Summary of the Centrifuge Cross Chain Composability Workshop in Berlin

Cross Chain Composability Workshop in Berlin

On the 13th September (during Berlin Blockchain Week), Centrifuge hosted a Product Workshop in Berlin. 30 people attended the workshop. It was really insightful with a lot of participation. The workshop covered a full range of topics and created some good ideas from XCM documentation, to Polkadot name service and the overall consensus to create more user facing apps. Ideally from a user perspective, users should be able to use different parachains without noticing or needing to change entry points, wallets, tools. The Cross-Consensus Message Format (XCM) is a first step to enable frictionless transfers of assets across chains in the Polkadot ecosystem.

The objectives were:

Parachains in the Polkadot ecosystem are opting to build its cross-chain interoperable solution on Polkadot largely due to its parachain offering. Polkadot parachains are a series of small, application-specific chains connecting to Polkadot’s central governance chain, the relay chain. With Polkadot’s XCM (cross-consensus messaging), a new standard is emerging: one that puts security at the top of the agenda, but without compromising on the importance of making the process seamless and user-friendly. Although there is an incredible degree of flexibility, making this an optimal place for each project to build, there are challenges coming up along the way that we want to solve together.

During the check-in round we collected answers from all participants around the key question. After voting we chose 4 topics with the most votes and went into break out sessions to deep dive.

Key question: What are the biggest challenges facing cross-chain composability?

  • Simplifying user experience and abstracting away cross chain aspect
  • Better developer experience for XCM + documentation
  • Safely transfer assets and data across chains
  • Standards and best practices for cross chain interoperability and aligning all participants
  • Wallet and key management
  • Counterparty risk
  • How to use XCM apart from token transfers
  • Fungibility for wrapped tokens across chains
  • Achieving decentralization in cross chain swaps
  • How to merge communities?

Results of the Deep Dives

Deep dive 1: Simplifying User Experience and abstracting away cross chain aspect

Main takeaway

Ideally from a user perspective, a user should be able to use different parachains of the ecosystem without really noticing or needing to change entry points, wallets, tools. Cross chain messaging transfers (XCM) is a first step to enable frictionless transfers of assets across chains.

Key Insights

  • Parachain setup as one root cause for many UX issues
  • Wallet address chaos across parachains
  • lack of stablecoin and liquidity in the Polkadot parachain ecosystem
  • lack of tooling
  • slow governance process


  • Polkadot name service
  • Attract more end user apps
  • abstract parachain complexity
  • connecting chains through apps
  • bring parachain devs together
  • create one ecosystem overview

Deep dive 2: Developer experience + XCM documentation

Main takeaway

More information and explanation about XCM is needed. The teams working with XCM gather all their information from submitted code on Github, Discord channels or Telegram chats with other developers. The idea is to create one document that onboards developers to XCM.

Key questions

  • Documentation/ How to?
  • What is the dev experience?
  • How to maintain high quality, consistant doc in a dynamic environment?
  • Copy and paste code examples which work

Key Insights

  • Dynamic form/ AI?
  • Who is using it?
  • Simple interface/ better abstraction
  • not reliable, no enough resources
  • young space
  • complex but nice architecture
  • no pallet standardisation


  • Write a book/document “XCM for dummies” which explains the concept with an analogy or with very simple terms what this is all about
  • Include “Pitfalls of using XCM - Stuff to look out for” in the document
  • Create an SDK to abstract from the logic, to make using XCM 2-3 lines of code
  • Create JS functions for the XCM pallets so you can try them out in the browser
  • Have an example XCM pallet which covers extended functionality
  • Have a DAO/Community/Team maintaining the SDK and docs around XCM via a grant/funding from Parity
  • Measure developer experience throughout the journey and run interviews within Parachain dev teams of how fast/easy it was to onboard.

Deep dive 3: Safely transfer assets and data across chains

Main takeaway

  • It’s one of the biggest challenges the space is currently facing and the best solution has not been found yet. Hops between different chains make it very complex to trace back original tokens.
  • Trust issue is not agnostic to Polkadot
  • Collateral of participating chains are infeasible because they limit scalability
  • CEXs still the preferred solution for bridging
  • A safe transfer requires consensus across chains with different consensus mechanisms

Key questions

  • Are XCM token transfers safer than bridging assets?
  • How to get to trustless transfers?


  • SPREE on Polkadot: enforce authenticity of message, only bridge between parties with 100% audited code by trusted parties

Deep dive 4: Standards and best practices for cross chain interoperability and aligning all participants

Main takeaway

This group focused on the standards that are required for interoperability. Basic questions were discussed e.g. why is interoperability needed and what is the benefit? who should decide on the standards?

Key questions

  • Misuse of assettx (reserve/teleport)
  • Format vs Standard
  • Lack of proper asset representation
  • DID


  • Interblockchain meetups
  • More dapps with interoperability in mind
  • a platform for standard discussions

Overall we had a good 3h productive working session and planted the seeds to enhance the cross chain composability in the Polkadot ecosystem.


Good day Anna and thank you for this summary.

This workshop shows me three important things:

1.) Centrifuge is buidling heavily,
2.) Interoperability is the future and
3.) Polkadot is the right network for dapps to be integrated

Only one question remains:

3.) What and how can the community contribute to path the way to future success?

Another challenge and question that came up is how can communities be merged and support each other. For example Centrifuge and Moonbeam communities

Do you have an idea @Tjure07?

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Your ears will be burning. Today at 6 CET / 12 EST is the perfect chance to bring the communities of Moonbeam and Centrifuge together on Twitter spaces

The agenda will be:

  • Unlocking capital for real-world assets using DeFi
  • Use cases and
  • the role XCM will play in the Centrifuge-Moonbeam interaction