Phala -> Polygon

Yes, that’s right.

There’s this parachain Phala. It used to be quite active in the last year, make some demo cases on the dot events, even launched a grants program, and then they went quiet.

The founders don’t really attend major events this year, aren’t enthusiastic about integrations within the ecosystem, etc. Zoe, who happens to manage the event bounty budget, is the one usually sent to these events. And by “manage,” I mean that teams often wait several months for a response. Some requests have been hanging for half a year without discussion.

It seems as if Phala has gone dormant. But that’s not the case. They’re now focusing on Polygon/Lens and the classic EVM infrastructure (check X). They’ve simply given up on Polkadot. If you visit their website, you can see a lot of logos of Polygon, Lens, Filecoin, TheGraph, Ethereum, and even BNB! Try to find DOT logo on their website!

Funy part: While Polkadot’s whales valiantly combats all manifestations of AI and LLM in the treasury (4 projects have already been penalized), the Phala team integrated LLM and took it to Lens and Graph.

Well done!

And yes, they’re active with events (even with founders)

They recently had a major joint project with DeveloperDAO, showcasing use cases with Polygon and Lens.

I’m sure the team will do well. They’ll still formally attend Polkadot events they’re invited to, retweet about how awesome they are (it’s good and free, why not). Then, they’ll intensify their focus on cross-chains, add some LayerZero stuff, raise funds, and live happily (just like Manta).

But all this is “post-Polkadot”: they’re developing the EVM ecosystem and have chosen the centralized Polygon over the glorious and free Polkadot. Their use cases are outside the system, and their work focuses on other L1 and L2s.

Every successful parachain has cost the Polkadot ecosystem 10-15 unsuccessful ones (at least). Who will replace the successful ones? Where are the 10-15-20 new teams with fresh ideas?
Hence, the only crucial questions to discuss are “Where are the new teams and why is no one coming?” and "How can we retain those who’ve miraculously stayed?

Do you think we should introduce a section titled “#GONE” or “#DEADECO”?

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Wow. another wake up call, truly. I have no idea who calls the shots with Polkadots direction but it aint working right now. By all metrics DOT is an ecosystem in decline and it bugs the hell out of me. No one wants to use it. Its is shunned by traders and VC’s. Why? There is huge sell pressure all the time. Any small pump is quickly sold off by people who just want to get out. Just what is going on with Polkadot? Any brave souls close to the top in this protocol who would actually like to explain more for us poor hangers on?


I’m Marvin from Phala.

It’s heartening to see the meticulous tracking of each parachain’s performance in Polkadot! This vigilance bodes well for the DOT ecosystem.

To address some of the points raised:

  • Asserting “Polkadot is dead” because parachains are seeking external customers reflects a misguided mindset.
  • Phala has no plans to abandon Polkadot. We remain committed to being customers of Polkadot’s services and are deeply integrated with the Polkadot community.
  • Phala’s primary customer base resides outside Polkadot.

The crux of your argument seems to be that if a parachain’s business strategy doesn’t explicitly target the Polkadot ecosystem, it’s tantamount to abandoning Polkadot. This is evidenced by product positioning, marketing, events, and promotions within the Polkadot ecosystem. I respectfully disagree with this viewpoint.

Before delving further, it’s crucial to understand:

  • The relationship between Polkadot, Parachain, Polkadot Eco Infra, and Dapp.
  • The functioning of Polkadot’s economy.

Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Dapps pay Parachain for infrastructure services.
  • Parachains, in turn, pay Polkadot for similar services.
  • Polkadot compensates DOT infrastructure builders for their services.

Parachains and their respective customers include:

  • Moonbeam & Astar cater to general EVM builders.
  • Astar also serves top Japanese companies.
  • Acala targets Defi retail customers.
  • Phala caters to EVM contract developers who utilize off-chain web3 computation.

Polkadot and its infrastructure builders include:

  • Parity
  • Web3 foundation
  • Node providers
  • Media & community organizations
  • Tooling builders
  • Wallets

The lifecycle works as follows:

  • Parachains are customers of Polkadot Infrastructure. If they’re dissatisfied with the service, they may opt to leave or add more infrastructure layers.
    • For instance, Astar and Subsquid
    • Phala isn’t considering shifting to other infrastructures.
  • Parachains have their own specific customers. Most Dapp/Defi/End-point users originate from external ecosystems like Ethereum. However, Polkadot relies on parachains to convert them into Polkadot users.
    • In Phala’s case, our primary users are currently EVM smart contract developers. Regardless of their location (Polygon, OP, Basechain), we aim to serve this market.
    • When non-DOT users begin using Phala services, they effectively become part of the Polkadot ecosystem.
    • As to why we don’t display the DOT logo on our website, the simple truth is that it doesn’t aid our customer acquisition efforts.
  • The entire Polkadot economy hinges on these dynamics.
  • Polkadot ecosystem builders are invaluable, providing everything the ecosystem needs. While they receive sponsorship from the treasury (albeit, many are currently dissatisfied), Parachains are the customers who are actually paying for the Polkadot ecosystem.

I hope this clarifies our position and the broader dynamics at play. Let’s continue to foster a vibrant and inclusive Polkadot ecosystem together!


