Livepeer’s Public Streamflow Testnet is Now Live

Today Livepeer launched a public test network for the upcoming Streamflow protocol update, which is designed to make the network scalable, reliable, and cost-effective for scaled video transcoding usage. This testnet launch is relevant to infrastructure providers who want to run nodes on the Livepeer network.

The main goals for this test network are to allow infrastructure providers to learn how to run nodes in the new Streamflow context, to validate the network is working reliably, and to help troubleshoot and identify issues before going to main net. Infrastructure providers can:

  • Run nodes in the new Orchestrator role (formerly named transcoder).
  • Test that their nodes are properly transcoding video.
  • Set up their GPUs (in addition to CPUs) to transcode video. They can concurrently mine cryptocurrency on these same GPUs with minimal disruption to their mining hash power.
  • Accept test payments under the new probabilistic micropayment system.
  • Experiment with setting the appropriate parameters around job pricing.

Developers and end users can also experiment with building applications on top of the test network, or streaming and transcoding video on the test network, however, this should be experimental use only, as there are no reliability guarantees.

Getting Started with the Streamflow Testnet

Please use the following resources, in order of importance, to begin participating in the Streamflow testnet:

  • Documentation — how to run infrastructure, how to experiment with GPU transcoding, how to validate everything is working, and how to scale your setup.
  • Discord chat — the team and community is very active in the developer chat room. Particularly in the #streamflow-testnet channel. Please jump in and ask questions are you’re getting setup, and share feedback on ways we can make the experience better.
  • Infrastructure operator mailing list — join this list to receive (infrequent) emails about running infrastructure on Livepeer.
  • Forum — a more async and permanent way to ask questions, find resources, and participate in the community than the chat.
  • GPU Mining update and benchmarks — recent post showing benchmarks for how nodes can mine cryptocurrency while also transcoding video on Livepeer for two concurrent revenue streams.
  • Probabilistic micropayments post — background on the payments mechanism used in Streamflow.
  • Streamflow paper — background on the motivations behind the Streamflow upgrade.

The documentation section contains the information that users need to get test ETH, test LPT, and the binaries to begin interacting with the network. Other resources that will be added in the near future include a test web based staking application for more visual interaction with the network, and a metrics/monitoring dashboard where users can opt in to tracking statistics about their node including number of segments of video transcoded and payments received.

Getting to Mainnet

The ultimate aim of the protocol update is to get it live on mainnet, where the real economic incentives can take hold, and encourage the operations of a scalable, affordable, reliable video transcoding network. Some of the steps that need to occur before mainnet deployment include:

  • Code audit — nearly complete with auditing partners Trail of Bits.
  • Bug bounty — after validating the initial testnet deployment for a few days, we’d would like to re-open the public bug bounty to encourage users to report bugs and issues that they find along the way while testing Streamflow. Stand by for more information soon.
  • 99.9% reliability on test net — the Livepeer test harness would like to observe this level of reliability for transcoding live video in realtime on the public test network before moving to mainnet.
  • Client code improvement — a better orchestrator selection algorithm and better local verification algorithm for video transcoding results are in process.

Achieving the reliability milestone will require significant participation from the community. Livepeer needs you to try out the software, try transcoding configurations with different types of hardware, bandwidth considerations, geographical locations, and report any issues or concerns that arise through your testing.

Please join the #streamflow-testnet channel on Discord, sign up for the transcoder mailing list, and get started running a node on testnet today to get involved.

Building live streaming on the blockchain at Livepeer. Previously Founder, VP Eng at Wildcard and Hyperpublic (acquired by Groupon).

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