Development Update: The Road towards Ithaca

Since the release of Red Eyes, Raiden’s alpha testing version on the Ethereum mainnet, we have been working towards our next big milestone, Ithaca.

As you might be aware, the Red Eyes release entails certain feature limitations including the requirement to always be online. Ithaca will include services and features which will make the usage of Raiden more convenient:

  • The pathfinding service will increase the odds of finding a quick or cheap route through the network.
  • The monitoring service will watch channels and allow users to go offline.
  • Users will be able to earn fees by mediating payments through their open channels.

In the following paragraphs, we will give a brief overview of the functionalities and implementations, which the development team is currently working on.

Monitoring Service (MS)

Monitoring services can watch open payment channels when the user is not online. In case one of the user’s channel partners wants to close a channel while the user is offline, the monitoring service sends the latest balance proof to the channel smart contract and thus ensures the correct settlement of the channel.

Pathfinding Service (PFS)

Pathfinding services can support users in finding e.g. the cheapest or shortest way to route a payment through the network. A pathfinding service relies on data from the network, the respective smart contract as well as information provided voluntarily by mediating nodes. This information consists of the mediation fees charged and the respective available channel capacities. In the current design, the user will be able to select the shortest or cheapest route. The pathfinding service will improve with the number of mediating nodes sharing their updates.

Raiden Service Bundle (RSB) Registry

The RSB registry is planned to list all service providers, which are offering monitoring and/or pathfinding services. The development progress of the Raiden services can be followed in the respective Raiden Services repository.

Mediation Fees

Users can earn fees by mediating payments through their open channels. As mediation is not mandatory, nodes decide whether they want to mediate payments through their channels or not. Participating nodes can structure mediation fees depending on their needs. The fees will be paid in the token which is transferred in the respective token network.

Changes in the Release Strategy

Working towards Red Eyes, we tried to release every one to two weeks. Moving forward, we will adjust this and release in a more irregular rhythm. The upcoming releases are meant to integrate the new features step by step into the existing mainnet release. Only in exceptional cases (if features or fixes are not backwards compatible), we will create an “Ithaca branch” with additional testnet releases.

The Raiden Team

Make sure to stay up to date by following us on Twitter and Medium and joining the conversations on Reddit and Gitter!

The Raiden project is led by brainbot labs Est.