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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
HomeCryptoWhat is JAM? Polkadot's biggest upgrade ever explained

What is JAM? Polkadot’s biggest upgrade ever explained

Announced in April 2024, Join Accumulate Machine (JAM) is Polkadot’s biggest update to date since the blockchain went live in 2021. It will bring sweeping changes to Relay Chain, the heart of the Polkadot ecosystem, supports all of its independent parachains.

The technical principles and proposed goals of the JAM upgrade were outlined in the JAM Gray Paper, written by Polkadot founder Gavin Wood.

Polkadot relies on decentralized leadership to decide the future of the project, and the proposed update was confirmed after a near-unanimous vote of DOT holders in May 2024.

What is JAM?

JAM is an upgrade to Polkadot’s multi-chain network that replaces Relay Chain with a “more minimalist, modular design.”

Relay Chain is the main chain of the Polkadot network, coordinating parachains to process transactions in parallel on the network. It is used to check transaction addresses and standardize data so that any system can understand it, allowing chains on the Polkadot network to share security.

JAM will allow Polkadot to “run common “services,” smart contract logic that can process the results of execution across cores,” according to Polkadot’s Web3 Foundation.

Unlike Polkadot’s current Relay Chain, JAM will be “permissionless”, allowing anyone to build services on it.

This is a change from the current system, where developers have to bid for leases at auctions, backed by their project’s backers, token stakers. their DOT to support the bid.

Just like how people build on Ethereum, developers will be able to build services and smart contracts without having to bid first. These new services will be interoperable with the rest of the Polkadot ecosystem and will be able to send tokens and data between each other, much like how current parachains work.

Polkadot’s auction system will be replaced by Agile Coretime, a more economically flexible model that allows Polkadot users to purchase Coretime, the computational resources provided by JAM, on a month-by-month basis.

Coretime, when purchased, can be broken down and resold on secondary markets, which can improve the efficiency of the overall market for computing power. All of these Coretime transactions will use DOT, the native token of the Polkadot ecosystem.

In a way, JAM offers a combination of the parachain-focused functionality of the original version of Polkadot and the smart contract-focused approach of the current version of Ethereum. Gavin Wood described JAM as a “low-key version” of Polkadot, as it doesn’t try to push users toward a certain approach.

Wood thinks that the new approach offered by JAM could help solve some of the scalability problems that previous blockchains often encountered when their communities passed a certain point in size, use and project.

How Does JAM Work?

The JAM supercomputer—known as the Polkadot Virtual Machine (PVM)—will use RISC-V. It is a widely used and open source processor architecture that is used to develop custom processors for many applications and is used by companies including Google, Nvidia, and Alibaba. It will replace the WebAssembly-based framework currently used by Polkadot.

The mainframe is expected to be tested on a specially built supercomputer called “Polkadot Palace” in Lisbon, Portugal. The new supercomputer will have 12,276 cores and 16 TB of RAM and will be capable of hosting the entire JAM network.

If JAM is successfully deployed, Wood predicts that JAM will be able to achieve data delivery capacity of up to 852Mb/s—about 42 times the data capacity of the original Polkadot version, before its introduction. Introducing Asynchronous Backing in May 2024.

Gray Paper estimates that once JAM is fully operational, it will be capable of processing approximately 150 billion gas per second.

How Will JAM Change the Polkadot Ecosystem?

In a May 2024 podcast interview, Gavin Wood, founder of Polkadot, discussed how he thinks the ability to build services directly on top of Relay Chain could improve the accessibility of the ecosystem. Polkadot status.

Currently, there is a hard limit of 50 parachains that can be stored on Relay Chain. To get one of these limited slots, developers must go through an auction process and have financial sponsors, making the barriers to entry relatively high.

Like the current Relay Chain, the JAM chain itself will have almost no functionality of its own. Functions such as governance, staking, and management will be built on top of these services, with JAM providing the underlying interoperability that enables integration and operations.

JAM can be simply described as a “distributed computer,” which can be used to run virtually any task.

Wood used the way bees, petals and flowers function in the natural world as a metaphor to explain how JAM would work. In nature, a flower is surrounded by petals. These petals are like cores, the physical nodes of the computer that powers the blockchain.

In JAM, rollups—services built on top of JAM—are like bees, and they move freely between flower petals. This is a departure from the original version of Polkadot or Ethereum’s zk-rollup, where the petals (or cores) were mapped one-to-one to the parachain they were supporting.

In JAM, these flexible petals are “stateless”, and adapt to different functions, depending on what is required of them.

Every few seconds or so, the flowers, which can be thought of as clumps, will create an agreement between all their different petals.

When Will JAM Launch?

A production-ready version of JAM can take as little as 20 to 60 months to be ready for deployment, not including the many services expected to be built on top of it.

Unlike previous Polkadot updates, JAM will not be introduced via an incremental approach. The migration will happen once and when it’s done, it’s done.

The switch will actually mean nothing to those who hold the DOT token passively or are looking to trade it. There will be no forked coins or new altcoins, as in the case of Bitcoin Cash in 2017 after the Bitcoin hard fork, or when Ethereum Classic first appeared in 2016.

What Will Happen to Existing Parachains?

Although JAM is a significant change to the Polkadot network, it is not a hard fork.

This means that the functionality of any parachains currently running on Polkadot will not be affected; part of the JAM proposal includes a hard-coded compatibility guarantee. But although existing parachains will continue to operate as usual, they will no longer be the only products that can be run by the JAM chain.

Polkadot says we will likely see use cases emerge that are better suited for parachains and others that are better suited to be built as services.

The Web3 Foundation has assured users that parachains will remain “first-class citizens” even after JAM.

Thach Sanh

According to Decrypt

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer. Always interested in the way in which technology can change people's lives, and that is why I also advise individuals and companies when it comes to adopting all the advances in Apple devices and services.
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