Go to PolySwarm


Thank you for your interest in PolySwarm!

If you're using PolySwarm to consume threat intelligence, you'll want to view our Consumer documentation:

  1. PolySwarm UI: your one-stop-shop website for interactive usage of PolySwarm, account management and billing
  2. PolySwarm CLI: command line tools to access to the PolySwarm threat intelligence marketplace
  3. PolySwarm API: programmatic access to the PolySwarm threat intelligence marketplace ` If instead you're looking to develop a PolySwarm participant (see How It Works), then continue reading. Here you'll find everything you need to get started with participating on PolySwarm, the crowdsourced threat intelligence platform!

Let's quickly get our bearings:

  • What does it look like to participate in PolySwarm?
  • Which role (Engine, Arbiter) fits my use case?
  • How do I monitor the performance of my participant(s)?
  • Which Communities do I want to participant in?

Let's take a look at some of the high-level concepts and drill down into details where appropriate.

PolySwarm UI

PolySwarm UI is a one-stop shop website for:

  • managing accounts, teams & API keys
  • tracking your performance
  • showing off your participant to the world
  • discovering Communities
  • connecting with other PolySwarm developers

... and much, much more.


PolySwarm is made up of a series of Communities (hence the "Poly" in PolySwarm). Each Community serves a particular purpose and is either open-access or limited access to specific participants.

Swarm Technologies maintains several of PolySwarm Communities:

  • The default public Community: everyone can join & participate in this Community. This is where you will get started. We've made it simple: participant-template and polyswarm-api default to using the most recent public Community.
  • Various private Communities: invite-only Communities to support specific use cases (e.g. mutual NDA among participants, GDPR compliance, etc). After you've built a successful participant on the default public Community, speak to a member of the Swarm Technologies team to learn more about joining special-purpose Communities!

Homechains & Sidechains

Each Community has a "homechain" and a "sidechain" Generally speaking, the "homechain" is where cryptoassets (ETH, NCT) natively exist and a given Community's "sidechain" is where PolySwarm transactions take place for that Community.

PolySwarm Nectar (NCT) natively lives on the Ethereum mainnet. Unfortunately, the Ethereum mainnet is far too slow (~15s block time) and too expensive to support the sort of micro-transactions required by PolySwarm.

Rather than transacting directly on the Ethereum mainnet, PolySwarm participants relay NCT from the Ethereum mainnet to the appropriate Community's sidechain and conduct business on the sidechain. We will soon provide a UI to make this easy.

This split-chain design provides two key benefits:

  1. Scalability Today, Ethereum does not scale (they're working on this of course), so applications must implement their own "Layer 2" scaling solutions if they demand low latency or high throughput transactions.
  2. Confidentiality PolySwarm supports the notion of limited-access, private Communities. This split-chain design makes that possible.

Next Steps

There are several ways to participate in the PolySwarm ecosystem: will you create an Engine, an Ambassador, an Arbiter or something else entirely?

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