I also wants to point out that, although the EVM ecosystem is the main source of Phala’s users, Polkadot is also the first class citizen on Phala roadmap. After all, Phala itself provide secure offchain compute and it’s blockchain agnostic. Wherever there’s the demand, we provide the solution. A few facts:

  1. We just merged the native ink! (Polkadot native smart contract language) support to our core cross-chain connection repo. And the community is building oracle demo to show how to use Phala to feed data to Parachains. Check it out:
  1. We are collaborating closely with the Polkadot developer ecosystem to build. For example, we are one of the biggest ink adopter. We also work very closely with the Polkadot ambassadors to advocate our technology.

nice! thanks for some great explanation! you don’t get much of that tbh. I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to explain a project, its vision, the direction its going and their hopes for the future. It is so much more meaningful than the usual crap you get on X etc which is just really hype and speculation. Thanks again.

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Firstly, I’m very happy for you. You’re creating an excellent product with a great concept that users need. Unfortunately, there won’t be users in Polkadot, so it’s logical to move where they are.

You’re doing everything right - you talk about Polkadot where Polkadot users are. It gives them a sense of importance and involvement. However, your main focus on Twitter is on Polygon and Lens. You yourself ignore Polkadot events. On your website, it’s only EVM - but much different from DOT stack. BNB, AVAX, Graph and so on. Everything except the DOT (everybody free to check). And in the documentation, it’s the same. Everything, as I wrote in the post. And yes, you’re doing a great job.

  • Astar is also migrating to the Polygon

And yes, I’ve already noticed that you’re approaching the treasury through WASM.
By the way, Astar is really good at extracting money from the treasury with wasm. I think you’ve chosen the right collaboration.
And Zoe also has all the connections to come and take something.

Anyway, will be happy to support every nice tech that finally on the way to found their users. Hope that one day dot will be nice place to attract new builders as well.

If you really dig into what we are doing instead of the drama X, you will find we are always trying to bring more value to Polkadot eco. We have SubBridge which is the first bridge to enable parachain send asset between their chain and EVM chains over XCM protocol. We are also actively building sygma-substrate-pallets with Sygma team (from ChainSafe) that any substrate chain can build bridge on top of that


Sygma looks great! How soon will Sygma submit a proposal to the treasury?

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I think people often don’t understand the point of Parachains. They are to help extend outside of just Polkadot to make Polkadot that much more interoperable. So many people seem to have this mind set that Polkadot is a silo when in fact it’s the complete opposite. At some point you should see all sorts of outside ecosystems connected to Polkadot through parchains.


Thanks for the kindly words. I know you know I know it…
Personally I still deeply believe in Polkadot, the infra is solid and valuable. Phala will keep using it without a doubt.

How to solve the problems of lacking of real user engagement? Here’s my 2 cents:

Have 3 success applications in Polkadot

  • Set this goal as a 2023Q4-2024Q2 KPI for core teams in Polkadot
  • 3 success ones is good enough for Polkadot, no matter the Dapp is running on which parachain.
  • Other sub-strategies should be built based on this one

E.g success is leading Base from “Another BNB chain” into something serious already.

Make Polkadot friendly to "mainstream Web3 Eco "

  • which include Ethereum family of course.
  • I’m not talking about improving diplomatic strategy. This is a huge problem to every parachain
  • Think about how you feel to Cardano projects.

This is NOT correct!
I already stated more than once as Head of Astar Foundation that we are not migrating or leaving Polkadot, it’s an expansion of our tech stack. Could you share with me where you got this information?

How did Astar extract money from the treasury with Wasm? All of our Wasm proposals are with other parachains but also with Parity. Don’t think it’s fair to say that Astar is moving away with this money.

It was used for initiatives like ink!cubator and making open-source toolings:


@marvin Congratulations on being one of the only 2 parachains with robust DAU growth this year (the other is Nodle).

So that other parachains can learn from Phala, what was Phala’s secret to growth in 2023?

| id    | 2023month | DAUs |
| nodle |         1 |  956 |
| nodle |         2 | 1352 |
| nodle |         3 | 1347 |
| nodle |         4 | 1351 |
| nodle |         5 | 1114 |
| nodle |         6 | 1171 |
| nodle |         7 | 1677 |
| nodle |         8 | 1952 |
| nodle |         9 | 2453 |
| nodle |        10 | 2588 |
| phala |         1 |   20 |
| phala |         2 |   26 |
| phala |         3 |   23 |
| phala |         4 |   24 |
| phala |         5 |   49 |
| phala |         6 |   86 |
| phala |         7 |  111 |
| phala |         8 |  137 |
| phala |         9 |  158 |
| phala |        10 |  189 |
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I’m very shamed to answer this based on such small numbers…

No, please do (everyone else is stagnant to negative) – If you have 15% growth over the next 36 months (not realistic) you have 189*1.15^36=28.9K DAUs in Oct 2026. What are the top users doing?

A simple answer would be Phat Contracts went live in June 2023. From there, we have gotten developer feedback and done our best to find our target audience.


This is likely the case for the small steady growth. We will continue to find & cater to our target audience, and continue to improve the DevX as we onboard more devs. Please test it out and reach out to me for any suggestions or help building on Phala.