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Roadmap to Mainnet

We’ve overcome a significant amount of challenging tasks on our path of developing and implementing the Nimiq Protocol and Ecosystem. While plenty of tasks lie ahead of achieving our vision of real mainstream adoption, we are enthusiastic about reaching the important Mainnet milestone. It will lay the foundation for more features and ecosystem applications that will further improve and promote the use of Nimiq as a global, sustainable payment protocol native to the Web.

Because of their security implications, the development tasks regarding the replacement of NET and activating NIM are both delicate and important. That is why, from this point onward until Mainnet launch, we will focus solely on polishing and hardening the fundamental elements of the Nimiq Ecosystem and NIM activation.

Before we dive into a summary that outlines the remaining pieces we need to assemble on the way to the Mainnet launch, we would like to explain an important decision affecting the denomination of Nimiq:

Nimiq Denomination and Supply

If you have been following our Telegram or Discord groups you probably found out about an important decision and much requested modification on the decimal separator, which changes the denomination of Nimiq. This decision has NO implication on the total supply of smallest units of Nimiq (what would be the equivalent to ‘Satoshis’ in the Bitcoin denomination). To further illustrate:

The total amount of smallest units remains the same. Now for Nimiq, instead of 1 NIM originally representing 100 Million smallest units, we have adjusted the denomination such that 1 NIM now represents 100'000 smallest units which means 1 original NIM = 1'000 NIM going forward. The idea is to lower the probability of having to enter values with various post-comma digits, a routine that would not feel ‘intuitive’ for the mainstream user and would work against our ‘ease-of-use’ paradigm. The merged code can be found here and as the description explains: “The reason for this change is primarily a usability one: Sending someone 0.00123 NIM is much more complicated than 1.23 NIM for example“. Of course we adjust all absolute numbers such as mining reward and substitution rates accordingly (percentages of Nimiq distribution are NOT affected).

On to outlining the different pieces we need to complete for the Mainnet launch:

NIM Activation

One of the most critical tasks in the months to come is the replacement of NET for NIM as it will introduce NET holders to the real Nimiq Ecosystem. We are allocating a lot of our efforts to make sure we have a safe and as-easy-as-possible replacement process.

Activation Rate: As per the updated Nimiq denomination the NIM for NET replacement gets rescaled from the original 10 NET = 1 NIM (with 1 NIM divisible 100 Million times) to 1 NET = 100 NIM (with 1 NIM divisible 100'000 times).

Activation Tool: Replacing NET with NIM will be safely executed by NET holders using a step-by-step tool and instructions. We are working on a tool that will allow users to undergo this process with the lowest level of complexity. An important component of the activation will be the requirement to pass KYC. Based on the changing regulatory environment, our legal counsel has driven us to require this KYC process (anticipated in the NET Creation Terms). This goes along with the same restrictions regarding sanction lists, politically exposed persons, as well as restrictions for certain jurisdictions (ie. USA) as previously experienced during the NET Contribution Process. This will permit the Nimiq project as a whole to maximize probability to comply with regulations in various jurisdictions and thus support the underlying factors regarding Nimiq mainstream adoption in the future. We would like to stress that this requirement only applies to the replacement of NET for NIM. To make this evolutionary step as simple as possible, we will automate the process to a large extent and also provide ample time, allowing NET holders to burn their NET and activate their NIM even past the Mainnet launch event itself.

Activation Tool Documentation: Given the importance of this tool we are working on documentation to make its use easy and clear for NET holders.

Genesis Block Generation: Once users prove ownership of a certain amount of NET using the Activation Tool, they will be able to create a Nimiq account (and safely store its private key). With the Mainnet launch, the respective balance of NIM will be available. As you can imagine this overall process is very sensitive and we need to take the necessary time to make sure it is solid from a security point of view.

Testnet Maturity

We all enjoy the addition of new features through “Hardfork Sundays”, but it eventually had to come to an end. Most of the features for the Mainnet have already been rolled out and now it’s time to focus on getting the Testnet ready for greatness.

Simplify Mining Setup: Backbone nodes are important for stability since they serve initial signaling to Browser Clients as they join the network. Even though the current mining setup is not difficult and community users have helped creating a step-by-step tutorial and video, we want to make it really easy for anyone to run a full miner node.

Feature-Ready Testnet: We plan a final version of our Testnet that will add the remaining features and updates relevant to the Mainnet launch, such as: Mining Pools, Transaction Indexing as well as support for Micro-Payment Channels and Cross-Chain Atomic Swaps.

Security: As the addition of new features comes to an end, our entire dev team will focus on developing tests and checking for different attack surfaces, DoS resilience, exploits and vulnerabilities.

Documentation: The current state of the Testnet calls for documentation. Clear, detailed and comprehensive documentation is vital for new developers and security auditors to understand the inner workings of Nimiq.

Minimum Viable Ecosystem

Launching the Mainnet is not the “conclusion” but rather a first high-impact step forward for the broader Nimiq vision. While our launch effort can not encompass the wide array of potential companion applications to aid users and merchants across different payment use cases, Mainnet wouldn’t be complete without a minimum set of components to kickstart the usage of Nimiq.

Nimiq Wallet: Many of you probably remember the mockups of our Wallet in our VLOG Nimiq UI/UX Update With Robin and also are aware of the Identicons presented in the latest VLOG: User Experience & Identicons. We are still working on polishing a few aspects of the Wallet.

Backup: The import/export process for every Nimiq Ecosystem Application will use the same storage mechanism and be based upon the same codebase to ensure best possible security and usability. We will provide 24 word seeds and encrypted files as options to store your private key.

Browser Miner: The application that started it all. Browser miner will remain part of our Ecosystem and include full interoperability with the Wallet and future companion applications.

Professional Miner Software: Based on NodeJS, a client suitable for professional mining will be delivered with the Mainnet to help increase the adoption of Nimiq.

Hardening Stage

Testing: We are working on numerous testing routines to deeply examine the different key elements of the Nimiq Blockchain and payment protocol. These tests also include the creation of a multi-node testing environment with the option to simulate external network conditions such as packet loss and increased latency.

Bug Bounty: We are looking to get as many qualified eyes on our code as possible. We are in the process of setting up a professionally managed Bug Bounty program with HackerOne with a US$200'000 bounty budget. A first phase will target experienced hackers and be by invitation only. The second phase will be fully public.

Performance optimizations: As the soon-to-be Mainnet takes its final form, we will be able to realistically measure and fine tune variables like transaction throughput and optimize for performance on various ends.

So, When Mainnet?

As you can see we have a heavy and very meaningful workload to tackle. We are confident that our team (meanwhile expanded with Soeren, Sven, Max, Stefan, and Heiner — welcome!) has the skill, experience and passion to deliver. Our goal remains to release the Mainnet this quarter. In the interest of launching something as complex and sensitive as a new Blockchain the only constraints are the unknowns that would compromise such a launch. By nature of a Blockchain, it is important to get it right the first time and we will do what we can to secure this to our best knowledge and effort. Soon up will be the announcement of more specific dates and details regarding the replacement process.

New Identicon Sneak Peek

As always, thank you for your support,

Team Nimiq

DISCLAIMER: None of the statements must be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation for Nimiq, any cryptocurrency, or investment product. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained herein constitutes a solicitation or offer by the creators or participants to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.



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