The Raiden Network is a highly anticipated technology to support fast, cheap and scalable ERC20 token transfers for Ethereum.
Today our team is proud to announce the Raiden Network Developer Preview. Since our last update six months ago we made over 2000 commits, resolved (and created) a ton of issues, merged a bunch of PRs and finally have a release that’s worth sharing with the developer community.
“When is Raiden ready?” was probably asked a thousand times on Reddit and also whenever we met with other members of our ecosystem. We usually referred to our repository on GitHub to show that while there is constant progress there are also a lot of open issues. Since the PoC-0 release, we have been further improving and implementing the protocol. During this time we have learned that payment channel network technology is even harder than anticipated, involving a complexity that goes beyond most common software development challenges.
The Developer Preview
Earlier this year we aimed to release a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) soon™. At some point however, we agreed that we should not call it “viable” until it is actually safe to use and deploy on the mainnet. So we switched the focus towards releasing a “Developer Preview”, in order to allow developers to get familiar with the API and characteristics of a payment channel network early on.
While the Developer Preview works, we don’t consider it to be safe to use on the Ethereum mainnet. More importantly, no external security audit of the system has been done yet and there is still a lot of work ahead before this will be a viable system.
Nonetheless, the core functionality needed to prototype Raiden Network based DApps is implemented and the release gives developers a chance to get familiar with the Raiden Network API. We hope that developers will check out the release, start prototyping DApps and find and report bugs which will help us improve Raiden on our way towards an MVP release.
The release includes all basic functionality needed to join the network, open channels, initiate token transfers, close channels, stop and restart the client. It comes as an easy to install binary on Linux, has a nice API and even a web interface (i.e. the first application built on top of the API) to interact with the Raiden Network.
We have deployed a test Raiden network of around 100 nodes in the ropsten testnet. We created 2 tokens, RTT and ORTT which you can easily mint in order to play with the functionality offered by Raiden. One of the deployed nodes is also an echo node, which means that whenever you send a transfer to it, it may (depending on some pre-determined rules) send you a transfer back. Below is a visual representation of the Raiden network as deployed in Ropsten:
To get started and participate in the network, head over to our documentation!
For a quick glance of the functionality of Raiden we have prepared a short video demoing the more tangible pieces of the release.
Please stay tuned for future updates coming soon!
The Raiden Team