Parity Tech update for February

Hello everyone,

I am aware that Parity and especially the Tech team is not communicating consistently to the community. In order to improve, we will publish monthly updates in the forum.

Since I do not know what you would like to hear about, we would love to get your feedback private or public both on the content (do you understand what we are doing?) and on the style (engineers tend to be terse and use too many acronyms).

Since that’s the first update, I will add an introduction on our strategy. A lot has changed at Parity in the last 6 months. We decided to focus on fewer things in the hope to deliver them faster and with higher quality.

First, what are not focusing on. We are not doing dashboards or web or native apps in general. The cut is not very clear yet: for example we continue to work on Substrate-connect and Polkadot JS to improve its maintenance and relevance. This will give time to the teams building alternatives to come up with viable solutions. On the service side, we are also running fewer things from Parity and we have transferred most RPC nodes and some testnets to the community.

Second, what we are focusing on. We have many key objectives but here are the main ones. They are rooted in the discussion along this post from @alice_and_bob. I have a strong belief that supporting customers is the best way to be successful.

  • Drive adoption of Polkadot by making the platform developer friendly:
    • We are investing to build better documentation with code to showcase how to use the low level services.
    • We are developing APIs and/or services to help with integration: Asset Transfer API or NoS are two examples.
    • Agile Coretime is a key step to lower the barrier to entry for new parachains and will make it cheap to run on Polkadot.
    • And as noted above, we are doing a fair amount of maintenance work.
  • Make Polkadot 1.x a robust, secure and full feature environment
    • We are investing in XCM: usability is not great, we are aware of it. We are working on better fee estimation, asset conversion features and improved documentation.
    • We will continue to simplify the Relay Chain by pushing features step by step to system parachains (see implementation of RFC-32).
    • Adapt Security posture to the threat landscape.

I will be in Bangkok for the next Parachains Summit and Sub0 and would love to hear from you. You will find below the first monthly update.

Pierre (lead of Tech at Parity).

Parity’s updates for February.

  • Chains
  • Runtimes
    • Release process improvements:
      • We have updated our release notes generation to provide more useful information to downstream users. As an example, see the most recent 1.8.0 release.
      • We are also working on a more comprehensive change to our release process. This is documented in a release doc.
    • XCM
    • Bridges
      • BEEFY launched and was activated on Kusama.
      • Bridge and Asset Hub runtimes are live on both Polkadot and Kusama that can support DOT/KSM transfers over the bridge. The final steps are being set up to activate it.
    • Multi-Asset Treasuries (plural!) are now live on Polkadot.
      • A new instance of the Treasury pallet was added specifically for the Technical Fellowship. Once this receives funds, the Fellowship will be able to manage it and fulfil direct funding proposals.
      • Since the latest runtime upgrade (v1.1.2), the main Treasury also supports multiple assets. Referendum 457 passed and is adding USDT and USDC to the Treasury via HydraDX. You can see the funds available in this account. The new Treasury logic also supports staged payouts. See this PR for the main implementation; we will work on more user-facing docs shortly.
    • New proposals
  • Infra & Data
    • DevOps helped Mythical set up their testnet: Muse, now live. Support is on -going.
    • Paseo community test network support & proposal, Infra is helping with Faucet integration amongst other things and participating together with the community
    • Coretime pricing forum response as well as internal dashboards for Rococo showcasing Coretime usage & activity
    • Deploying of the RFC webpage for a better overview of the Polkadot RFCs
    • CommandBot updates to run all the benchmarks by pallet name
    • New proposal by Parity Data to have Polkadot data available in Bloomberg terminal with Token Terminal
    • Staging area for Polkadot dashboards as well as a surprise in preparation.
    • Polkadot data shared with Messari, House of Chimera, mentioned on the Nasdaq blog & a lot more. Some examples:
    • Data dashboards on W3F Office screens, we’ve worked closely with W3F to put in place digital signage for Polkadot data in the W3F premises.
    • POVs data collection and distribution in collaboration with core devs, for Polkadot & Kusama
    • Polkadot SDK monorepo analysis in collaboration with Engineering: measuring the impact of the switch to the monorepo on developer productivity
    • Joint ecosystem task force with Bryan Chen to get a list of accounts eligible for reimbursing due to the recent XCM bug, writeup in progress, but results shared and being investigated
    • Soft launch of the DotLake Twitter account: @dotlake_xyz
    • New Infra & Data roadmap encompassing a revised vision for Infra & Data
  • Integration
    • Maintenance of Polkadot JS
      • Parity put some developers to work on Polkadot JS and Jaco granted access to the repository to Parity: Polkadot-JS: Moving Forward
      • Project board, repos cleanup, issue prioritisation and first releases done.
    • Low level work done around decoding historic chain data in Rust. Read this for more information: The path towards decoding historic blocks/storage in Rust
    • Merged PRs to json-rpc-interface-spec and implemented the changes in Substrate with the aim to stabilise transaction and chainHead RPC methods in Q2.
    • SubXt
      • A Subxt audit was completed, with all issues that were discovered so far quickly addressed. We expect a little more back and forth on this.
      • Quality of life improvements to Subxt will start landing in the next month or so, including a no_std compatible subset of it which will be made available in the form of a new crate.
    • Substrate Connect
      • Added custom window events to announce LightClient providers for substrate-connect extension.
      • Created a new DApp and Wallet extension template to develop and test new substrate-connect account management features.
    • Added a new feature to API Sidecar to query and decode staking payout information for legacy staking pallet versions in old Kusama runtimes
    • Asset Transfer API
    • Non-dev tasks/projects:
      • Initial research done for UX around Snowbridge and parachains requirement.
      • On-going task to add documentation and integration guides for foreign assets in Asset Hub.
  • Postmortem
  • Security
    • FUZZERS: Parity takes fuzzers as a serious business. Thanks to the partnership with SRLabs new fuzzers have been developed and made available to the ecosystem. More details here about the benefits and the different fuzzers made available
    • CI/CD: Recently different entities have suffered cyber attacks on their CI/CD process. To raise the level of awareness about that risk and to support the community to improve management of such risk guidance have been provided on the Forum
    • SECURITY ALLIANCE: Parity is a collaborator in the newly launched platform (SEAL) aimed at improving Web3 security. In all, 50 groups and individuals from the Web3 and cybersecurity communities have joined forces to enhance security across the sector and the ecosystem.
    • COMMUN VULNERABILITIES SUBSTRATE AND POLKADOT: The security team continues to publish guidance on preventing and mitigating most common security vulnerabilities via the Forum, the Polkadot BlockChain Academy and soon at Sub0. In addition next month will be publish an internally built tool to manage/update Polkadot SDK version with a simple CLI. This significantly eases dependency management.
  • Community

Thank you @pierreaubert for writing this. I think publishing monthly updates to keep the community involved is a very good idea.

I completed the form

These are all very good points to target. I think the “investing to build better documentation with code to showcase how to use the low level services” is particularly important. I also completed the google form with more feedback.

Again, thank you for engaging with the community.


Hi @pierreaubert,

I would like to know if Bug Bounty (managed by Parity) is still active. Or if not, is there any other reward mechanism that has replaced this initiative?

Eduardo Cardoso

Hey @ecardo5o, Parity’s Bug Bounty is still active :slight_smile: You can find it all explained here.


great summary, @pierreaubert! Looking forward to the coming ones

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