What Is Cross-Consensus Messaging Format (XCM)?

Last Modified:
February 28, 2024

Cross-Consensus Messaging Format (XCM) is responsible for the communication and value transfer between chains within the Polkadot ecosystem and even beyond Polkadot. XCM acts as the communication infrastructure for parachains within the Polkadot network, enabling them to exchange messages, transactions, and assets.

How XCM Works:

  1. When a parachain intends to send a message or asset to another parachain, XCM facilitates the creation of a message that encapsulates the relevant information. 
  2. This message is then relayed through the Polkadot relay chain, which acts as the communication hub for all connected parachains. The relay chain, functioning as the central coordinator, ensures the secure and orderly transfer of messages. 
  3. Validators on the relay chain validate and verify these messages, upholding the integrity of the entire process. 

XCM catalyzes interoperability by removing the barriers that have hindered blockchains from collaborating, efficiency through its standardized messaging format, decentralization with messages validated independently, and scalability through its dynamic architecture.