Calling All Pallet Developers

6 min readNov 8, 2021

To assist in the development of seamlessly interoperable decentralized applications (dApps) and protocols, Composable Finance is calling developers to build and launch pallets on Picasso, our Kusama parachain. Whether you are applying for the Composable Grant Program or building on your own, we encourage all developers interested in creating pallets to connect with us and leverage our Kusama offering.

With our Kusama parachain successfully procured for Picasso, we are now able to completely build out the Picasso offering to developers, while also devoting enhanced efforts to procuring a Polkadot parachain for our Composable parachain as well (more details to come).

Thus, developers building on Picasso will have a concrete opportunity to deploy, test out, and improve their pallets in a secure and low-risk space. Developers will also have the opportunity to have their pallets “graduate” to our future Composable parachain on Polkadot, via a user governance structure. This means that pallet developers getting involved in Picasso now will be able to have the earliest opportunity to trial and refine their work on Kusama, with the ultimate goal of bringing the best and most impactful pallets to our Polkadot parachain and the Composable ecosystem there.

If you are a pallet developer, we hope you will join us on this journey to creating a complete suite of pallets on the DotSama ecosystem, powering the interoperable dApps of the future.

Understanding Pallets

For those unfamiliar, Substrate pallets are modular building blocks that can be utilized and stacked in the development of protocols and dApps. Pallets found in Substrate (and thus in the DotSama ecosystem) and smart contracts (such as those in DeFi’s initial home, Ethereum) have some overlapping functionalities, yet overarchingly, they are quite different. Therefore, there are many reasons why a developer may choose to deploy their project using pallets instead of smart contracts.

Pallets differ from smart contracts as smart contracts trigger specific trustless agreements and subsequent automated actions. On the other hand, pallets provide a broader infrastructure framework that developers can build with. Building a project with pallets is more like building a home with traditional construction materials like bricks, allowing for incredible flexibility and power and the creation of anything imaginable. Smart contracts are more similar to building modular or “prefab” homes, where the major components of the home such as walls and rooms are built standard in the factory, only allowing for minor changes in how the home appears and is put together.

Moreover, smart contracts add an additional layer of logic on top of an existing blockchain’s core logic (think: paint and decorations on the walls of the home), whereas pallets are compiled together to create the base runtime of a parachain (think: the actual home itself). While both smart contracts and pallets carry out logic on blockchains, pallets are fundamentally more powerful.

Improved Accessibility & Developer-Friendliness for Launching Pallets in the DotSama Ecosystem

As DeFi progresses towards full interoperability, pallets will play an important role in the evolution of the industry; therefore, pallet development is lucrative work. Despite this, one major roadblock persists: you must launch your pallet in the DotSama ecosystem. With limited parachain slots available, the most accessible (and most developer-friendly) path to launching a pallet in the DotSama ecosystem is by launching a pallet on another team’s parachain. Thus, Composable provides its own parachain as a development hub for Substrate pallet builders, offering a range of benefits including enhanced developer tools, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

How Picasso Benefits Pallet Developers

Composable’s Kusama parachain, Picasso, is actively seeking pallet developers looking to launch pallets on our parachain. Perhaps the most notable benefit for deploying a pallet on our parachain is that it will offer native cross-chain communication capabilities to all pallets and dApps built upon it. Between our Picasso parachain and our upcoming Composable parachain on Polkadot, this will provide for a broad Composable ecosystem, in which the pallets can communicate directly with each other and any other applications there — allowing for complete interoperability.

This native interoperability within the ecosystem will also be accompanied by built-in cross-layer and even cross-chain communication. This will be accomplished through Picasso’s integration of Mosaic, our cross-layer asset transferral system, which connects Ethereum to a number of scaling solutions, and is beginning to link to other blockchains as well. This interoperability is in high demand within DeFi since users want to be able to seamlessly operate between projects that are currently siloed in different layers of Ethereum and across different blockchains. Therefore, developers of pallets on Picasso or the Composable parachain will be creating a product that is sorely needed by DeFi users, and contributes to the overall improvement of the industry while also being primed for popular use.

Further, developers who want to utilize Picasso to launch their pallet will not have to undergo the lengthy, difficult, and expensive parachain procurement process. They will also not have to build on an entirely undeveloped and isolated parachain ecosystem; Picasso will provide them with integrations into our existing ecosystem of other pallets, with the opportunity to graduate to the ecosystem of pallets on our Polkadot parachain. In addition, we will also open up our ecosystem to dApp developers once a significant number of pallets have been deployed, introducing an active user base to your pallet.

Another critical benefit of building on Picasso is that our parachain allows the end-user to experience around five times lower transaction fees, compared to those on Ethereum. This provides a major advantage that will help to further draw users to the pallets and dApps built on Picasso and the Composable parachain.

Composable’s development team is also at the ready to support some of the most promising pallets being built in our ecosystem, providing development and financial support through the previously mentioned Composable Grant Program.

What Composable is Looking For in a Pallet

Presently, Composable is looking to onboard pallets that help to create the building blocks for DeFi primitive, core, and application functionalities. By providing the building blocks for this wide variety of utilizations, we can help to supply dApp developers on Picasso with all the necessary tools to build seamlessly interoperable financial applications ranging from simple to sophisticated.

So far, Composable Labs, Composable’s incubation and testing ground, has announced three pallets: Apollo (an MEV-resistant oracle pallet), Cubic (a vault pallet), and Angular Finance (an isolated lending pair pallet). We encourage any pallet projects that want to launch on Picasso to reach out.

The Importance of Governance

As noted above, pallets help to create the runtime of a parachain. This results in the importance of preventing the onboarding of malicious pallets that can compromise the entire chain.

Composable has devised a strategy to govern pallet onboarding through Picasso’s native token, PICA. This governance will allow token holders to vote on which pallets are integrated into the parachain. Implementing this voting process will also allow our team to have the time to perform an audit of a pallet’s code before onboarding them.

A further precautionary step we are taking to ensure our parachain’s sustained success is to implement pallet-democracy into our pallets. Pallet-democracy allows individual pallets to have their own governance, which adds an extra layer of security when revisions are made.

Through the support of outside developers and the Composable team, we will be able to provide an ecosystem with the essential malleable building blocks for developers while maintaining the integrity of our network — delivering enhanced benefits to our pallet developers.

If you are a developer with a project you think fits our ecosystem and goals, and you would like to participate in our interactive testing landscape at Composable Labs, reach out to me on Telegram at @brainjar.




Composable Finance Founder & CEO. I write about R&D at Composable Finance. Physicist by training