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The new Polkadot app: an uninterrupted experience

Mar 6, 2024


For developers and users engaged with the Polkadot blockchain, the challenge of runtime upgrades is a familiar obstacle. These upgrades, essential for network evolution and security, often disrupt the functionality of Polkadot and parachain applications. 

That’s where the new Polkadot app comes in, designed to seamlessly manage all parachains and relay chain, immune to most of the disruptions caused by runtime upgrades. This app aims to unify the ecosystem through a single application, marrying new functionalities with uncompromised security.

The necessity for a Generic Polkadot Ledger app comes from the chain's frequent runtime upgrades. Such upgrades needed not just development work but also rigorous testing and security audits. Given that these upgrades can affect parachains, the ripple effect means that their Ledger apps also require updates, leading to considerable costs and delays for the parachains involved. .

Our Strategy:

Last summer, Zondax along with Alzymologist Oy (the team behind Kampela, which was presented at Polkadot Decoded), proposed a different approach to transaction signing that incorporates proof of metadata for offline signers, aimed at enhancing transaction transparency and authenticity for users. This entails streamlining metadata to minimize its size while verifying its integrity, a task that is as challenging as it is transformative for transaction processes on the Polkadot network.

The solution we offer integrates metadata directly into the transaction signature. This process involves appending a hash of the metadata to the signing inputs. Importantly, this method does not increase the on-chain data footprint but introduces a mechanism to indicate whether this advanced feature is in use. This allows for a flexible application, enabling projects (parachains) who require "metadata always" enforcement to do so, without imposing restrictions on those who may not support this feature. 

In essence, the new Polkadot app represents a step in the right direction  in addressing the challenges posed by runtime upgrades, streamlining the process for both developers and users within the ecosystem. By integrating metadata into transaction signatures, we're not just simplifying transactions but also enhancing their security and authenticity. This solution not only reduces the costs and time associated with maintaining app compatibility but also paves the way for a more robust and user-friendly Polkadot network. As we move forward, this initiative underscores our commitment to fostering an adaptable, secure, and seamless blockchain environment for all.

 

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