Preview: Monet 1.2 Mainnet Release

Pastel
PastelNetwork
Published in
6 min readFeb 8, 2023

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We have been hard at work on the Monet 1.2 Release. This Mainnet upgrade is one of several releases planned for 2023. We are committed to and hyper-focused on creating the best blockchain shaping the future of Web3 infrastructure.

Monet 1.2 is a critical step in our journey. This release includes major updates to our Supernode infrastructure, permanent NFT data storage solution, Cascade, and duplicate detection technology, Sense.

We anticipate this this upgrade will be fully live on Testnet in the next few weeks, with Mainnet activation taking place this quarter. Please see below for more information on specific features that comprise Monet 1.2.

Storage Challenges: Proof of Storage

The most compelling value proposition in Pastel Network’s storage layer, Cascade, is in the trustless decentralization of data that is stored on the network. In Pastel, data is broken up into fragments that are then copied and randomly distributed across validators (Supernodes) operating the network. Monet 1.2 will bring Supernode Storage Challenges to further accomplish trustless data decentralization.

In layman’s terms, the way Storage Challenges work is that Supernodes effectively quiz each other ‘at random’ with spot checks to see whether they are storing the files they are supposed to using a novel Proof of Storage. If a Supernode fails a Proof of Storage challenge or simply fails to respond, they are in essence slashed and lose share of network income.

The core concepts intrinsic to Storage Challenges also permeate across the broader Pastel Network:

  1. Trustless — Trust no network participant other than yourself by assuming that other network participants may be both unreliable and malicious.
  2. Distributed — Operations, such as Storage Challenges, are performed by multiple active, randomly selected validators.
  3. Verify — The outcome of Storage Challenge operations are verified by other fair network operators, and those verifications are further ‘verified’ (Bob performs a task, Alice verifies the task to the network, Eve double-checks Alice’s verification).
  4. Open — Supernodes broadcast their Storage Challenges to the entire network so that every actor knows what is going on the entire time.
  5. Deterministic — Each aspect in our Proof of Storage is done deterministically, as explicitly proscribed in the underlying protocol using XOR rankings and entropy from mining.

By incorporating Storage Challenges, we are able to achieve a robust mechanism for constantly verifying and validating the contents of Cascade and for ensuring that Supernode operators either remain compliant or incur penalties for violating the protocol (via slashing and network bans). This further guarantees both the decentralization of the files being stored on the network.

To better understand how Storage Challenges are implemented, we encourage you to review and contribute to our public repo.

Self-Healing Data

Storage Challenges in Cascade guarantee ongoing data permanance & decentralization on the network across active & compliant Supernodes. But even with Proof of Storage, what happens if the number of active Supernodes — each holding the underlying, redundant pieces of a particular file — suddenly changes to the point where entire files cannot be sufficiently reconstructed? Monet 1.2 activates the innovative concept of Self-Healing to further promote ongoing data permanence.

Cascade is highly disruptive in its capability to “over-provision” data. To over-provision means to generate many more pieces and copies of data than would be strictly required to reconstruct the original data itself. This is possible because these chunks are not normal disjoint segments of data like BitTorrent, but rather many versions of each chunk — i.e. fungible. These fungible chunks of data are called symbol files.

For example, Cascade can turn a 1MB file into 12MB of 50KB symbol files. And because symbol files are each fungible, Cascade only needs to collect 1MB worth of the different 50KB files to reconstruct the original file. By generating more symbol files than necessary and by ensuring that each symbol is truly being stored via Storage Challenges, Cascade guarantees any file can be reconstructed.

In addition to over-provisioning, Cascade further reduces the risk of data loss with further redundancy by requiring each symbol file to be stored by the 5 Supernodes that are closest to it using XOR distance. XOR is a deterministic algorithm used to define the distance between the PastelID identifier string for each active Supernode and the hash of the previous block. The Supernode’s PastelID that is “closest” to this previous block hash is then considered the “winner.” In the case of these symbol files, the 5 closest Supernodes are the winners.

However, what if these 5 Supernodes storing a set of symbol files suddenly leave the network at the same time, so that there is no chance to conduct a “handoff” of responsibility to other SNs that remain in the network? This is where self-healing comes into play.

There is a specific “seed” property in Cascade that is stored in the Pastel blockchain protocol itself. The seed enables Cascade to, after the fact, use the complete copy of the file (which can be verified by comparing it to the file’s hash — also stored directly in the Pastel blockchain) to reconstruct any of the files from the list of symbol files that were originally created. This means that Cascade can never truly lose any of the symbol files “forever” so long as the original file can be reconstructed correctly.

In practice, we use this to incorporate this concept such that whenever a symbol file goes missing, it is regenerated and redistributed to the network of Supernodes in the same way as all other symbol files: the 5 closest Supernodes to each symbol file must store each of the regenerated files.

Cascade’s self-healing property minimizes the probability of a permanent, irrecoverable loss of data through intrinsic storage redundancy.

To better understand the concept of Self Healing in practice, we encourage you to review and contribute to our public repo.

Other Features in Monet 1.2

In addition to Storage Challenges and Self-Healing, we are excited to share that Monet 1.2 will also bring the following features to Mainnet:

  • Activation of Supernode Health and State Challenges: Similar to Proof of Storage, Health & State Challenges will guarantee the ongoing active and enabled state of each Supernode client on the network.
  • Stabilization of Sense Protocol: Improvements to Chrome Driver usage, updates to Webtools 1.3, and implementation of additional tickets.
  • Release of the OpenAPI Gateway: Production-ready Gateway will be deployed via the Mainnet with support for a number of new endpoints, asynchronous execution, Ansible support for independent deployment, and a graphical user interface for interaction.

The Pastel team is hard at work bringing the highest levels of functionality, reliability, and data permanence to the Web3 ecosystem. The Monet 1.2 Mainnet upgrade is the first key milestone in Pastel’s development roadmap for 2023.

Monet 1.2 will be released in the coming weeks. Follow us on Twitter, Discord, Telegram, & Reddit for the most up-to-date Pastel news!

About Pastel Network

Pastel Network is a fully decentralized, developer-friendly layer-1 blockchain serving as the preeminent protocol standard for non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and Web3 technology.

Pastel allows for the development of third-party decentralized-applications (“DApps”) to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes, and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated cross-chain across various layer-1 blockchains, layer-2 protocols, or other third-party apps.

Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

For more information on Pastel Network, visit https://pastel.network/.

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Pastel
PastelNetwork

Next-gen NFT focused blockchain. Certifiable authenticity. Permanent storage. Negligible fees. Build, secure, and scale your Web3 ecosystem with Pastel.