I'm working on a blockchain project using Substrate and I'm planning to implement a solo chain (standalone chain). My use-case involves having the chain operate independently, but I'm also interested in leveraging Cross-Consensus Messaging (XCM) for inter-chain communication.

Here are my specific questions:

  • Is it technically possible to implement XCM in a Substrate-based solo chain?
  • What would be the challenges and considerations if I decide to go this route?
  • Are there any security implications I should be aware of?

I'm looking for detailed insights into the feasibility and challenges involved. Any guidance or references would be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


XCM is a message format, not a protocol. It can be used in various contexts.

  1. To communicate with other chains, you will need to find your own method.
  2. Both sides should have an XCM interpreter (xcm-executor), and you can even implement one on the Ethereum side if needed. With this, the chain can read/understand a part of the meaning of the message.

That's all there is to it.

Currently, the easiest option to use is probably parity-bridges-common. It enables communication between Substrate <> Substrate chains and has native support for XCM.

  • I assume an ethereum (solidity) implementation of the XCVM could be quite complex and non-trivial for a single developer. Are there production ready solutions for this? Sep 4, 2023 at 9:36
  1. 100%, that is the power of XCM
  2. Being a solo chain means you are running your own consensus. In other words, you are not leveraging the shared security of Polkadot, therefore you will need a bridge Polkadot <> Solochain in order to communicate with Polkadot/'s parachains.
  3. The security implications depend on how secure your consensus algorithm is and how secure your bridge is.

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