OriginTrail had a successful token generation event (TGE) on January 16th of this year. Five months of development and eight technology releases later, OriginTrail’s testnet is now live and available for everyone to participate in. The testnet offers users full protocol features, however, data is running in test environments, using test tokens. The beta program period is set to run over the course of the next three months, and is intended to iterate on the technical implementation and user experience leading to the mainnet launch in Q3. The aim of this blogpost is to explain the purpose of the testnet network, highlight its strategic importance and suggest ways in which token holders, developers, and companies can participate in it.
The OriginTrail Decentralized Network (ODN) Beta is Public for the First Time
To establish an understanding of the different roles that companies and individuals can perform in the ODN, we first need to recap the different network roles. OriginTrail is a purpose-built protocol, which utilizes global standards and is based on the blockchain, for trusted supply chain data sharing. The testnet unlocks the full set of protocol features to its users in the first beta iteration:
- Support for handling GS1 EPCIS and Web of Things standardized data on the network;
- Implementation of a consensus check with a zero-knowledge quantity balance validation algorithm;
- Bidding mechanism with escrow functionalities and litigation procedures;
- Compensation mechanism for nodes based on the agreements formed with the bidding mechanism;
- Ability to validate data integrity via blockchain fingerprinting.
To learn more about the principles and functionalities behind ODN, check out the following:
- A Look into Network Mechanisms, Incentives and Market Forces
- OriginTrail’s Incentive Model
- OriginTrail’s Token Demand Model
- OriginTrail’s White Paper
Or, go ahead and find the node installation instructions here.
The Strategic Importance of Establishing a Testnet Network and Its Goals
Soon after our TGE, in February to be exact, OriginTrail’s development team began testing the protocol on a closed network (alpha), continuing ongoing development in rapid, bi-weekly sprints. Our development team has been observing how the network behaves in an alpha network by running our own nodes. However, since OriginTrail is an open-source protocol bringing decentralization to supply chains by aiming to utilize a truly public network, the testnet is the first significant milestone to make the network public. With this vision in mind, OriginTrail aims to develop and provide a simple way to set up and manage the nodes, since we would like to eliminate friction and enable various entities to join the network.
That being said, we know that:
“No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.” — Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
Therefore, all testnet participants should note that the testnet network is still not production-ready, and bugs and problems are expected to occur. The purpose of this beta program, is to obtain as many findings as possible in a large scale test network in order to get the system ready for the mainnet.
We invite everyone to join in the beta program and help us achieve its goals, which are to:
- Discover and patch as many bugs as we can find with the software. We intend to leverage the power of our community and are planning to launch a bug bounty program;
- Fine-tune the network incentive mechanisms, which we have been iterating upon in the previous months, and optimize the formulas driving it;
- Observe market forces and formed agreements;
- Get as much different data sets as we can from different use cases, so we can identify the most important needs of companies sharing data via the protocol and improve the data layer;
- Test and improve the user experience of running a node — both setup and operation — with our UX team and the community.
By joining the beta program and running an OriginTrail testnet node, even without any advanced knowledge on the protocol, you will be helping the team obtain valuable insights from the network. All testnet nodes send logging reports to our team on the events in the network, which will be used to evaluate problems and corresponding solutions once they are deployed. The nodes also have an automatic update feature, which makes the process easier for all the node holders — the only request of the team is to restart the node once you are notified of an update taking place. Each of the updates during the beta program will be announced in advance, in an expected bi-weekly frequency, just like in the previous months. Having said that, the team will publish a beta program roadmap with more specific information soon.
How to Join the Testnet Beta Program
Everyone is welcome to join the testnet. In order to provide a good onboarding experience for various stakeholders, our team prepared materials and beta program support lines to fit each testnet user group’s needs and communication preferences.
- Developers wanting to utilize the protocol: Visit documentation here;
- Companies: Please contact email@example.com. Our business development team will give you instructions on how to start using the OriginTrail testnet;
- Individual Trace token holders who would like to run node: Simple tutorials about how to run the node are available here and our team is available at Discord to help you out if needed.
The head of the beta program is Nikita, a member of the development team who has already helped our supporters with technical challenges throughout the process so far. He will coordinate feedback and insights that we will get by running a beta network. He will be available for questions on Discord and will manage the knowledge center for the ODN. The entire development team will actively participate in the test network beta program.
If you experience any technical problems, please refer to the help center first. If you don’t find your answer there, you can also write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, since peer-to-peer support and knowledge sharing is one of the strongest advantages of a decentralized economy, we welcome and encourage you to interact in our node holders Discord group or at least take it for a spin.
The testnet will run through July, August, and September. Let’s touch upon some things that we can look forward to in the meanwhile. After we onboard, the node bounty program for advanced bugs will be issued in July. Before we launch the mainnet, we will publish multiple business development updates, issue a Trace Alliance website, onboard more companies to the testnet, and interact with node holders on a daily basis. Stay tuned for more updates and buckle up for your testnet participation!