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Polkadot Now Allows You To Send Tokens Across Parachains

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Polkadot has introduced a feature known as Cross-Consensus Messaging (XCM). For the first time, all Polkadot-based blockchains can connect directly with one another.

Polkadot is a blockchain ecosystem made up of interconnected blockchains. Consider a wheel with a hub and spokes as an illustration. The hub is the primary blockchain feature that binds everything together, while the spokes represent each blockchain, also known as a parachain. The goal has always been to allow these parachains to communicate with one another, which XCM now allows.

XCM is a token message format that allows assets to be exchanged between Polkadot’s parachains. It enables parachain users and developers to trade data and crypto assets. This will make it simple for users of these blockchains to transfer tokens from one to the other.

Polkadot parachains first went live in December 2021 and have remained fractured until now. Polkadot has fulfilled its primary goal of being a fully interoperable environment with the launch of XCM.

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“Now that Polkadot’s cross-chain messaging protocol has been enabled, Polkadot has fulfilled its objective to be a fully interoperable multi-chain ecosystem,” Shawn Tabrizi, Polkadot’s main developer, told The Block in a statement. 

XCM does not rely on typical bridges that rely on asset “wrapping” to transport assets from one blockchain to another. Rather, XCM was baked into the Relay Chain, Polkadot’s primary hub that secures all parachains. This means that the entire network of linked parachains will now support the token flow.

This configuration is thought to be more secure than bridges alone, which can have centralised weakpoints and are frequently hacked for large amounts of crypto. Messages will be able to be sent between parachains without having to be stored on the Relay Chain in future editions of the XCM.

“With XCM, we have a stable and reliable inter-chain messaging channel that is far superior to the fragmented bridges,” Hoon Kim is the chief technology officer of Astar, a Polkadot-based smart contract service.