ChainX: An Overview

6 min readAug 3, 2021

Whether you are new or a veteran of the community, allow us to give you an introduction to ChainX. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of the ChainX Ecology. The development team that works on ChainX is PolkaX, led by Guanghua Guo. They are building the ChainX ecology, consisting of ChainX and ComingChat. Together they make a healthy ChainX Ecosystem with PCX as its utility token. In this article, we will be diving into the minds of PolkaX and explain how everything fits together.

Some key questions we will answer are: What is New BTCWorld and what does the BTC Taproot upgrade have to do with ChainX? What is the team working on right now? Why is ComingChat important to ChainX? How will we proceed with the Kusama auction? And what is the vision?

The vision of PolkaX

Creating a comprehensive Bitcoin Layer 2 network to enhance BTC’s usability, connecting to Polkadot and Ethereum for instant DeFi. It recognises Bitcoin as the largest and most important public blockchain and cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is currently locked up on its own blockchain and it is limited in its scalability. Many developers around the world are working to improve this without sacrificing Bitcoins security. Layer 2 projects build on top of Bitcoin, adding scale and usability while preserving Bitcoins foundational integrity.

Like the Lightning and Liquid Networks, ChainX facilitates greater usability for Bitcoin. Besides Polkadot’s DeFi ecology, PolkaX is implementing EVM and WASM onto ChainX to directly run dApps. To engage with the current DeFi developer community, they have created the NewBTC World community. It will stimulate and facilitate Smart Contract developers to make DeFi applications for Bitcoin on the fast and expandable Substrate framework on which Polkadot is built.

ChainX aims to become the largest Bitcoin Layer 2 network, enabling Bitcoin faster transaction speed, low fees and access to DeFi on Polkadot and ComingChat. It bridges Bitcoin into wrapped Substrate token XBTC. This allows XBTC to be used anywhere within the Polkadot Ecology, providing the first step to Bitcoin Defi and empowering Polkadot with the most valuable cryptocurrency.

To bring in more users, both new and veteran, PolkaX has developed ComingChat. A fully encrypted private messaging app using the Signal Protocol. It eliminates the last layer of privacy concerns by using a Private key-based account system. No phone number or email account is required. No central entity that collects data. Encryption happens on your device and the servers only relay those encrypted messages to the receiver. The private key is tied to a Coming ID, a decentralized identity NFT minted in MiniX, a proprietary blockchain bonded as a parachain to ChainX.

Within ComingChat, PolkaX has integrated a substrate wallet system and is building DApp functionality, allowing direct access to DeFi applications with any substrate token. Together with ChainX, this allows users on any level to use their tokens and NFT’s in DApps or send payments to friends. In reverse, these users can now flow into Polkadot and its ecology of parachains.

ChainX will connect to Polkadot when the time comes. First up is Kusama with SherpaX. SherpaX is the canary network for ChainX, just like the relationship between Polkadot and Kusama. The initial plan was to participate in the first round of Kusama auctions. But because the market took a violent downturn and the prospect of a long period of relative inactivity on Kusama it was deemed best to postpone participation in the auctions. This way precious development time can be used to improve XBTC now that the Taproot upgrade is announced for November. With the return of more bullish markets, we are going to participate in the second batch of auctions.

Introducing the PolkaX specialist teams

There are currently five project teams within PolkaX, the development team behind ChainX and ComingChat. These five teams are separately dedicated to:

  • XBTC2.0 — ChainX bridges Bitcoin into wrapped X-BTC. This allows X-BTC to be used anywhere within the Polkadot ecology, providing the first step to Bitcoin Defi and empowering Polkadot with the most valuable cryptocurrency. The team is working on improving the XBTC 2.0 bridge and integrating the Taproot upgrade in the methodology.
  • Taproot integration — Taproot is the soft-fork of Bitcoin that adds functionality to Bitcoin, allowing for better integration of the ChainX bridge and simplifying some functionality for lower transaction fees, whilst making other things more obfuscated, allowing for more privacy on BTC. The team is researching the Taproot upgrade to develop ChainX taproot integrations. Taproot is explained more fully down below.
  • EVM and WASMIntegrating EVM and WASM based smart contracts into ChainX to provide DeFi possibilities directly to any bridged asset in ChainX and ComingChat. This way ChainX connects Bitcoin to the ecologies of Ethereum and Polkadot.
  • ComingChat UX and UI — With ComingChat very much being in an early stage the team is working on implementing improvements. ComingChat is growing rapidly and has had more than 100.000 active users since its launch in June.
  • Decentralized Red Envelope for Coming Chat — In China a Red Envelope traditionally is a gift of money, usually an even number, for special occasions such as New Year’s or weddings. This system is also used on Chinese digital platforms like WeChat for random gifts to users, something comparable to an airdrop. PolkaX is building this on blockchain technology. Building this on ChainX creates the opportunity for any substrate token or bridged asset like XBTC to be gifted in this fashion and further market adoption for ChainX, Polkadot and BTC.

Taproot and NewBTC World

NewBTC World invites EVM, WASM and Bitcoin developers to build their BTC DeFi dreams on ChainX. This will connect Bitcoin, Polkadot and Ethereum through ChainX and acts as a platform for innovation.

Taproot is the soft-fork of Bitcoin that adds some functionality to Bitcoin, allowing for better integration of the ChainX bridge. It makes BTC multi-signature wallets operate faster, cheaper and easier. Single transactions and multi-signature transactions will look the same on the blockchain adding a layer of privacy.

What ChainX is mostly interested in is how this new upgrade can be harnessed to make the bridging of Bitcoin more decentralized and trustless. The taproot upgrade can also be leveraged to create smart contracts on BTC and mint NFT’s with BTC.

Launching SherpaX

SherpaX will function as the canary network for ChainX, just like Kusama is to Polkadot.

The crowdloan for SherpaX will be opened once the second batch of slot auctions on Kusama start. That means that SherpaX will be bidding for slot 6 and onwards until it wins a slot. When a slot is won and SherpaX is deployed as a Kusama parachain, KSX will be available to all users who participated in the airdrop and crowdloan.

The snapshot for the airdrop was successfully taken at block 2761158 around 3.00 PM GMT on June 5th 2021. You can find the snapshot here. If you use Ctrl+F (Cmd+F) you can search for your ChainX wallet address. Divide the numeric value under your address by 100000000 to find the amount of KSX you will receive.

The other way to receive KSX is through participating in the SherpaX Crowdloan during the second batch of Kusama’s Slot Auctions. Both crowdloan participants and airdrop participants will have their KSX in their wallets once KSX is launched as a parachain to Kusama. Airdrop users will need to import their ChainX wallet, crowdloan users will need to import their Kusama wallet.

We will be writing a more detailed and updated Kusama Crowdloan Strategy article. Until then, you can read the older articles here and here.

About ChainX

ChainX, the earliest launched project in Polkadot’s ecosystem, is committed to the research and application of Bitcoin layer 2 expansion, digital asset gateway and Polkadot second-layer relay chain, to realize cross-chain asset exchange, leading the new direction of Bitcoin Cross-DeFi.

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ChainX is a BTC Layer 2 solution compatible with EVM that utilizes Bitcoin as a gas fee, serving as the predecessor network of BEVM.