Substrate Technology


Blockchain developers have had to make difficult tradeoffs when deciding what distributed ledger technology to use.

This has forced them to implement workarounds, hard-forks, or simply succumb to limitations...until Substrate.


Legacy blockchains are not designed with the specific intent of the applications in mind. General purpose blockchains require developers to work within the rigid boundaries of the design decisions made by others.

Developers can choose and even hot-swap components (pallets) such as the network stack, consensus, even the finality engine. Simply select from the growing list of pallets or create your own. Either way, you get to deploy a blockchain network purpose built for your use case, that can evolve with your changing needs.

Want to learn more? Check out the overview documentation »

Discover how Acala leverages Substrate's flexibility to enable no cost transactions and protect against MEV and sandwich attacks

Case Study


Upgrading blockchain networks has been notoriously difficult. The legacy approach requires coordinating all node operators to deploy new code in a timely manner, which has historically led to hard forks, divided networks, and even split communities.

How can a blockchain network automatically upgrade? Substrate has a unique property where the runtime (state transition function) is stored within the blockchain state. This means nodes update themselves by default rather than through manual intervention. Hard forks only happen when node operators take explicit action.

Since coordinating node operators isn't necessary, upgrades can be more frequent with less issues. Forkless runtime upgrades enable developers to innovate and move forward faster.

Perform your first forkless upgrade using this tutorial »


The speed of transactions isn’t the only metric that makes a blockchain network fast. The speed of development, upgrades, and user experience are also important.

Another unique attribute of Substrate is its “light-client-first” design which can run directly in-browser and interact with a chain in a fully trustless way. Traditional approaches for syncing nodes require users to run dedicated hardware and wait a long time for their node to sync, or as a workaround, use a centralized service provider. Substrate light-clients sync lightning fast and drastically increase the decentralization of blockchain networks. Developers can relax, knowing their end users aren’t reliant on a separate node infrastructure susceptible to downtime or hacking.

Experience running a client directly in your browser with Substrate Connect »

Substrate's flexibility alleviates the tension of tradeoffs by enabling developers to create the most optimal blockchain for their specific needs.