HORIZEN: Node Update, New Instagram&Medium Profiles, Make Tax Reports via Accointing.com
Biweekly update 4th September — 25th September
Hello, our dear followers! We are glad to tell you about Horizen and its progress. There is a few news we want to share with you. So, we are going to write brief information about them, and we hope you will like all of them.
Speaking of development, the Horizen team showed itself on the best side as usual. Developers released the update on Node Servers. This update includes a few fixes and several improvements.
What about Social Activity? The foundation has created an account on Instagram and Medium. The first one is aimed to connect with the community in a more meaningful and personal way, through photos, videos, and maybe even live videos. According to the team, the Instagram page will include more images of the team and feature more community photos. The second has been launched for educational articles and insights.
Moreover, Horizen has excellent results in business development. It is now available on Accointing.com. This partnership offers portfolio and tax management. Also, users can generate accurate, reliable, and customizable tax reports and receive tax optimizing recommendations. Of course, it supports 15 exchanges and 14 wallets, including Binance and Bittrex.
To end with, Horizen did a great job. We may see that the team is making the project more valuable every day, and community managers are engaged in becoming ZEN more popular. Of course, we are going to follow the company, which can change our vision of privacy. Not only we believe in Horizen — FlipSide Crypto thinks that Horizen is one of the most undervalued projects, too.
Keep up the excellent work!
Developer activity (from Coinlib.io):
- Horizen Sidechains: Cross Chain Transfer protocol advancements, reviewing sidechain node serialization, integrated Sidechains SDK test framework and library
- Node Tracker Server 1.3.4: Testing nearing completion
- HorizenJS 2.0: Testing in prog
- Some challenge Exceptions were not closing if more than one existing was left open due to timing issues.
- Ensure credit is paid to the proper stake address (from previous stake change restriction updates)
- Handle bursts of DNS errors from misconfigured nodes that were causing a memory leak
- In some rare cases multiple overlapping down times would not be calculated properly resulting in some nodes having extra up time.
- Cert Exceptions now have a minimum threshold of 3 minutes (like Downtimes) before counting against earnings. Unlike Downtimes, short duration Exceptions are created and flagged with an ‘x’ status (excluded from up time calculations) if under the threshold to help with trouble-shooting. The email alert is sent if over the threshold.
- Enhanced node connection checking. There have been some recent node tracking system exploits from dishonest node operators that these enhancements should counteract.
- Cross system check to compare IP and Stake addresses across Secure and Super node system and create Exceptions if duplicates are found. For IP addresses an Exception is created in both systems. For Stake addresses the node that used the stake address first will not have an Exception.
- API Subkeys allow hosting providers to generate an API key for their individual customers. This is based on the optional category in the Nodetracker configuration. The subkeys work the same way as a parent key with a few data restrictions. These would also work for node operators who have a significant number of nodes and would like group them.
- Old IP address re-use. Dead nodes are no longer checked when a new node registers. This applies to IP4, IP6, node t-address, stake address, and FQDN. There is a new interim period with a status of ‘zombie’ with a 20 day period after a node goes ‘inactive’ during which the node may be revived. The total time before a node is set to ‘dead’ is 30 days (5 days down, 5 days inactive, 20 days zombie). This frees up many IP4 addresses issued by hosting providers for re-use in new nodes.
- A ‘stat’ Exception is created if a node misses multiple consecutive stat checks. The tracking server will ask the node to reconnect its socket. If no stat check is received after the reset, the tracking server will disconnect the node in order to try to re-establish a connection.
- API call for Payment Masters with data regarding a summary of an earning period.
- Aggregated Monthly Earnings display on the My Earnings page (based on API key) and a corresponding API call.
- Close and open a new Exception of the same type if the detail changes to help with troubleshooting
- Enhanced validation of data from nodes, web pages and API calls.
- Return a JSON object instead of the Not Found page on a bad API path in the URL
- Invalid API calls will return an http status and message along with details of the issue.
- Check a stake balance even when a node is in the ‘down’ state. A clever node operator found a potential exploit and reported it.
- Display estimated start of next earning period on tracking server home page
ADMINISTRATION AND OPTIMIZATIONS:
- Service mode for system-wide server updates. This allows nodes to be parked during maintenance. They connect but are not managed and won’t failover to other servers.
