A new mainnet release of the Raiden Python client is out. This release introduces numerous improvements to the backend which improves the overall user experience and reliability of using the Raiden Network. Among the biggest improvements are changes to the transport layer and faster sync times. Furthermore, it also paves the way for the Raiden Light Client to be released very soon. Check out the documentation and read this announcement to get an overview of the Bespin release and how to get started using it. To get started, download the release here!
Introducing the Bespin Release
We’re excited to announce the Bespin release of the Raiden Network! The Bespin release is the next step towards a fully fledged Raiden Network. The main focus of the Bespin release is stability and especially stability of the transport layer. The transport layer has caused the team some long debugging sessions over the last year, so we’re very pleased to finally have a stable transport layer in place.
One additional thing that we’re very excited about is that the Bespin release on the mainnet will be followed by the Raiden Light Client release on the mainnet very soon!
Lastly, Bespin channels are not compatible with Alderaan channels, so users will need to close and settle all channels.
A full changelog of the Bespin release can be found here.
Goals of the Bespin Release
Bespin is the third major release of the Raiden Network on the Ethereum mainnet. The goal of this release is to have a stable and bug free transport layer. We have put a lot of effort into refactoring the transport layer. The main difference is that Raiden no longer uses Matrix rooms. This change has led to a significant decrease in load on the Matrix servers as well as increased the reliability of the transport layer.
Furthermore and probably most interesting, the Bespin release is compatible with the Raiden Light Client that will be released shortly after this release. So Bespin is not only a new mainnet release of the Python client, but it’s also a step towards the mainnet release of the Raiden Light Client.
We encourage anyone interested in doing fast, cheap and scalable payments on Ethereum to try out the Bespin release. Especially with the high gas fees recently and the tps limitations of rollups, all scalability solutions are needed more now than ever! We are open to collaborating with projects that want to power their payments with Raiden and we always appreciate feedback and feature requests. If you are looking to deploy on a sidechain or rollup, don’t hesitate to contact us either! Please feel free to reach out to us at [contact (at) raiden (dot) network]. Also, if you are building something that you believe would benefit the Raiden ecosystem, take a look at the Raiden Trust’s grant programme. If you discover a critical bug, please don’t hesitate to head over to the bug bounty website and report it.
As already stated, most of the improvements coming with Bespin are happening behind the scenes. Below we give a brief overview of the more significant updates.
- Added endpoint for UDC deposits/withdrawals — this makes it easier to deposit and withdraw to the UDC contract, which is needed in order to use the Raiden Service Bundle.
- Support for the newest Ethereum clients
- Support for Python 3.9
- Faster sync times — when Raiden starts it needs to synchronise with the blockchain to make sure it is aware of all relevant onchain events. This process used to be very slow, but with Bespin the time it takes to sync has been significantly decreased.
- New “quick connect” functionality — the WebUI has introduced a feature that gives users a list of recommended nodes to open a channel with. This makes it fast and easy to connect to the network and maintain an optimal topology.
- Removed “join token network” endpoint — this functionality has been removed from the API and instead the functionality described above is advised.
- Removed refund transfers — this was originally meant as a quick way of unlocking funds in case of a transfer not being completed. It turned out to be quite inefficient and added a lot of complexity to the code base, so it was removed again.
- Matrix rooms removed — the use of Matrix rooms have been removed. This reduces the load on the Matrix servers and increases the reliability of the transport layer. Additionally, this improves privacy of Raiden, since channel balances are now only visible to the RSBs and channel partners.
Safety Measures of the Bespin Release
The smart contracts of the Bespin release are the same contracts that were used for Alderaan. This means that the same safety measures and limits are in place. We have decided to keep the same measures in place, since the Bespin release is still a beta deployment of the Raiden Network. We want to mitigate risks to limit the potential damage caused by bugs or misuse of the software and to ensure a responsible experimentation environment for this nascent technology. Please also note, that the Bespin release is not yet audited by an external party.
As already explained in the Alderaan blog post there are limits of $1000 worth of ETH or DAI maximum deposited per channel and a maximum of $1,000,000 worth of tokens per token network. However, since the ETH price at the time of writing is up by ~15x since the release of Alderaan, the limits of the Wrapped Ether token network are worth 15 times more now than they were when Alderaan was released. Since DAI is a stable coin, the values for the DAI network remain the same.
There is currently still a bug bounty program in place for the Alderaan smart contracts. Bespin uses the same deployed smart contracts, which means that the bug bounty that has a pool worth $200,000 stays in place. For more detailed information on the bug bounty you can take a look at this blog post.
As already mentioned earlier in this post, even though Bespin uses the same smart contracts that were deployed for Alderaan, the channels are not compatible. This means that users should close and settle open channels before upgrading to Bespin.
Feature Limitations of the Bespin Release
Feature limitations in the current release include:
- No upgradability of the token network: The Bespin release does not include upgradability of the smart contracts. In other words, the only way to upgrade the network would be to redeploy new contracts and release a new client version pointing to the new contracts. All channels in the old network would need to be closed and reopened in the new network.
Safe Usage of Bespin
It is highly recommended to take a look at this section of our documentation in order to understand how to safely use the Bespin release.
There are some known issues that could be caused by external factors that are out of the hands of the Raiden Network. These issues include things like onchain network congestion and compromised user systems. It is recommended to take a look at this list for a full picture and explanation of these issues.
We are glad to have released Bespin and we are looking forward to seeing what the Ethereum community will use this technology for. If you encounter any bugs or have requests for new features, please do not hesitate to reach out to us and open an issue on Github. Also, if you want to build something on top of Raiden, don’t forget to check out the Raiden Trust!
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements regarding the Raiden Light Client to come out very soon!
Lastly, we want to thank some of our community members for running Raiden Service Bundles in order to assure that the Raiden Network stays truly decentralized in harmony with the Ethereum vision!
The Raiden Team
Disclaimer: Please note, that even though we do our best to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information provided, this publication may contain views and opinions, errors and omissions for which the content creator(s) and any represented organization cannot be held liable.
The wording and concepts regarding financial terminology (e.g. “payments”, “checks”, “currency”, “transfer” [of value]) are exclusively used in an exemplary way to describe technological principles and do not necessarily conform to the real world or legal equivalents of these terms and concepts.