Update summary

Previously, the dev team and Whiteblock collaborated on Whiteblock’s private test net. Greg reviewed progress on applications the co-op needs in order to fulfill its functions, such as identity and members voting. Kayvan Kazeminejad and Jim Whitescarver gave demos of Rholang voting contracts. Greg and Jonathan emphasized the generalizability of the RSong back end and how it can be used to quickly create MVPs for data-sharing and supply-chain applications. The Governance Committee had its first meeting; five voting members were chosen.

This week, Kevin Goldstein represented the co-op at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, where insights were shared on the potential of using blockchain in the energy industry. Augmate was featured this week on RCast; COO Dana Farbo discusses IoT and wearable device management. Greg responds to recent news on a potential DAO attack on the Ethereum network due to its code vulnerability. He outlined security measures for handling mission-critical applications on a network. RChain Asia focuses on the formalization of public relations and partnerships. The group received permission to submit a grant proposal of $2m to a Korean university for blockchain research and a development facility. A major update from Kenny’s progress report involves the beginning of work from the audit and financing committee.

Timeline


Announcements

  • RNode v0.8.2 was released on January 7
  • Developer community update
  • Q4 financial report on track for 1/20/19
  • Please share your ideas for RSong rebranding in #rsong on Discord
  • Try our Rholang tutorial
  • Bounties are still available for development work related to the implementation of Mercury requirement. Developers are welcome to put up missing tickets
  • Individuals interested in learning more on the progress of various partnerships in the audio space should reach out to Fabian with questions
  • Greg Meredith is attending Binance Blockchain Week in Singapore. He will be cultivating face-to-face relationships to help others better understand the RHOC to REV transition
  • Jim Whitescarver demos Rholang voting system integrated into Discord.
  • Visit our developer website for dev tools

Content in Brief


Technical Update

General

  • Chris Boscolo has been hired as the product manager
  • Sprint and Release
    • 2-week sprint ends 1/21. The priorities are platform stability, bug fixes, and feature specification
    • Extreme coding session planned next week in Warsaw with Greg and the team. Priorities are the implementation of cost accounting and wallets
    • RNode v0.8.2 released on 1/7. Please see RNode-0.8.2 release plan for more details
    • RNode v0.8.3 releases week of 1/21
  • Mercury requirements and acceptance criteria
    • Please see the documentation. This is our focal point. SRE team and bounty developers working on test development to validate completion of these features
  • Work with Whiteblock
    • The Whiteblock team continues to work to implement the RChain test plan into the testing environment. Last week they ran into issues related to surfacing metrics in Grafana. Plan to meet this Friday to see demo and hand-off to dev team
  • Test net status
    • A public test net is not yet available
    • Issues blocking the launch of a public test net are available here
    • Platform stability is the top priority for most people on the team.

Platform

  • Almost done with the effort to make codebase changes to use F consistently, rather than mixing F and Task; RCHAIN-2227 : Use F consistently in the code instead of mixing F and Task IN PROGRESS
  • Work in progress to update the performance of test harness and deliver a contract to measure performance in terms of COMM events. This will be used to support baseline and regression testing for all commits

Node

  • Updated User guide for running RNode with change for how to call metrics to find out peer count
  • Related to supporting blocks of various sizes, Pull request for RCHAIN-1615 : Stop receiving stream Blobs if they will not fit memory DONE merged. It introduces a circuit breaker mechanism to support the handler deciding to break a circuit based on how much data was read so far and to not continue handling the stream if it is too large for the node. Next step is to specify and implement what conditions should trigger the circuit breaker; RCHAIN-2792 : Brainstorm/discussion on halt condition when receiving huge block TO DO
  • Work started on new configuration file format; RCHAIN-1944 : Move from TOML configuration file format to Lightbend config HOCONIN PROGRESS

Blockchain

  • PR for BlockStore received final approval today. Next PR is in to provide block storage checkpointing. RCHAIN-652 : Implement a new BlockStore capable of handling a large amount of blocks IN PROGRESS
  • Test for block finalization in development; RCHAIN-2846 : Integration tests: Implement test_catch_up_next_round TO DO  to help investigate a finalization bug blocking platform stability

