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Let's imagine a scenario where a team is running a substrate private network and have all their chainstate that they want to move to a parachain after acquiring a slot. My question is, when the team moves all their runtime logic into a cumulus template and starts the process for becoming a parachain, is it possible to bring this solo chainstate from the old chain to the parachain? In other words, is it possible to start a parachain with block N >> 0 ?

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Yes, it is possible.

Have a look at this previous question: how we can migrate the solochain data to the parachain?

Also, have a look at this video: Sub0 Online: Storage Migration - Standalone chain to Parachain

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I have also asked a similar question How to get all the blocks when forking the chain?, where block N >> 0 still waiting for an answer. In the meantime I can share my findings, there are different ways to persist the current state of the chain while converting solochain to a parachain but all of them start from block 0, one way is already mentioned by Rodrigo that is storage migration and other are as follows:

  • You can use fork-off-substrate to persist the current state of your chain but I am not sure if it can convert solochain to parachain.
  • Other is subalfred, this I have tried and was able to convert solochian to relay-chain and vice versa with its old state being persist and I hope it will work for solochain to parachain also but it will start from block 0. To convert the chain you need to use override command of subalfred.
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  • I will look into subalfred and fork-off. I don't think the relay chain will accept a parachain starting from block N >> 0 anyways, but it's still interesting to start from a different state. With the other approach i.e. starting with a genesis state, I am still trying to figure out how exactly to filter the keys in storage as we must remember that a solochain comes with pallets like aura/babe/grandpa which are not needed in a parachain so these keys must be eliminated. That's my theoretical understanding so far. Jul 20, 2023 at 12:25
  • @Purple_Turtle if you are starting from block 0 than there is no need to care about keys as you can override it with subalfred and need to insert them again. Jul 20, 2023 at 13:04

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