HomeNewsPolkadot's Jam Upgrade: What's Brewing in the Network Overhaul?

Polkadot’s Jam Upgrade: What’s Brewing in the Network Overhaul?

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  • Polkadot introduces JAM to replace Relay Chain, enhancing modularity and security for roll-up management in blockchain operations.
  • JAM enables permissionless code execution, organizing blockchain state into services, similar to smart contract capabilities on other platforms.

Polkadot, is on the verge of a major network overhaul with the proposed introduction of the Join-Accumulate Machine (JAM) upgrade. This development, teased by Polkadot co-founder Gavin Wood, aims to replace the current Relay Chain, signaling a shift towards a more streamlined network architecture.

Unveiling of the JAM Upgrade

Gavin Wood introduced the JAM Gray Paper at the Token2049 cryptocurrency conference in Dubai, outlining the details of this transformative protocol.

The upgrade is designed to enhance the functionality of Polkadot by incorporating features from both the Polkadot and Ethereum platforms, aiming for a modular and minimalistic approach to blockchain interoperability.

Historically, Polkadot’s Relay Chain has facilitated interoperability among various platforms, such as PARSIQ, which manages data and automation across blockchains.

The new JAM upgrade seeks to streamline these capabilities with a less complex, more efficient design. This change is set to redefine the foundational technology of Polkadot, making the platform more adaptable and scalable for developers and users alike.

“JAM will allow Polkadot to run generic “services”, smart contract logic which can process the result of execution on cores,” Polkadot founding organization the Web3 Foundation explained in a statement.

JAM’s Decentralized Hybrid System

The JAM protocol is envisioned as a decentralized hybrid system that melds secure and scalable smart contract functionalities reminiscent of Ethereum’s environment with Polkadot’s innovative interoperability features.

It promises a global singleton permissionless object environment, paralleled by secure sideband computation distributed across a scalable node network.

One of the standout features of JAM is its compatibility with Substrate, a framework for blockchain development. This compatibility ensures that developers familiar with Substrate can easily adapt and deploy on the new protocol without the need to learn new systems.

Additionally, JAM will support existing Substrate-based parachains, further enhancing its utility and reach within the developer community.

Economic and Development Incentives

In conjunction with the protocol announcement, the Web3.0 Foundation, associated with Polkadot, has launched a 10 million DOT prize pool. This initiative aims to encourage diversity and innovation in the development of the JAM protocol from its inception. 


The “JAM Implementer’s Prize” seeks to fund and support projects that contribute significantly to the ecosystem, fostering a rich development environment around this new technology.

Polkadot’s decision to use DOT, its native token, for all operations within JAM ensures that there is no need to introduce a new token. That strategy simplifies interactions within the network and leverages the existing infrastructure and community trust in Polkadot’s ecosystem.

Smart Contract Capabilities and Service Management

In addition to its primary functions, JAM will introduce systems that resemble smart contract capabilities. It will allow for permissionless code execution, where the state is organized into distinct units called services. 

Each service on JAM can independently manage code execution and state changes without central oversight. This structure enhances the autonomy of different operations within the Polkadot network, making it easier for developers to deploy and manage applications.

Operational Functions and Security Measures

JAM will operate through three main functions: Refine, Accumulate, and OnTransfer. ‘Refine’ handles the initial processing of input data, ‘Accumulate’ integrates these inputs into the network’s state, and ‘OnTransfer’ manages data exchange across services.

The structured approach ensures that data transformations within JAM are accurately executed and verified before being finalized in the network’s state.

Furthermore, JAM introduces a robust security framework to ensure that all transformations and integrations are correctly performed, safeguarding the network against potential errors or security threats.

Economic and Developmental Impact

Economically, JAM continues to utilize Polkadot’s native token, DOT, avoiding the complications of introducing a new cryptocurrency. This use of an existing token simplifies transactions within the network and leverages the established economic framework of Polkadot.

The introduction of JAM is poised to have a significant impact on the development and operation of blockchain networks. By simplifying the integration and management of various blockchain functionalities, JAM could lead to more rapid development cycles and increased adoption of blockchain technology.

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Isai Alexei
Isai Alexei
As a content creator, Isai Alexei holds a degree in Marketing, providing a solid foundation for the exploration of technology and finance. Isai's journey into the crypto space began during academic years, where the transformative potential of blockchain technology was initially grasped. Intrigued, Isai delved deeper, ultimately making the inaugural cryptocurrency investment in Bitcoin. Witnessing the evolution of the crypto landscape has been both exciting and educational. Ethereum, with its smart contract capabilities, stands out as Isai's favorite, reflecting a genuine enthusiasm for cutting-edge web3 technologies. Business Email: info@ethnews.com Phone: +49 160 92211628