Community Debriefs

RChain Debrief 101: Main Net Security and Performance Tradeoffs


Update summary

In this week’s hangout, Medha announces that the dev fixed more non-deterministic bugs. Greg discusses the co-op’s negotiation with Pyrofex to migrate dev team members to the co-op, which he believes will encourage investors. He also mentions the intention to be listed on exchanges like Coinbase. The main discussions of this call centered around main net launch, the backup plan for the validator sale, and main net cost, security, and performance trade-offs. Greg would like to see the community produce a document which defines the scope of main net.


Technical update: discovered root cause for non-deterministic bugs
Negotiations with Pyrofex to bring dev team in-house
Resourcing and delivering of main net: security and performance trade-offs
Kenny Rowe’s election update: items of business
Kate Gonsalves financial update

Contents in brief


Technical update: Discovered root cause for non-deterministic bugs

    • Several bugs were reproduced during node testing on Tuesday. The root issue is that justifications were not matching bonded validators. They suspect that this caused the Clique safely oracle failure
    • The team hopes to re-test on Tuesday

Rholang team

    • Peek is designed. They are waiting for RSpace implementation
    • Stack safety of serialization in interpreter has been merged
    • Interpolation in Rholang has been implemented
    • Short leash deploy implementation continues, on track for this sprint

Casper team

    • Most of the contracts have ported to remove the use of unforgeable names; K/N contract remains
    • Time on the blockchain has been implemented in Rholang
    • The team is focusing on some non-deterministic bugs that are affecting stability

Node team

    • Discussions and changes in the comm layer to support improvements in threading and chunking
    • There is continued implementation on a web interface for dApp developers. This interface will ultimately support deployment, estimation of costs, the creation of unforgeable names (for the purposes of data retrieval/listening on a name) and obtaining data from the chain
    • Hardening the node shutdown process
    • Supporting issues found in community testing

Storage team

    • The removal of syncVar variables shows a significant improvement
    • Completed initial work to support separate thread pool for RSpace
    • Creating benchmarks and tests to measure performance gains and identify opportunities for further optimizations
    • Investigating differences between propose and replay performance
    • Continued the investigation of genesis block performance

SRE team

    • Continue to support the re-launch of the test net
    • Performance testing of the code—supporting the RSpace team in their efforts
    • Addressing failed integration tests
    • Work on ELK to support collection and analysis of log data
    • Moving RSong into Continuous Integration
    • Implementation of benchmarks, metrics and performance tests

RChain test net

    • There is continued work to resolve bugs blocking a functional and sustainable test net

Ceres games

    • The program is ready to launch pending confirmation of budget and assurance of a performant test net

Negotiations with Pyrofex to bring dev team in-house

  • The co-op negotiated with Pyrofex to migrate members of the dev team into the co-op as permissible by its original contract with Pyrofex
    • Pyrofex agreed to a discounted rate for the conversion of Pyrofex to co-op contractors. The co-op will be paying for the conversion within February timeframe. Greg believes this will considerably reduce the co-op’s burn rate, saving about $150,000 monthly
    • Having the dev team become part of the co-op encourages investors
  • Nash indicated Pyrofex has no interest in forking the RChain network; he will provide a letter of intent stating this, which will be made public



Main net on track to launch in March

  • Medha says the launching of main net by March is on track and depends on the team’s ability to execute codes and the co-op’s developer onboarding. The focus isn’t on the speed of main net delivery but having a blockchain that is economically secure and functionality correct
  • Medha calls out to community members to help development efforts. Joshy Orndoff and Jake Gilbert are already working on a sharding client

Capital partners

  • Conversations are ongoing with several capital partners to fund the co-op. Moreover, people are working on other deals on behalf of the co-op
  • What’s the likelihood of RChain being funded by capital partners within three months?
    • Kenny Rowe says that it’s fairly likely that RChain will receive funds from capital partners or another deal, but it’s unpredictable and not something the co-op should count on. Selling RHOCs according to him isn’t a consideration at the moment

Large RHOC seller

  • There’s been controversy about an address selling a large number of RHOCs, which some community members think may be dumping the price. Kenny is not sure but thinks it’s a result of Reflective Venture’s obligations to fund their portfolio companies

Resourcing and delivering of main net: Security and performance trade-offs

  • There are additional questions about the main net launch. Greg leads the community through the backup plan for the validator sale. At main net, the community will have to consider how many external parties to run the RChain node, the cost of the hardware backing the nodes, and how it affects the security and performance of the network
  • Greg would like to see a draft defining the scope of main net, taking to considerations legal risks

Kenny Rowe’s election update: items of business

  • The ballot proposal on financial transparency has been approved by the board. The next financial report will be delivered in January 2019
  • Kenny is taking the lead on the operational roadmap
  • Conflict of interest policy is under finalization by the board
  • More detail coming out next week

Kate Gonsalves financial update

  • The financial team is in the process of meeting with contractors with the intent to reduce contractor expense
  • They are also looking at selling some assets. Kate will come up with a more detailed update with metrics next week