I believe, some of the Kusama based projects have done that already. What exactly did they do and what are the options if a project wants to prolong or renew the parachain slot?

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Parachains connect to Polkadot or Kusama for the matter (will be using only one going forward as the mechanism is the similar) by acquiring a slot through an auction. Each slot can be at most 8 lease periods (LP). If a team wants to extend their connection to Polkadot, they need to acquire a new slot that covers a new set of lease periods.

Independently of the mechanisms discussed below, there are two things that will always happen:

  1. A team will always need to win an auction to extend their connection.
  2. Teams will want a new slot that has as an LP immediately after the end of the last LP of their current slot to avoid downtime. This would ideally be the first LP of the new slot, but it does not necessary need to be.

Potential strategies:

  1. A team can get a new slot which first LP is before the end of the last LP of their current slot. To achieve this, the team will need to register a new paraID on chain, and win an auction for a new slot with the new paraID. At this moment in time, the team will have two slots on Polkadot: one that will end soon, and one that has started; both slots will have at least one LP in common. When the old slot is transition their last LP, the team will need to swap their parachains slots (old and new) so that the old paraID can benefit from the slot of the new paraID. At the moment of writing, this needs to be done with the help of the on chain governance (example), but there are discussions going on, on allowing this to be done without the need of governance.

    This method has the benefit of giving flexibility to the team on when to bid for a slot, however it has the disadvantage of having more than one slot with the active during the same LPs.

  2. A team can get a new slot which first LP starts right after the end of the last LP of their current slot. In this case, the team can bid directly with their current paraID, and it will be automatically extended without the need of swapping.

    This method has the advantage of not having superposing LP's on different slots owned by the same team, however it has the disadvantage of losing flexibility on when to win a new slot: if the team does not win the exact slot, then it will suffer some downtime until it wins a new slot.

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