Streamflow Protocol Upgrade to Go Live on January 13, 2020

Doug Petkanics
Dec 31, 2019 · 3 min read

We’re excited to share that the target launch date for the Streamflow protocol update is Monday, January 13th, 2020. This update enables the Livepeer public network to be used at scale by video platforms and applications for video transcoding. It introduces a number of changes to the Livepeer internals including probabilistic micropayments, GPU transcoding, and a new orchestrator/transcoder architecture for those operating infrastructure on Livepeer. Here’s what the upgrade means to you, depending on how you participate in the ecosystem…

A token holder who stakes LPT

In the short term, there is very little that will change for you. The upgrade process should occur within one round’s time, and your stake will stay with the node that you have staked towards. You likely just want to pay attention to ensure that they continue to call reward, or switch to a node that does. Streamflow will enable 100+ orchestrators, and In the medium term many will begin to earn fees (and share them back to delegators) as video is transcoded on the network. You’ll want to watch for these new fee dynamics and consider moving your stake around accordingly.

An active or aspiring transcoder

Active transcoders bear the biggest burden during the upgrade process. A step-by-step upgrade guide will be shared in the coming days, but the most important things that they’ll need to do are:

  • Ensure that their node calls reward during the first 1000 blocks of the round in which the upgrade occurs. (This should happen automatically if your node is running as usual, but warrants an extra manual check).
  • Upgrade the node software to the Streamflow compatible version during the upgrade round.
  • Submit a transaction to re-activate in the following round after the upgrade process is complete.

The above is a relatively simple process, but does involve a couple manual steps and coordinated timing. This covers the minimum that a node needs to do in order to continuously call reward each round, but note that Streamflow introduces a number of new concepts for node operators including the fact that transcoders are renamed to orchestrators, the orchestrator/transcoder split, GPU video transcoding, payments and pricing parameters related to the new probabilistic micropayments scheme. See the Streamflow Testnet, accompanying documentation and this community call to learn a little bit more about these concepts if you are not familiar, and look for updated documentation in the coming days.

For aspiring node operators, note that this update will expand the active set of orchestrators from 25 to 100, opening up many new spots to compete to perform work on the network. Aspiring node operators can download the latest Streamflow compatible node software, follow the Orchestrator/Transcoder documentation (testnet now), stake or attract delegation, and hope to be active in the following round to compete to earn fees on the network.

Video applications using the network for transcoding (Broadcasters)

Streamflow should enable video developers to use the Livepeer network for transcoding at scale. Follow the broadcasting documentation (testnet now, mainnet soon) to being building your first proof of concept using Livepeer. The main differences in broadcast node operation after the Streamflow upgrade are:

  • Set your payment parameters per pixel instead of per segment of video.
  • You’ll have to make a new ETH deposit into the new smart contracts for probabilistic micropayments in order to pay on the network. You can withdraw your existing deposits if you have one.

Two weeks until Streamflow

This post serves as a two week heads up to give everyone notice, time to test Streamflow on the testnet, and prepare their nodes for the upgrade process. More detailed instructions will follow in the coming days leading up to the upgrade. But in the meantime, the team and community are available in both the Discord chat and the forum in order to help with questions people have regarding the upgrade. Happy New Year, and looking forward to the Streamflow launch on January 13th.

Livepeer Blog

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