- Some query optimizations converting single queries to bulk queries to help with database and server load.
- Update to node.js version 12 and current node modules along with some code clean up to reduce memory footprint.
- Various administrative features added to help with node management and identify potential exploits.
If you missed it, Horizen is designing Sidechains and a Sidechain SDK to allow developers and enterprises to quickly and affordably spin up their own blockchains. The Horizen team now has multiple sidechain nodes up and running and is actively testing the synchronization between nodes! This brings us one step closer to the alpha release!
The Importance of Node Synchronization
A node by itself is just an isolated point. To provide maintenance of a blockchain, you must have a set of nodes connected together, and nodes need to have a valid and stable mechanism of synchronization in order for a blockchain to work correctly. If you don’t ensure the validity and stability of the history, your chain splits and becomes incomplete.
The same methodology applies for mainchain to sidechain synchronization, as will be the case with the Cross Chain Transfer Protocol.
The Benefits of Synchronization
The main benefit of the synchronization between mainchain and sidechain is that it allows the forward transfer of coins from the mainchain to the sidechain and withdraw requests of coins from sidechain to mainchain.
The synchronization between the two chains, and the fact that the mainchain doesn’t have to directly follow what happens inside each sidechain, increases scalability and maintains fast transaction speeds when companies and developers begin building on top of the Horizen network.
In particular, an approach is to have all of the different sidechain networks follow the mainchain history. These sidechain networks follow the mainchain history, each sidechain network will only extract information related to that particular sidechain, and ignore everything else, like all the other sidechain information. Additionally, the mainchain will not be required to follow any sidechain, thus allowing scalability. Thanks to this model, synchronization between the two chains is established.
Sidechain Test Framework
Another unique component the team is integrating is the sidechain test framework. This is similar to the test framework already used in the mainchain. The framework will allow testing multiple nodes synchronized with each other, at the same time. Currently, it is possible to only test one sidechain node at a time. The goal is to create a small but functional network and to do that developers are working on the integration of the sidechain test framework.
The Horizen team announced the launch of its Instagram page! This is a great opportunity for the team to connect with its community in a more meaningful and personal way, through photos, videos, and maybe even live videos. The Instagram page will include more images of the team and feature more community photos.
- Improved GitHub issues management workflow to increase efficiency and improve response time.
- The team sent ZEN to the first Horizen Sidechain and tested the synchronization between the first two sidechain nodes. Which means Horizen is getting close to the release of the Sidechains Alpha!
- Completed extensive analysis of the denial of service issue in upstream Sapling and created a possible solution to this issue. More info will be available soon.
- Released Sphere by Horizen 1.2.1b. The release included features like batch withdraw/split, private key balance sweeping, and view backup seed phrase in wallet settings.
- Worked on the upcoming release of Sphere by Horizen mobile.
- ZEN is now supported on Accointing, a portfolio and tax management service
- Expanded support of Horizen on Magnum Wallet. Users will now be able to utilize full ledger integration.
- ZEN integrated with Xpay.cash a Latin American POS system that allows merchants to easily accept ZEN and other cryptocurrencies.
- Horizen is now on Instagram!
- Horizen is also on Medium too! The new format allows us to get more visibility on the posts and helps spread the information available on the Horizen Academy.
- The Horizen social media accounts have seen steady, consistent growth across the board with Twitter and LinkedIn have the largest increase.
The Horizen team is taking a big step in streamlining community communications. As a result of feedback and the success of the Weekly Insiders call, the Horizen Monthly Live Update is transitioning to the Horizen Quarterly Update!
The Horizen Quarterly Update is similar to the Monthly Live Update but will provide an even deeper look into Engineering, BD, Marketing, and more. The foundation expects the length of the update to be approximately 1.5 hours, slightly longer than the current Monthly Update. The team will try adding new and exciting sections to the update, like in-depth development updates on the releases, additional Business Development and Marketing announcements, and more!
This strategic quarterly update will be coupled with the Weekly Insiders call (open to the public every Thursday), in which Horizen team members discuss tactical/day-to-day decisions. If you aren’t able to make the call, you can always listen to a recording on the podcast.
The first Quarterly Update will be on October 1st at 5 PM UTC/ 1 PM EST.
Partnerships and team members
Social media metrics
Social media activity:
Social media dynamics:
The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Horizen Reddit subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.