parachain will manually purchase Coretime through a UI.

However, parachains that are already active on Polkadot shouldn’t depend on the initial team for ongoing Coretime procurement if their goal is to create a resilient and decentralized system. Instead, these parachains should aim for self-sufficiency.

The model we propose

The RegionX secondary market will operate on an order book model with some modifications.
Here’s how we envision parachains procuring Coretime from the secondary market:

  1. The parachain determines the minimum amount of Coretime it requires on a bulk period basis. For example, a parachain might determine it needs a region granting it access to at least 50% of a Polkadot core. This could be adjustable through the parachain’s governance system.

  2. At the beginning of each bulk period, the parachain would programmatically post an order to the secondary market specifying its Coretime requirements.

The secondary market collects orders during an ‘order period,’ which is shorter than the bulk period. During this time, individuals can support an order by allocating their DOT tokens, akin to participating in a crowdloan. However, unlike a crowdloan where tokens are locked, here the tokens are spent.

In summary, once the ‘order period’ concludes, the gathered orders are matched with the available regions on the market. Each parachain is then allocated to the corresponding region that meets its requirements.

Similar to how parachains allocate tokens for rewarding crowdloan participants, in this system they could specify the amount that will be allocated for rewarding crowdfunding contributors. This amount could come from the parachain’s treasury or be newly minted, potentially causing inflation. It will be up to the parachains to decide how to reward contributors.

Considering Coretime will be bought using DOT tokens, and since most parachains have their own tokens rather than DOT, this presents a convenient method for them to indirectly purchase Coretime using their own currencies.

Of course, one possible option is for the parachain to support its own order if it possesses DOT tokens. This way it can procure Coretime without depending on crowdfunding. However, in this scenario, the parachain, through its governance system, would need to reach a consensus on the amount of tokens allocated for Coretime.

The main advantage of this model is that it allows a parachain to access Coretime without depending on a specific group of individuals. Instead, anyone can assist a parachain in securing Coretime for the upcoming bulk period. Thus, if a project is truly valuable and necessary, it should be able to obtain Coretime even with a minimal (or no) reward allocation for contributors.

Coretime traders

In this model, it’s expected that some users will monitor the Coretime requirements of the parachains within the ecosystem, purchase entire Cores during the Bulk sale, split them based on the parachains’ needs, and subsequently sell them for a profit.

I’m sure we’ll see various interesting approaches, and even some trading bots developed to handle this task automatically. These Coretime traders will try to determine the most efficient allocation of Coretime, aiming to accommodate as many parachains as possible with the least amount of Cores purchased in order to maximize their profits.
Having a competitive environment of Coretime traders will greatly benefit anyone looking to purchase Coretime.


Very good writeup, @Szegoo ! Much appreciated! And as usual impressive work on Region-X :sunglasses: Looking forward to launch!

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