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Orbs: Community Migration And Improvements, Two Successful Application Deployments, Orbs & Communications Business Automation Network, Marvin Enhancements, 50th World Economic Forum, January Voting Schedule

Biweekly update 6th January — 20th January

Hello, cryptoworld! Today we are speaking of Orbs — let’s recall what happened over the past two weeks while the Orbs team is in Davos, attending the 50th World Economic Forum! The development side was informatively highlighted in the recent technology update, where Orbs contributors shared their progress and current points of improvement. The dev team successfully managed to fix v1.3.5 deployment downtime incident, that was associated with a virtual chain upgrade. Moreover, Ido Zilberberg and Itamar Arjuan performed substantial progress on Marvin, the testnet’s testing framework, with running automated inquiries on PRs and when merging code into the master branch. In addition, PoS Architecture was meticulously enhanced. The PoS ecosystem is functioning well, and the 3rd round of reward distribution was completed. Improvements to the PoS architecture are in research, along with work on integrating a staking contract. New monitoring tools are being developed to provide a better environment for application developers and plays in the PoS ecosystem. New applications appeared in the network: Linet, receipts notarization application leveraging Orbs public blockchain to provide proofs of in immutable and in-time generation of client receipts, and Open Rights, an open database for registered users’ content allowing them to protect their IP. Application fees have been distributed to Validators through the vchain subscription process. Besides, Prism can now show JS smart contracts.

The public side of Orbs was represented with a significant milestone: Orbs is a prime member of CBAN — Communications Business Automation Network. The goal is to improve operational efficiencies and create new revenue streams for telecom carriers through the creation of a blockchain-based infrastructure enabling automation of inter-carrier settlements. Since June, Orbs has been working together with the carrier members and other vendors to create the core reference architecture of the CBAN, as well as core principles for three separate first-use cases: Wholesale voice-call settlement, International Data on demand and mobile roaming. As the CBAN strives to be inclusive and open, in its first stage 3 core networks will be operated by the CBAN members: An Orbs chain, an Ethereum chain, and a Corda chain. The primary PoCs to launch in 2020 and beyond would rely on one or more of those chains.

Apart from development and partnerships news, there are some brilliant articles and interviews not to miss, including Netta Korin’s blog post about the recent projects with which Hexa Foundation has been involved, intending to create real positive social impact using blockchain and an interview with tech star Tal Kol, who was speaking of what makes Orbs a considerable difference.

Crucial changes for the community members occurred with the migration to a new Telegram chat, where tech and business updates will be announced and investigated by chat members. With the goal of building a more engaged and empowered community, the team decided to leave an old chat as “an unnarrated chat room, where participants may engage in discussions on any topic they would like without the Orbs team enforcing any strict policies.” Don’t forget to join a new chat in order to stay tuned!

Thank you for being with us!

Development

Github metrics

The technical engagement team successfully helped two new virtual chains to onboard the network. Linet on virtual chain 1970000 and Open Rights on virtual chain 1960000. Linet is a receipts notarization application leveraging Orbs public blockchain to provide proofs of in immutable and in-time generation of client receipts. Open rights is an open database for registered users’ content allowing them to protect their IP. Application fees have been distributed to Validators through the vchain subscription process.

As part of the process to make the network more friendly to applications, contributors and all PoS ecosystem players, new monitoring tools are being developed. A new monitoring tool that provides a view of the entire network status is currently under development. Once ready it will provide the players and in particular the Guardians with means to monitor the network health and validators’ operation.

{Blockchain core}

The significant effort was made to put Marvin (the testnet’s testing framework) to first use. Also, a bugfix effort on v1.3.5 deployment downtime incident, that was quickly solved by coherently working contributors.

A multidisciplinary team that includes both researchers and core developers has been working to research the subject and propose potential architecture improvements. The work focused on three aspects: the Ethereum — Orbs architecture, integration of the staking contract and investigation of potential improvements to PoS model. The team reviewed and analyzed data of past elections and reward distribution. In addition, they reviewed the models and tools of other PoS projects trying to learn from their strong and weak points. As part of the research activity, the team has also started to collect inputs from players in the ecosystem.

