Community Update 186


Sprint 94 in progress

Main Focus is to prepare the block merge Hard fork (hf2), specifically (a) merging REV balances aka per deploy vault (b) Attestation messages -completed (c) leaderless block merge - work started this last week (c) a lot of testing + bug fixing and (d) performance improvements. Other work items include resolving any identified bugs, improving  performance, hardening the network. Hard fork 3 changes - PoS contract and related items (No  change in this hf3 section this week - personnel on vacation).  Current PR list is at .  

Block merge Hard Fork (hf2)

  1. Work on directly merging REV balances is proceeding. Once this is complete and tested with the rest of the code including attestation messages, leaderful block merge will be complete.
  2. Work on leaderless block merge continues. There are several new conditions to be tackled due to the concurrency introduced and the interaction between the Casper state and block processing. We are creating the necessary solutions and testing them.
  3. GSJ has created initial dashboards using Influxdb and it's Telegraf toolkit. The development team will receive these dashboards soon. We will test them on the main net also, review and make available to the community based on our analysis.
  4. Denis has completed the specification and clarification first version of the history/Merkle tree performance improvements. He is moving towards initial prototype implementation in Scala. We should be able to get some early performance numbers towards the end of next week.
  5. Status of various Block merge tasks is at
  6. Other changes:
    1. Will's bug fix for transaction API is now merged. This is currently deployed on testnet as a draft release.

Hard Fork 3 - PoS changes

No change this week - Quantifier on vacation.

Release Plan for the rest of the year and beyond - for reference, no change

Currently planned near term releases are

  1. Block merge release hard fork 2 plus any configuration changes that do not need extensive work - Leaderful and Leaderless block merge
  2. Configuration changes release,
  3. Performance improvements releases (one or more),
  4. Hard Fork 3 with PoS changes and other items,
  5. External validators process validation with trusted community validators
  6. External validators among extended ecosystem (e.g. exchanges, if they're willing)
  7. External validators in the wild.

Explanation of the different Hard Forks (for reference)

Proceeding further with block merge requires changes to the per validator vault to make it a per deploy vault/purse etc. We are currently finalizing the design for this. Actual code and test will take some time. We are potentially looking at this scenario:
1. First hard fork for balances and removing the slashed validator
2. Second hard fork for block merge - This is the fastest way to get block merge on the main net without holding it until the third hard fork. This includes REV balance merging (aka per deploy vault), attestation messages and the Tree depth being increased to 4.
3. Third hard fork with all other changes.  Third hard fork includes implementation of a lot of changes including the PoS contract changes, Soft fork process etc.  Design for soft fork process is complete and is being reviewed by the team.

(Hard Fork) TEST NET 2 ADVISORY: (for reference)

To test the version of block merge with data changes that need a hard fork, we are creating a separate feature branch and a TEST NET 2 as the testbed for this feature branch. This content will be left here until we are close to Hard Fork 2 implementation on the main net. TestNet 2 is now available for the community to test their contracts on.

  1. There will be no guarantees of data storage format compatibility on Test Net 2, as the data storage format changes are incrementally implemented. The anticipated changes are mostly storage level format changes visible only to node operators. We encourage the community to start using Test Net 2 in addition to the current test net, so that we can quickly identify and resolve any issues with the upcoming hard forks. All new development should be targeted to TEST NET 2 and all current code MUST BE tested against TEST NET 2 to ensure future compatibility. 

On all the hard forks on the main net, we will be starting from an empty state, with REV balances only. On Test Net 2, this 'loosing the state' will be repeated multiple times.

Tech-Governance meetings on Fridays 9:30 AM Eastern, 6:30 Am Pacific 

Mercury requirements and acceptance criteria

Details on the acceptance criteria: Mercury acceptance criteria

Please see the documentation at

Developer website