Coruscant and Krittika: The new Raiden Releases on Mainnet

TL;DR

As the end of 2021 approaches, we are thrilled to wrap this year up with newly released mainnet versions of the Python and Light Clients. Never before have we had such performant and stable releases with over 6 new features that optimize the Raiden Network’s performance, as well as on chain interactions.

With the technology being feature complete, we are now looking forward to the ecosystem growth and to helping communities use the Raiden protocol in the context of Ethereum scalability. At the beginning of 2022, our primary focus will be to tackle certain usage barriers of Raiden. We plan on reducing on- and offboarding costs via the deployment of the Raiden Network on another L2. We therefore recommend waiting for the next updates to open channels.

Release of the feature complete Raiden Network clients

We have some great news to share with you, wrapping up this year on a successful note. 🎉

Yes! We are very much talking about our new Coruscant and Krittika releases for our respective Python and Light (or Typescript) Clients. This milestone marks a crucial moment for the Raiden team and community: Those releases, now deployed on the Ethereum mainnet, embody all the initially envisioned features. It offers scalable L2 token transfers while maintaining the core Ethereum values of decentralization and security.

Our recommendation:

Do not open channels just yet!

We are currently working on reducing on- and offboarding costs (making the Raiden Network more viable) by deploying it on another L2 solution. More information will follow soon.

What’s new?

With these new releases, we introduced new smart contracts. Note that there is no backwards compatibility with the old contracts. This means that the Python and Light Client releases don’t work with channels opened on older versions. That is why closing old channels before upgrading is recommended. You can read more about withdrawing your tokens and closing old channels here.

After saying goodbye to your old channels, let’s say hello to the newly available features.

New features

Features improving on-chain interactions

  • Open and deposit feature: Setting up your Raiden channel is now faster and 12% cheaper

In the past, opening a channel on Raiden and depositing some tokens into it required two separate on-chain transactions. With the open and deposit feature however, we merged both transactions in one, allowing a decrease in transaction costs of roughly 12%.

  • Cooperative settlement: Easier closing and settlement of channels saving over 60% in gas fees

In order to maintain a healthy and stable network, we usually encourage Raiden Network users to keep their channels open and nodes running. However, sometimes, the process of closing and settling is unavoidable (e.g. in the event of a dispute between two parties).

Therefore, we developed a feature allowing unilateral closing, settling and token withdrawal initiated by only one of the channel partners, shown in the picture below.

By batching both parties’ balance proofs mutually signed in the same closing transaction, the number of on-chain transactions is reduced from three to one. Previously, both parties had to provide the respective state of their channel resulting in two separate closing transactions followed by another settling transaction to send the tokens back to the respective wallets. With this new feature, however, effectively the same results are achieved while spending less time and over 60% less gas fees.

Note that the withdrawal of RDN from the UDC however, still needs to be performed separately.

Cooperative settlement within the Raiden Network protocol
Cooperative settlement
  • Increased token value limits by 5x and transferable contract ownership

When talking about token limits, we distinguish between the total value of tokens you can have per channel and the total amount of value you can commit to the Raiden protocol. The total token value you can deposit into a channel has been increased to $ 5K. The total value that can now be committed to the current Raiden protocol has also increased by 5x and is now capped at $ 5M.

Additionally, those limits can be entirely removed by the contract owner. Only smart contracts regulating token limitations have an assigned owner. The smart contract ownership can and may be transferred in the future, for the contracts to be eventually governed by the community.

Features improving the performance of the Raiden Network

  • Subsecond payments across continents

Support for WebRTC channels has been fully implemented and enabled. With WebRTC, nodes can now open direct communication routes which allow for faster transfers. We successfully achieved subsecond transfers across the globe, between nodes located in New York, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

  • Faster internode communication

The internode communication is now more efficient with the introduction of the encrypted secret that gets sent along with the information from the sender and can only be decrypted by the legitimate receiver via a private/public key. It is especially useful on mediated transfers by allowing all messages to be exchanged through the pre-established WebRTC (communication) routes between partner nodes. It significantly reduces communication between nodes. The secret key encryption is a feature built alongside the initial internode communication system, meaning that it is backward compatible in case a node is not updated with the latest protocol version.

  • Enabling the use of user-provided routes

Generally, the PFS gets triggered by default if there is no direct open channel with enough capacity (tokens), or if a mediated transfer is performed. The PFS then automatically finds a viable route to the receiver which results in network fees to be paid in RDN.

In the Light Client (SDK and CLI) and now also in the Python Client, the use of static routes is supported. This means users can avoid the Path Finding Services and choose any usable static routes they might already know. It allows network participants to save on network fees. This feature is intended for advanced users and is not available in the Light client dApp yet.

For more detailed information, take a look at the detailed release notes of the Coruscant and Krittika releases.

Get started

Before downloading the new Raiden versions, be sure to withdraw your tokens from both your channels and the UDC contracts as you will not be able to access them post update.

You can learn more about the Light Client SDK or use our Light Client dApp for a smooth start. The dApp is a fully working reference implementation using the SDK. You can find a detailed guide here about how to get started using the Raiden dApp.

If you want to run a full mediating node, we recommend using the Light Client CLI or alternatively downloading the Python Client.

Do not hesitate to reach out via Gitter if you encounter any challenges as you get started or if you have any issues along the way.

Safety measures of the Coruscant and Krittika Releases

Even though the two clients have now achieved feature completeness, there are still some safety measures to take into account in order to ensure safe usage of Raiden. The two clients both require different safety measures since they are implemented differently.

Python Client

The Python client has a number of strict requirements to be found here. Please read the documentation carefully before usage.

Light Client

For a complete list of safety precautions related to the use of the Light Client dApp, you can take a look here. There are some more measures to be taken into account regarding the use of the SDK, which can be found here. As for the CLI, these measures should be taken.

For our bug hunters

We encourage you to go on a bug hunt: You can get up to $200,000.

The same rules apply as for the past releases. If you discover a critical bug, please don’t hesitate to head over to the bug bounty website to report it. For more detailed information on the bug bounty, you can take a look at this blog post.

What is next?

Delivering a feature complete and performing technology without compromising decentralization nor security, is a complex challenge we have managed to overcome. Given that most protocols struggle with this very same challenge, we are particularly appreciative of that achievement. Our tech is now ready to be utilized and to contribute to scaling Ethereum.

The next focus areas for us are:

  1. Reducing one of the main usage barriers for Raiden: on- and offboarding costs by deploying Raiden on an L2
  2. Empowering our community via community governance to shape the future of the Raiden protocol

More about it in our upcoming articles!

We welcome and assist projects that want to build on Raiden or deploy the Raiden protocol on a sidechain or rollup via the Raiden Trust’s grant program. For any questions or additional information, don’t hesitate to contact us via contact@raiden.network.

In closing

This long-awaited release makes one more occasion to celebrate with us during this holiday. 🥂 After this wild year 2021, we wish you all a wonderful time and all the best for the upcoming year 2022 with your loved ones.

Stay safe, healthy and up to date by following us on Twitter and Medium and joining the conversations on Reddit and Gitter!

The Raiden Team

The Raiden project is led by brainbot labs Est.

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.

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