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Introducing Our Incentivized Testnet on xDAI: HOPR Säntis

At 2,501.9 metres above sea level, Säntis is a Swiss mountain offering views of six countries from the summit!

It’s been a busy few months of testing and development since our public launch in July. Our first public versions of the HOPR network have all employed a slimmed-down version of our data transmission protocol, but now we’re ready to start turning the most important features back on, like multi-hop data transmission, probabilistic payments, and cover traffic. We need your help to test them all on our new incentivized testnet on the xDAI chain!

This is the very first chance to earn HOPR tokens! Anyone who participates in this testnest will be eligible for a share of our first bounty fund, worth 1.66 million HOPR, to be released after mainnet launch later in the year.

Read the press release here.

Säntis

The latest iteration of our testnet is codenamed Säntis, after a mountain in HOPR’s home country of Switzerland. Säntis rises 2,503m above sea level and provides glorious panoramic views over six countries. (Although not as impressive as the HOPR network, which has HOPR Hardware Nodes running in 32 different countries worldwide, on 5 continents.)

Unlike previous versions of our testnet, which just tested basic features like node stability and successful data transmission without hops, Säntis will implement many of the core HOPR privacy and incentivization features, including multi-hop data transmission and the token payment mechanism for relayers who help data hop privately to its destination.

xHOPR

We’re going to be using a new token to power this testnet: xHOPR.

Although the testnet replicates many mechanisms from our eventual mainnet, it’s important to stress that xHOPR is not our final HOPR token. It’s completely separate, and can’t be bought or sold or transferred for HOPR. It’s just for this testnet, and has no value.

But there will definitely be token rewards for participating! As part of our token allocation, we have 1.6 million HOPR tokens to award as bounties between now and mainnet launch. Participating in this testnet will make you eligible for a share of this bounty fund, and the more you participate the more HOPR you can earn, but this will not be directly linked to xHOPR.

Full details of the bounty fund will be released as soon as we’re able (there are, as you can imagine, various technical and regulatory issues, but we don’t want those to get in the way of our testing schedule), but early participants in the testnet will have a better chance of earning more HOPR.

xDAI Chain

The testnet token is called xHOPR because Säntis is secured by the xDAI Chain.

Anyone paying even a small amount of attention to Ethereum and the recent DeFi boom will have noticed that gas prices on the Ethereum chain have gotten crazy lately. This is fine for securing valuable transactions, but it’s a huge problem for testing. We could easily blow our entire testing budget in a week trying to run a test net at current prices.

So the incentivized testnet will be running on the xDAI Chain, a sidechain of Ethereum which relies on proof-of-stake and only settles to the main Ethereum chain sporadically. xDAI Chain is superfast and transaction fees are a million times cheaper than the Ethereum main chain. Literally!

You’ll need to load xDAI to your HOPR node’s Ethereum address participate in the testnet. At the moment we don’t have a withdraw option available, but we’re working on that. While no withdrawal option is available, the xDAI minimum to participate is set to just 0.02 xDAI (around two cents).

Cover Traffic

The goal of this testnet is to test some of the key features that will make the HOPR network private, secure, and efficient. We need to make sure that user data and metadata are secure when transmitted across the network, and that relayers are properly incentivized for helping data hop to its destination.

The HOPR mainnet will be an incentivized decentralized mixnet. For a decentralized mixnet to be truly private and secure, we need what’s known as cover traffic. This is arbitrary data which is transmitted through the network to provide cover for the real data which users are sending between each other. This is particularly important at less busy times, when users are more exposed. With data privacy, there’s always safety in a crowd. Cover traffic ensures that there’s always a crowd to get lost in.

With this layer of extra data constantly moving through the network, outside observers are unable to extract any metadata about who is using the network and how much data is being sent through it.

We’ll be providing cover traffic to this testnet and rewarding you for helping to relay it. Along the way, we’ll be stress testing the limits of our network and trying to find inventive ways to break it. Finding these issues and fixing them in a safe environment will help us to ensure the network is secure when it launches for real later in the year.

Getting Started with Säntis

To participate in the testnet and start earning xHOPR, simply head to https://saentis.hoprnet.org and follow the instructions. You can also head to our docs for more detailed instructions.

You’ll need to link your HOPR testnet address to our bot by sending a tweet with your address, the #HOPRNetwork hashtag, and then send this tweet to the bot.

The testnet runs on the xDAI Chain, and you’ll need a small amount of xDAI to participate (0.02 xDAI — approximately two cents!). The xDAI will need to be in the Ethereum address associated with your HOPR address, which can be found in the HOPR Chat client.

If you need assistance, please join our Discord for support. We still have a few HOPR Hardware Nodes available for purchase. More information can be found here. The HOPR Hardware Node is an ideal way to participate, but it’s definitely not required.

What Next?

The launch of the Säntis incentivized testnet is just the first in a huge range of features we’ve got lined up for the next month.

After a successful pilot, we’ll be launching Season 1 of our HOPR Games in a few weeks. There will be automated bounties running around the clock where you can help test our technology, learn about how HOPR works, and of course earn xHOPR and even some xDAI for staking.

We’ll also be rebooting our live sessions in a new format on Twitch. More details coming soon. As always, join our Telegram and Discord to learn more. You can read our press release here.

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The HOPR protocol provides network-level and metadata privacy for every type of data exchange, while introducing the first-ever open incentivized mixnet, where users earn tokens for running nodes.

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Dr. Sebastian Bürgel

Dr. Sebastian Bürgel

Founder HOPR

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