PolkaPool is here: The era of Auto-Swaps has begun!

5 min readApr 19, 2024


Getting started with Polkadex Orderbook just got easier. PolkaPool, or Polkadex’s automated market maker (AMM) swap pool mechanism, is now live. Thanks to the launch of PolkaPool, Auto-Swap transfers have been enabled; making onboarding on Polkadex Orderbook easier than ever.

Up to now, newcomers to Polkadex have needed a small amount of PDEX before getting started trading on the CEXier DEX. Thanks to PolkaPool and Auto-Swap, all you need is DOT, or any asset supported by PolkaPool!

Onboarding before Auto-Swap

Before diving into the new auto-swap feature, let’s take a look at the challenges of the Polkadex Orderbook onboarding process to date.

What is the existential deposit?

Since Polkadex is a Substrate-based network, every address on the network requires an existential deposit (ED). In the case of Polkadex, the existential deposit is 1 PDEX, meaning an account needs to have over 1 PDEX in balance to be considered as “existing” on the network.

You can read more about the existential deposit here.

On-chain transactions

The 1 PDEX existential deposit, combined with the need to sign on-chain transactions to create a Polkadex Orderbook trading account and add funds from funding to trading accounts means all prospective Orderbook users need a little bit of PDEX (1.5 PDEX is recommended) to get started on their CEXier DEX journey: 1 PDEX to cover the existential deposit and a little bit more on top to cover any network fees (which are usually insignificant at around 0.01 PDEX).

The need for users to have enough PDEX to cover the ED as well as network fees prior to creating a trading account left Polkadex Orderbook with a far-from-ideal onboarding experience. Auto-Swap changes that.

Trading account creation and the ‘Decentralized Bridge’ option for getting PDEX

Auto-Swap: A better welcome to Polkadex

Auto-Swap uses PolkaPool liquidity to improve the onboarding experience for new Polkadex Orderbook users. During onboarding, Auto-Swap automatically detects if a user does not have PDEX in their wallet and provides the option of adding funds via THEA, Polkadex’s decentralized bridging mechanism.

A small fraction of the cross-chain transfer is then turned into 1.5 PDEX (at a rate shown on the THEA interface) with the use of PolkaPool.

In one transfer, users can bring in their funds from other networks and ‘activate’ their account on Polkadex in order to start trading.

PolkaPool’s simple ‘Swap’ and ‘Pools’ interface


Launched to the blockchain in a runtime upgrade earlier this year, PolkaPool was waiting for a simple frontend so users could easily add or remove liquidity and make swaps. Polkadex council member ClusterCuss took on the responsibility and finalized the PolkaPool user interface.

While PolkaPool is intended to be more of a behind-the-scenes mechanism to enable auto-swap deposits and reduce friction for users onboarding to Polkadex Orderbook, it can also be used to quickly swap tokens, provide liquidity or even as an arbitrage tool against Orderbook.

PolkaPool currently features pools with PDEX as a base asset, paired with other tokens currently listed on Polkadex Orderbook.

As of the time of writing, PDEX-DOT is the only pool that contains liquidity on PolkaPool. That makes DOT the only token currently supported by Auto-Swap.

Any DOT holder can make a small transfer of DOT to Polkadex and get started with non-custodial order book trading in real time.

The remaining pools will be filled by the Polkadex Core Contributors soon. In the meantime (and beyond), they can be filled by anyone who wishes to provide liquidity to them. Once the other pools are filled, Auto-Swap support will be extended to those assets, including USDT (AssetHub), ASTR, GLMR, PHA, iBTC, and more

Auto-Swap Tutorial

Here’s a full tutorial on the Auto-Swap flow, including screenshots of every step:

  • Connect using your preferred wallet.
  • Begin creating your trading account.
  • Select the ‘Decentralized Bridge’ option and select the token you want to transfer to Polkadex. Currently, only DOT Auto-Swaps are supported. This will take you to the THEA Bridge interface.
  • On THEA, select your transfer token (in this case, DOT) and amount.
  • On the side screen, you’ll see the details of your transfer and the Auto-Swap rate. Confirm this transaction and sign it using your wallet.
  • Return to Orderbook and connect your wallet to complete the onboarding process and create your trading account.