PSP22: the first smart contract standard on the Polkadot Ecosystem

Markian 0x
WASM conference
Published in
2 min readOct 29, 2021


Polkadot got an ERC20 standard for the WASM part of the ecosystem.
What PSP22 is to Polkadot, ERC20 is to Ethereum. 🔥

Developed by Supercolony, PSP22 was passed and adopted by the community and Web3 Foundation Team, becoming the first accepted standard in the Polkadot ecosystem.

But why is it important?
Let’s dive in and explore why this standard matters.

Why do we need standards for smart contracts?

In the early days of Ethereum, every development team deployed their own version of token-based smart contracts (fungible, non-fungible, multi-token, and so on).

At first, this wasn’t much of a problem. A user could interact with the smart contract, but it quickly became a huge mess for another reason — smart contracts need to interact with each other.

To do so, they all had to expose the same function signature to enable true interoperability. That’s how the first Ethereum Improvement Proposals (ERC) came out — ERC20. A standardized smart contract signature also eased integration for wallets and decentralized exchanges as they could trust the standardized signature of the function they were calling.

Defining standards in Polkadot

With the upcoming Parachain Auctions next month (on Polkadot), parachains with WASM smart contract capabilities will be out. That’s why it’s critical to have a standard before the auctions take place.

These standards go through several acceptance phases, and we need to engage the whole community to build valuable and future-proof standards. Over the last three months, we contacted every team and project that will benefit from this PSP. All of them agreed on the content as well as the need to have such standards.

The PSP22 Fungible Token standard was inspired by ERC20. It targets every parachain that integrates with pallet contracts to enable WASM smart contracts. Defined at an ABI level, any language that compiles to WASM (and isn’t explicitly restricted to ink!) should use it.

PSP22 will have a double impact:

  1. On a parachain level, it will ensure that PSP22 is used to enable true interoperability.
  2. It will secure interoperability of all token standards (PSP22 and future standards) between different parachains or other substrate-based chains in a multi-chain future.

It also helps to have a predefined interface for specific token standards to ensure the implementation of exhaustive logic. This will encourage teams to share the most high-performing and secure implementations like what we’re now offering with OpenBrush.

What’s next for Supercolony?

We’re actively developing OpenBrush, a library for ink! smart contract development that enables the official implementation of PSP22 and more. Like the OpenZepplin library drives smart contract development on Ethereum, OpenBrush does the same on Polkadot.

We will continue to raise PSP22 awareness to ensure that the standard is used extensively in the months ahead. We will also kick start the next phase of token standards development as we forge ahead into the new year.