By Eyal Markovich, COO
What an incredible few months. We concluded our first miner test with participants from across the globe, showing that the BDN is able to propagate large blocks (32MB) significantly faster than peer-to-peer! This was a huge step forward for the blockchain ecosystem, proving enhancing the networking can allow all blockchains to scale. In addition to this huge milestone, we also closed a funding round at the start of Q2 2019 with support from leading industry VC’s, including Pantera and Fenbushi, to accelerate product development. Our Strategy & Operations Manager, Eleni Steinman, wrote this article with more details.
Over the last few months our tech team focused on:
- Executing the BCH Mining Test
- Enhancing our network’s DDoS protections
- Improving Gateway performance with better compact blocks support and C++ extensions for high performance code
- Adding additional network infrastructure in China
In early July we completed and published the results from our two month long Bitcoin Cash Mining Test, performed live on the BCH testnet. The Dev team has now shifted focus to our ETH Miner Test and our Version 1 launch. Below is an overview of the BCH Mining Test results with the full report published on Medium.
BCH Mining Test TL;DR
- bloXroute partnered with the largest bitcoin miners and mining pools including BTC.com, F2Pool, Rawpool, and others.
- The test consisted of two phases; In Phase 1 miners mined without bloXroute to establish a baseline and during Phase 2 miners mined with bloXroute to measure performance (e.g. block propagation time)
- bloXroute generated 21 million transactions on the testnet to enable consistent larger blocks. During testing 252 blocks were mined that were 32MB.
- Results show propagation times ranging between 2–18 seconds for large blocks with bloXroute, compared to up to 193 seconds without. [Note: Propagation times include block validation, which we have seen take between 1–5 seconds on large blocks].
- China showed the largest improvement in propagation time; a node in Beijing received 32MB blocks from its peers between 17–151 seconds, but using the BDN the same node received large blocks in just 3–7 seconds.
Now that testing has concluded we have begun work to prepare for our ETH Miner Test. The test will occur on the mainnet and has confirmed participation from F2Pool, BTC.com and other large pools, comprising over 50% of the Ethereum hashrate. If you are interested in joining the test, drop us a line at email@example.com. Further ETH Mining Test announcements will be made on our Twitter.
We plan on releasing V1 of the BDN in August with a limited number of participants, then open it wider following the completion of the ETH Mining Test. V1 of our product will include at least 15 nodes across 5 continents. We plan to expand the network to include 30–50 nodes by Q4 2019 to account for expected increased activity. As mentioned, the first version will have built-in support for both Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum to start. It is never too early to contact us to help scale your project, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For V1, we have:
We added additional security protections to our Relays and BDN infrastructure to protect against DDoS attacks. To ensure a constant focus on improvement, an internal “Red Team” continually probes our system for protection weaknesses. With their feedback we have completed several updates to successfully withstand several classes of attack and will continue to ensure our BDN maintains an excellent level of stability and resilience.
Improving Gateway Performance
To further increase the speed of block propagation, we are improving the performance of our bloXroute Gateway software. To achieve this, we migrated certain performance critical code, such as block compression, to C++ to provide native execution for systems we support.
We have begun adding networking infrastructure in China to provide better block distribution to China-based miners. We have deployed bloXroute Relays in major Chinese cities and are currently testing and optimizing them to ensure low latency. Our initial tests are promising and we expect that our new China-based infrastructure will play an important role in the future of the BDN.
Thank you again for the continued support on our journey to solve the blockchain scalability problem. The best way to stay up to date regarding our V1 launch and other company information is by following us on Twitter @bloxroutelabs.
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