{Technology engagement}

Orbs Network

  1. Two successful application deployments on the Orbs network:
  2. Linet on virtual chain 1970000 (blog post to follow)
  3. Open Rights on virtual chain 1960000 (blog post to follow)
  4. See network status on https://status.orbs.network
  5. 3rd Orbs Rewards Distribution: Summary
  6. Orbs network upgrade v1.3.6 — https://www.orbs.com/orbs-network-v1-3-6-fixes/

Development

  1. Updates to status page: now node status is stored in the database (#3) and are used to send notifications via Telegram bot (#4, #5) by Kirill Maximov
  2. Experimental plugin for JS smart contracts has new release process (#10, #12) and an e2e test (#11) by Kirill Maximov
  3. JS smart contracts also feature improved performance (#7), interoperability with Go contracts (#8) and new helper functions (#9) by Kirill Maximov
  4. Orbs node codebase now includes special build flag that enables JS smart contracts (#1456) and JS interoperability test (#1453) by Kirill Maximov
  5. New Trash Panda service that proxies all requests to a number of nodes, combining the features of a load balancer and a relay that records all the passing transactions and can retransmit them if some node (or the whole network) is down — by Kirill Maximov
  6. New Event Indexer service that keeps track of all the events and allows querying them via HTTP API — by Kirill Maximov

Application Use Cases

  1. Notary library’s main contract was rid of experimental libraries, allowing for deployment on mainnet (#3) by Kirill Maximov
  2. New identity service allows apps to track users with a UUID instead of keys and allows for identity recovery if the keys are lost or compromised — by Kirill Maximov
  3. Example voting app that brings together in-browser wallet, identity service, and public key cryptography to keep voter’s choices secret until the end of the vote — by Kirill Maximov

Developer Experience

  1. Prism now can show JS smart contracts (#3) by Kirill Maximov
  2. Subscription product — revisiting the subscription flow and redefining the tools and their implementation, to facilitate easier app launching on the Orbs network
  3. Monitoring product will provide an overview of the state of the network for Guardians and Validators. It will include the necessary information about the state of a Validator’s node and a state of each virtual chain that is run by these nodes.

Social encounters

  • Orbs community officially moved to a new Telegram chat, leaving an old one for those who want to have unformal, side discussions. The official statement is:

“Hey, Orbs Universe!

With 2020 here, we wanted to announce some changes to the Orbs Community structure, with the goal of building a more engaged and empowered community.

During the last couple of months, we have not been able to facilitate fruitful and engaging conversations in the group, with the actual technology and tech updates and discussions being pushed aside.

We completely understand the need for an unnarrated chat room, where participants may engage in discussions on any topic they would like without Orbs team enforcing any strict policies, therefore, we will be making some changes to the chat group structures:

We are launching a new Global Orbs Telegram Channel, where we’ll be sharing tech, business, and industry updates. We aim to be more active in discussions and in sharing interesting articles and relevant content. Feel free to join the new group here.

In addition, we’ll hold live video Q&A Sessions on a regular basis, starting in a couple of weeks.

The current Orbs Telegram group will become an unofficial Orbs group.

We hope you join us in this effort to build a stronger Orbs community in 2020!”

  • Stephen Graves gathered leading figures from the blockchain and crypto space (such as Orbs’ Tal Kol) to hear how they’re committing to grow in 2020. Read and enjoy it!

“The ultimate goal of Decred is to become true, functioning Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). This requires that all stakeholders in the community have a voice in project-level decisions, rather than just one person or a select few who have the authority. In 2020, my resolution is to continue engineering away my authority and developing systems that create a fairer game for all. Any project committed to the decentralized ethos behind crypto should also walk the talk, and find ways to remove hegemons.”

  1. The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils
  2. Photo Notarization App (and more about notarization)
  3. Education Efforts
  • Orbs is going to the World Economic Forum in Davos. This 50-year jubilee for the World Economic Forum is an ideal place to discuss trust in governments and corporations. This year’s WEF theme is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Don’t miss an article by Sandra Ro to go deep-dive in details.
  • Orbs team at World Economic Forum:

First blockchain session of Davis @CryptoMountainR, Joseph Lubin announces the release of Consensys paper on CBDCs (central bank digital currencies) using permissioned Ethereum.

Upcoming events:

No updates.

Orbs Universe

Delegators, in order to receive rewards, you should delegate to an active guardian who does not miss voting deadlines. If your guardian misses voting deadlines, you will not get rewards in this period.

Guardians, please note that elections are every 20000 Ethereum blocks, it is approximately 3 days. A Guardian vote is valid for about 1 week. We recommend voting every 6 days to be on the safe side.

Voting deadlines calendar (estimated)

You can delegate your Orbs tokens via link. After the end of the closest voting period, you can check your rewards here.

