State of development: Week of Oct 23rd, 2017

Update from æternity’s Elixir team and news about core blockchain development.

We are happy to announce that the core team is about to conclude Sprint 4: The Big Spenders!

  • The æternity blockchain got an on-chain “Spend” transaction!
  • We introduced a new engine to manage the blockchain itself. It has layered architecture composed of managing structure and ADT (Abstract Data Type). It isolates functionalities and will lets us smoothly migrate between chain data types (e.g. list, GHOST, DAG). Currently, we use Bitcoin-style linked list as a chain. It also handles forks in a more robust way. We continue to research other candidates for the core chain structure.
  • We are further improving network awareness of a peer in the P2P network. Work in progress covers bootstrapping peer discovery, broadcasting transactions and interfacing peers with mempool.
  • We want to make the life of æpps developers easier and æpps more user-friendly by exposing a subset of functionalities via web sockets.
  • We managed to introduce further improvements to the mempool covering interaction with miner services — it is now possible to pick up new transactions if needed, stop mining on new external block, etc. Work in progress covers edge cases in life-cycle of mempool like resolution of the longer fork handling.
  • We implemented Authenticated Dynamic Dictionaries (ADD). It is not yet fully integrated, since we need to dedicate more time on testing. The ADD will let use use transaction proofs efficiently.
  • We introduced even more improvements related to handling the Cuckoo Cycle Proof-of-Work, build system, and testing framework.

The Roadmap

We are on track for delivering a testnet in November. We would like to make it an equivalent of the Bitcoin system.

We need to establish proper procedures, covering activities like upgrades, monitoring, soft/hard forks.

Judging by the progress of sprints, the risk factors related to feature completeness are decreasing.

The remaining risks that we identified are related to getting the infrastructure and team ready to manage code and environment in flexible and automated way.

After the phase of stabilizing the testnet we will advance to implementation of core features like state channels, oracles and smart contracts. Our roadmap actually covers a longer period. We want to spend the second half of 2018 on implementing all the research related to on-chain scalability and performance of the smart contract VM.

Elixir Team Update

What we are focusing is as follows:

  • Educate new developers about blockchain by implementing a research-level blockchain for aeternity in Elixir.
  • We are building an adequate codebase for developers to experiment with the implementation of advanced features such as oracles, state channels and governance.
  • The current state is a basic validating blockchain running locally, working on sync and persistence.
  • We are organizing a BlackSeaChain Conference that will introduce blockchain-newbies to blockchain history, development and use-cases.

More updates to follow soon.

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