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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How to extend a slot on the relay chain

To extend a slot on the relay chain the parachain team needs to secure a new slot via an auction. There are several approaches to doing so. Therefore your team needs to see what is the best fit for your case.

Each slot can be a most 8 lease periods (LP). That means your team will need to acquire a new slot of 8 LPs via auction.

To avoid downtime, your team will either need the new LP to start immediately after your existing one or you can have the slots "overlap" each other.

Option 1: Overlapping Slots

Aquire a slot where the first LP is before the last LP of the current slot.

  1. Register a new paraId
  2. Win a slot auction with the new paraId
    • Your team will now have two slots: one that will end soon, and one that just started.
    • Both slots will have at least one LP in common
  3. When the old slot transitions to their last LP, your team can do a swap to swap to the new slot.

By calling swap, your original paraId will be kept.

  • Currently this has to be done via on-chain governance example but their are discussions to improve the process.

Note: 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 being active during the same LPs.

Option 2: Non-overlapping Slots

Aquire a slot where the first LP starts right after the end of the last LP of the 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.

UPDATE - Feb2024

After RFC14 was added on to Polkadot, teams need to know that when using a new paraID (overlapping slots), there's no need for the new paraID to actually run in order to call the swap function. The reason being is that the paraID will not be locked anymore until the parachain produces the first valid block, and therefore the account on the Relay Chain that owns the paraID can call the swap function directly.


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