I understand that it is possible to use Substrate to run a solo chain, without attaching as a Parachain to a relay chain - are there any live projects running as Solo Substrate yet?

6 Answers 6


Polkadot itself is an example of a solo chain that is build on top of Substrate ;)

Subsocial is another example.

  • Isn't Subsocial a Kusama parachain?
    – Dcompoze
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 13:12
  • AFAIK it exists as Parachain and Solochain.
    – bkchr
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 18:33

If I recall correctly, one of the first solo chains was the Edgeware Wasm smart contract chain, which uses the substrate SDK but does not connect to the Polkadot relay chain.

They are also building a sister chain called Kabocha but I think it's planning to be a parachain on Kusama instead.

The github repositories can be found here: https://github.com/Edgeware-Network

Also the obvious ones are:

  • Polkadot
  • Kusama

Though they also act as relay-chains.

I think at the moment it makes more sense to connect to the relay chain as a parachain, since if you run as a solo chain you lose the relay-chain security and trustless XCM capabilities. Maybe as the parachain slots become more saturated there will be more teams experimenting with their own standalone chains.


https://alephzero.org/ is an example of a solo substrate chain. It's interesting in that it's using a bespoke consensus mechanism and I believe it is a DAG based chain rather than a normal chain.

They have a blog post about why they pivoted to using substrate:



There are a number of examples, the closest to a "list" I can think of is the polkadot-js apps UI where "solo chains" are contained in their own section.

So for relay + para, the entries on the "chain selection" under the following fits in this category -

  • Polkadot & Parachains
  • Kusama & Parachains
  • Test Westend & Parachains
  • Test Rococo & Parachains

For the solo chains, you are after the following -

  • Live networks
  • Test networks

Under live you will see some of the ones mentioned above in addition to: Aleph Zero, Automata, Centrifuge, ChainX, Competitors Club, Crown Sterling, Crust Network, Darwinia, Dock, Edgeware, Genshiro, HydraDX, ... Subgame, Subsocial, Swapdex, UniArts, ... the list is long.

Interesting here (for me) is Kulupu with is POW.

Some of these do have parachains as well, either on Kusama or Polkadot (or are testing on the test relays), these are seperate chains to the stand-alone ones.

  • I am curious, how does one list their chain in the polkadot js apps ui under live or test network if they are planning to launch a solo chain? Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 6:35

Reef as well and a few other upcoming ones


you can check this these are the projects build using substrate

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.