Casper

  • This week we replace the Turan oracle with the clique safety oracle; RCHAIN-2835 – Replace turan oracle with clique oracle DONE . This should help us debug any issues with the safety oracle
  • as now we aren’t using a lower bound on the maximum clique size
  • Investigating a bug related to an assertion error and the safety oracle; RCHAIN-2805 – ERROR c.r.shared.UncaughtExceptionLogger$ – Uncaught Exception : assertion failed TO DO. This is related to bonding and the agreement with the safety oracle about the status of a newly bonded validator. There was a PR last week that addressed one cause of this error. However, we observed the error again in yesterday’s community test and for a different reason. Looking to the investigation to show if. this is a blip or something more serious. Simultaneously work is underway to expand and improve the test coverage for various bonding scenarios; RCHAIN-2831 – Cover bonding with unit tests. IN PROGRESS

SRE Team

  • Developing tests to validate the status of Mercury feature requirements
  • Addressing bug observed in RDoctor during this week’s community test
  • Implementation work started on a monitoring system for coop-maintained nodes, including bootstrap nodes

National rural electric cooperatives association: Kevin Goldstein represents the co-op as a panelist

RChain board member, Kevin Goldstein, represented the co-op on a panel to discuss the value of leveraging blockchain in the energy industry. Insights were shared on the solutions RChain are providing for electrical cooperatives. The gathering provided him with an opportunity to connect with executives from electrical cooperatives across the country. Some of the representatives expressed interest in exploring and collaborating with RChain. Greg Meredith believes this could be an advantage to RChain when approaching the transactive energy market (from a decentralized approach)


Marketing update: Augmate featured in podcast

Augmate COO Dana Farbo was featured on this week’s podcast to discuss IoT and wearable device management, such as the potential of using VR and augmented reality for sexual harassment training, as well as providing coordination tools for pilgrims travelling to Mecca. Derek will be doing podcasts with Traslo founder, Kamran Khan, as well as Greg Heuss from Reflective Ventures to discuss portfolio companies. He urges the community to members to investigate Proof’s alpha testing phase. The organization has been vetting dozens of stories over the past month. He hopes to get more technical content up on the blog


Ethereum’s security vulnerability: DAO re-entry bug attack

On 1/15, a smart contract audit firm, Chain Security, flagged Ethereum’s improvement proposal (EIP)1283. If implemented it could provide attackers with a loophole in the code to steal users’ funds. While speaking of the security vulnerability, Greg Meredith mentions that the biggest security exposure is not the core protocol exposure (as was the case of Ethereum), but the exposure in the user-defined contract—especially in a network processing tens of thousands of transactions. He believed what saved Ethereum during the previous DAO attack was low transactions. He mentioned two network security measures to handling mission-critical applications:

  • It has to be effectively automated
  • It has to fit in with the natural development methodology for people writing smart contracts

According to Greg, the types system for Rholang has superior capabilities when checking for issues like the DAO re-entry bug. Implementation of behavioural types is targeted for Venus, but Greg recommends the spatial logic model checker for insight on the behavioural type


RChain Asia update: formalizing partnership and public relations

RChain Asia is focused on formalizing verbal relationships and partnerships. It has received permission with a Korean university to submit a grant proposal to the Korean government for $2m to create a blockchain research and development facility. They are being sponsored by the Vice President of the university, an electrical engineer with Phd from Case Western FPGAs. On the educational front, it has established relationship with one of the premier technical facilities in Singapore. Jonathan was invited to join a long hash patch program, the premier blockchain incubator in Singapore


Progress report: Audit and financing committee begins work

  • Participation in governance (IOB4) will be addressed next week by the governance committee
  • The final charter for the governance committee was approved on 1/10
  • Initial work from the audit and finance committee has begun. Mark Pui was nominated to lead the committee
  • See full update on the blog