Community Update 188


Sprint 95 in progress

Main Focus is to prepare the block merge Hard fork (hf2), specifically (a) merging REV balances directly - in process (b) leaderless block merge - work ongoing (c) a lot of testing + bug fixing and (d) performance improvements. Other work items include resolving any identified bugs,  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. We expect to have RNode running in the development environment with leaderless block merge sometime next week. 
  2. The coding work is nearly complete for merging state based on a fringe/boundary of previous last finalized states. This is part of the changes for leaderless block merge. This is necessary because in a 67% stake scenario, multiple states may have been finalized and all of these need to be considered along with their rejections and conflicts for any new merging. We expect that this state merging will solve many of the problems associated with lazy validators. Nutzipper will explain/demo the details today.
  3. Once the leaderless RNode is compiled and running, the team will focus on refactoring the tests, run and troubleshoot any identified issues. Casper and its tests were written in the 2017-19 time frame with a lot of single parent assumptions, as well as to start a node from genesis for each test.  We have to refactor all of this.
  4. The ability to directly merge REV balances is expected to be ready for testing next week.
  5. Work on the performance tests continues. Will is investigating the reasons for the unexpected tapering of linear scaling after 25 or so nodes. We suspect this may be because of too much accumulated state information. It may also be due to how the test environment is set up and/or configuration etc. We believe this is resolvable. After we resolve this, we will report both TPS and Time per transfer metrics.
  6. After all the above is complete, we will initiate work to enable faster debugging, so that our development efficiency can improve.
  7. Denis is on vacation but continuing to work as time permits, on his RadixTree implementation of History.
  8. Status of various Block merge tasks is at

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