Mainnet Means Maturity
If you’ve been following Po.et closely, you know that we’re right around the corner from moving the Po.et protocol over from testnet to mainnet.
Po.et is special compared with other blockchain projects in that there’s not a devoted blockchain built specifically for our purposes. Instead, we’re leveraging the fundamental concepts behind proof of existence, writing to the Bitcoin network and layering additional functionalities on top. So, when we talk about about “mainnet,” we’re really talking about reaching a new level in both technical and conceptual maturity.
Our initial explorations of the protocol focused on getting out an MVP that allowed us to have real conversations about real implementations. We’ve seen dozens of projects start to work with Po.et and get hooked on the possibilities that we can bring to the market. Most of these have been internal proofs of concept, but we also have developers building apps like the Po.et Publisher. Our Frost API layer has made it dead simple for people to integrate Po.et without having to know anything about blockchain technology. To everyone who has given feedback about how we can make Po.et better, thank you so much for reaching out to contribute.
The maturation process of building a protocol is an interesting challenge, especially when the protocol is focused on decentralization and tasked with the disruption of existing models.
There’s a balance to strike between delivering a product quickly while ensuring a stable foundation. And it’s not just about building what’s new, but also about learning and leveraging the community of work that already exists.
There’s a growing school of developers dedicated to building out concepts like the Semantic Web and the Web of Trust that align with our mission. We want to work in step with these other projects to make sure that we’re building something unique to the distributed web ecosystem.
Success for Po.et is defined as growth in the usage of everything we’ve built. We want to make Po.et as accessible as possible for everyone in the world. We don’t want to put in artificial and unnecessary barriers to bringing increased value to your content. We want to be extremely mindful of the incentives we create and the culture we build with Po.et, while quickly modeling and exploring what those incentives should look like. Therefore, success is really measured in maturity and how much people trust the protocols and applications we’re all in charge of building through Po.et.
We set out with a very specific roadmap of what moving to Bitcoin’s mainnet would take from us so that we would feel very comfortable and excited that we’re going down the right path. We identified five key areas to hammer on:
- Updating the strength of the core protocol:
Our initial protocol structure was a very basic implementation to help us learn. We’ve made significant updates to the protocol to now give much stronger cryptographic proof about the information recorded to Po.et. We’ve also made it easy to extend the available types of metadata you can put on Po.et. At launch, everything will seem very familiar, but now we can iterate much more quickly and even other groups can start building out their own metadata structures.
2. Claim batching for scale:
From day one, we’ve been worried about our ability to scale. After all, Po.et is only successful if it’s actively being used as part of content creators’ daily routines. We are building batches of claims through IPFS directories that we reference on the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s a very basic concept in theory that has huge implications in practice for our ability to reach our goals.
3. Easier node deployment through automation:
Our engineering team has gone through great lengths to make running a Po.et node as simple as possible. We’re leveraging best-of-breed automation and deployment tools. There are new health endpoints to build hooks against. We’re not expecting everyone to want to run a Po.et node themselves, but for those who do, we want them to have great experiences.
4. Onboarding support and documentation:
Po.et at its core is built around our protocol, but it also includes a few other pieces of software that are critical for people to understand. We’ve updated all of our public documentation and are relaunching a more streamlined experience between Frost and our explorer. We’re prioritizing user experience over decentralization here as we transition more resources toward the growth of the Po.et network.
Because we’re leveraging the strength and security of the Bitcoin network, we don’t have to focus on defending Sybil attacks or frontrunning, but we will still need to be vigilant about the security of the software we release, especially where we touch any cryptocurrencies. More importantly, we’re also going to be opening up new, unknown attacks on creator reputation and identity as we expand. To develop the protocol responsibly, permanency and decentralization are paramount.
Our expectations of Po.et as a protocol are more than just where the information lives. To us, moving to mainnet means that Po.et as a utility is open for all to use. We wanted to build an environment where creators can not just use existing applications but have the materials and support to build their own. We want to build a protocol for creativity, a place where the next generation of the web will be constructed with a focus on interoperability, reputation and ownership. By providing these core values in our protocol, applications built using this technology will enable the ethos of the better web, whether that’s through a marketplace, a wallet, the next social platform or the tools to enable a truly decentralized media economy.
Closing out our “Road to Mainnet” milestone signifies a significant step toward Po.et’s maturity. Together, we’ll build Po.et to be a meaningful protocol for creators, consumers and dreamers.