Polkadot Namespace - Chains

Author ["Pedro Gomes, "Joshua Mir, "Shawn Tabrizi, "Juan Caballero, "Antonio Antonino
Discussions-To https://github.com/ChainAgnostic/CAIPs/issues/13
Status Draft
Type Standard
Created 2020-04-01
Updated 2023-02-22
Requires CAIP-2
Withdrawal reason CAIP-13


For context, see the CAIP-2 specification.


The namespace is called “polkadot” to encompass all chains that implement the Polkadot Host protocol, allowing actors and entities that belong to a relay chain, independent “solo” chain, and L1-like “parachain” to be addressable.

The rationale behind the use of block hash from the genesis block stems from its usage in the Polkadot architecture in network and consensus.


The definition for this namespace will use the genesis-hash as an identifier for different Polkadot chains. The format is a 32 character-long HEX string, without the 0x prefix, representing the first half of the block 0 (genesis) hash for the given chain.

As CAIP-2 references for this namespace are 32-byte hashes in lowercase HEX, they can be validated with the simple regular expression: [0-9a-f]{32}

Resolution Method

There is no index or registry that maps genesis hashes to networks, and defining such a mechanism for doing so is out of the scope for this specification. This specification assumes that consumers of this class of CAIP-2 identifiers are able to properly resolve them to the appropriate network. This specification then defines how to verify that a given RPC node, reachable via a regular URL, belongs to a given Polkadot network.

Given the URL of a Polkadot network RPC node, make a JSON-RPC request to the node with method chain_getBlockHash, for example:

// Request
  "id": 1,
  "jsonrpc": "2.0",
  "method": "chain_getBlockHash",
  "params": [0]

// Response
  "id": 1,
  "jsonrpc": "2.0",
  "result": "0x91b171bb158e2d3848fa23a9f1c25182fb8e20313b2c1eb49219da7a70ce90c3"

The response will return as a value for the result a hash for the block with height 0 (i.e., genesis block). The leading 0x and the last 32 characters will need to be trimmed, such that the resulting string is a 32-character HEX string (i.e., 16 bytes) that represents the CAIP-2 identifier for the Polkadot network the RPC node is part of.

Backwards Compatibility

Not applicable

Test Cases

This is a list of manually composed examples

# Polkadot relay chain

# Kusama relay chain

# KILT Spiritnet parachain on Polkadot

# Karura parachain on Kusama

# Crust Network solo chain


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


Please cite this document as:

["Pedro Gomes, "Joshua Mir, "Shawn Tabrizi, "Juan Caballero, "Antonio Antonino, "namespaces/polkadot-caip2: Polkadot Namespace - Chains [DRAFT]," Chain Agnostic Namespaces, polkadot-caip2, April 2020 / February 2023. [Online serial]. Available: https://github.com/ChainAgnostic/namespaces/polkadot-caip2.md