Finance

Source: https://etherscan.io/
Official website metrics

Roadmap

What’s next?

According to the new Roadmap:

  1. Proof-of-Stake Core Infrastructure V2 — Implement the next version of the Orbs Proof-of-Stake architecture with various improvements making the existing implementation more efficient, easier to use and more powerful with the ability to rely on stronger incentives like locking.

2. Proof-of-Stake Ecosystem Tools — Create tools for participants in the Orbs PoS Universe. Validators will benefit from easier ways to keep their node healthy. Guardians will have better ways to measure Validators. Delegators will have easier ways to stake and observe network activity.

3. Orbs Audit Node — Audit nodes are important for network security. They allow any external participant (not necessarily a Validator) to verify that the network operation is correct. Audit nodes may choose to audit only a single or subset of virtual chains.

4. Orbs Two Tier Consensus — Two tier consensus is the hybrid aspect of Orbs. It allows to build permissioned apps — where the app can select its own block producers. These apps run over a permissionless infrastructure — where validators are selected by the network.

5. Virtual Chains Infrastructure — Virtual chains are a key feature of Orbs that provides isolation between apps. It gives the network infinite scalability and sharding; and provides apps with lower cost of operation, guaranteed resources and independent governance.

6. Validator Node Deployment V2 — The next generation of how a Validator deploys and operates an Orbs node. Improvements include efficiency for reduced operation cost, higher availability and uptime, optimizations for even more scaling and improved security.

7. Orbs Smart Contract SDK — Allow developers to build even better apps with Orbs for more versatile use cases. Developers are requesting richer API’s that support more languages, more powerful data structures and more flexible interoperability.

8. App Developer Experience — Increase developer adoption by making the app development experience on Orbs easier than ever. Help developers learn how to build on Orbs and give better developer tools to debug and test their smart contracts.

9. Ready-Made Use Case Templates — Increase business adoption of the Orbs network by offering solutions for popular blockchain use-cases. These templates reduce the integration time of blockchain technology into a business from months to days.

10. Network Production Enhancements — The Orbs network is in production mainnet from March 2019. Continue the process of making the network more mature, reliable stable, performant and secure — so it can host even bigger apps with more users and more value.

11. Protocol Enhancement Research — Long term research for core improvements to the Orbs protocol. Every big feature like privacy with zero-knowledge proofs requires months of academic research before being implemented in production and added to the core.

12. Online IDE for App Developers — Similar to Ethereum’s Remix, the online IDE lets app developers write smart contracts directly from their web browser without installing any tools. This is a great way to make experimentation with Orbs easier with less friction.

Partnerships and team members

  • January 13th marked the official launch of the Communications Business Automation Network. CBAN was initiated by the GLF (Global Leaders Forum), the main collaboration forum for the wholesale telecom business. Backed by some of the biggest telecom carriers globally, including names like Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica, CBAN was jointly developed with a group of both telecom and blockchain technology providers.

The Communications Business Automation Network (CBAN) has published a whitepaper and the first release of the Reference Architecture and the initial set of definitions for Data-on-Demand and International Voice settlement that will be offered via the platform.

The publication of the reference architecture, the business product definitions, and the whitepaper are a culmination of extensive collaboration between the members of the CBAN and the GLF, and a group of leading technology developers. Orbs has been a prime member of this project from the beginning, helping to shape a major ecosystem in the telecom world backed by the industry’s largest players.

As mentioned, Orbs team members have been an active part of the core team designing the reference architecture and first use cases of the CBAN. Secondly, one of the core chains of the ecosystem is going to be implemented on the Orbs blockchain platform to be operated by the CBAN members. Finally, Orbs is working with several other telecom vendors (such as OSS/BSS software providers) to build the first PoCs in the CBAN ecosystem and will update on their progress in the coming months.

Such collaboration is unique in the industry as it represents the first time that many different ecosystem players have combined efforts to create an interoperable framework that can support multiple business products running on multiple different DLT implementations.

Download a copy of the Whitepaper, released by CBAN here. Read the full press release here.

Rumors

  • Picture from Telegram Chat by NS:

About Orbs

Orbs Architecture

Orbs Speed

Orbs Reliability

Orbs Virtual Chains

Social media metrics

Social media activity
Social media dynamics
Social media dynamics

The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Orbs Facebook likes, Reddit subscribers and Twitter followers. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.

This is not financial advice.

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