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Livepeer Network Product Roadmap: March 2022 to June 2022

Welcome to the Livepeer Network Product Roadmap for spring and summer 2022! The Livepeer core contributor team has been hard at work improving network user experience, and is excited to share the updates in store for the whole Livepeer community.

Before going into the details, let’s take a moment to highlight the major change that kicked off the year: Livepeer’s Confluence upgrade and the migration to Layer 2. Confluence has only been in place a few weeks, but it is already delivering major benefits to both Orchestrators and Delegators. Migrating to Arbitrum has allowed the community to interact with the protocol with significantly lower gas fees, boosting both profit margins and network participation rates.

You can read more about the Confluence protocol update here.

The successful launch of Confluence is only the first of many network enhancements on the Livepeer Network product roadmap.

Over the months to come, the team will be focusing its energies on three broad areas:

  1. Improvements to the delegation market and the Livepeer Explorer
  2. Improvements to the core go-livepeer software
  3. Protocol upgrades

This roadmap is narrowly focused on key user-facing improvements to the Livepeer Network, but core contributors will also be working to improve stability and developer experience. In addition, some additional projects like a tighter integration of MistServer and the Broadcaster node are underway but are outside the scope of this roadmap.

1. Livepeer Explorer and Delegation Market Improvements:

Introduce Ethereum Name Service Support (completed as of March 21st, 2022)

To improve the user profiles of Orchestrators found in the Livepeer Explorer, support has been added for Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains. This update will replace the deprecated and error-prone 3Box identity service. Supporting ENS will allow Orchestrators to populate their public-facing profiles with ENS metadata via the connection of their ENS domains. Implementing ENS support will also allow for faster page loading times.

Update UX To Encourage Healthier Stake Distribution

The Livepeer Explorer will aim to show metrics highlighting the incentives offered for participating in the network. This improvement is designed to offer Delegators clearer inputs for their staking decisions. Prior to this update, Delegators typically choose where to place their stake based on call ratio and fee share or reward cut. This results in delegation actions that were misaligned with network health (e.g., staking to high-call Orchestrators who don’t perform well). Clear metrics on ROI will help Delegators choose the best-performing Orchestrators.

Move Staking Actions to a Single Page

The experience of staking, unstaking, and restaking will migrate to a concise and easy-to-use interface. The current staking process causes friction for some users attempting to move or remove stake. This update will improve the previous process of shifting stake between Orchestrators. Clear CTAs will also be introduced to allow users more flexibility, therefore encouraging competitive and distributed staking actions.

2. Improvements to the Transcoding Workflow

Roll Out Fast Verification For All Streams On Network

With the implementation of the previously announced fast verification procedure, significant portions of verification computation will move to Orchestrators. This will simplify the process by which Broadcasters can gain confidence in results, and therefore choose which Orchestrators will receive work. Fast verification is a key step towards re-introducing protocol-level economic penalties for Orchestrator misbehavior. Its introduction lays a strong foundation for progress towards full verification and dispute resolution.

Implement Opt-In Telemetry for Node Operators

Telemetry is an essential part of creating stable software. Orchestrators and Broadcasters will have the option to supply error logs and metrics to the Livepeer core team to help foster performance improvements. This will allow the Livepeer core team to be much more responsive to errors that Broadcasters and Orchestrators experience.

Improve Transcoding Latency

go-livepeer currently sends transcoded packets back to Broadcasters as they become available, which results in latency that’s higher than the industry standard. Lowering latency is a crucial step that will help foster adoption of the Livepeer network. In particular, it is essential for Livepeer to meet or exceed industry-standard latency for video streaming. To ensure we achieve this vital goal, a stream-based transcoding pipeline will be implemented to replace the current segment-based workflow.

Improve Fee Market Function

How an Orchestrator is selected in the go-livepeer algorithm can have a significant impact on the protocol’s fee market, the economy in which orchestrators compete to receive work from broadcasters. In addition, Orchestrators lack full visibility into Broadcaster pricing, including the price sensitivity related to each Broadcaster’s chosen max price. To improve upon this, default go-livepeer Orchestrator selection will include price per pixel as a factor, as well as expose a Broadcaster’s max price settings when a stream starts. These changes are an important first step towards creating a true fee market.

3. Livepeer Protocol Updates

Increase The Current Orchestrator Limit, and Reduce Broadcaster Deposit Requirements

In an effort to expand the number of Orchestrators and increase activity on the network, we aim to remove or greatly increase the Orchestrator limit and reduce the high capital requirements to broadcast on Livepeer. The motivation here is threefold: (1) broadcasting deposit requirements are prohibitively high for smaller broadcasters, as they must cover potential payouts to all active Orchestrators; (2) current Orchestrator limits are potentially excluding low-stake Orchestrators who could contribute meaningfully to the network; (3) these limits could theoretically lead to a supply crunch — a risk it’s important to preempt since the protocol change process isn’t conducive to a just-in-time, agile approach. This proposed improvement will likely include updates to the current payment protocol implementation, and may entail changes to the Orchestrator discovery process.

Build a Verification Dispute Resolution Framework and Reintroduce Penalties for Misbehavior

This is an aspirational goal for Q2, but will be a strong focus in H2. This update will be a final step in the verification track, and will include the implementation of a process for resolving any disputes over the validity of any work done by an Orchestrator. This will allow Broadcasters and Orchestrators to asynchronously detect video tampering, and to collect cryptographically-binding evidence that can be used for dispute resolution.

As you can see, there are some truly exciting changes planned for the coming months. The updates to the Livepeer Explorer, go-livepeer, and the protocol are all aimed at one overarching objective: improving the experience for the Livepeer community.

Stay up-to-date on the news by following Livepeer’s Twitter, and be sure to join the Discord!

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A decentralized live video streaming platform built on Ethereum - Livepeer.org

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Hunter Hillman

Hunter Hillman

Product @ Livepeer

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