David Rugendyke
Aug 29 · 8 min read
Rocket Pool 2 v1 Beta — Open to the public and starts soon!

We’re proud to announce that the Rocket Pool 2.0 v1 Beta will be starting in a few weeks, on the 24th September, 2019 00:00 UTC. The beta site will be running from https://beta.rocketpool.net, open to the public and will run for a month at the least. All you’ll need to participate is a browser with the latest version of MetaMask, some testnet ETH to stake, and RPL if you want to run a smart node in the beta. Both ETH and RPL will be freely available from a testnet faucet on the site when the beta begins.

All participants in the beta will receive some RPL, our main utility token, after the beta has concluded. We’ll be assigning 10,000 RPL to the beta which will be divided among all unique participants who deposit some testnet ether into the beta while it’s running, either as a regular staker or node operator. Hooray!

For those of you who have been following Rocket Pool for a while, you’ll know this isn’t our first beta, even though we’re calling this v1. This time last year, we were running our first beta for the previous version of Casper, which was a smart contract on mainnet, before the pivot to the new beacon chain approach. Rocket Pool has evolved greatly since then, but if you fancy a walk down memory lane, you can see the results from that 2 month long beta in our recap post after it concluded.

Rocket Pool — Wait, what, who?

If you’re not familiar with Rocket Pool, here’s a quick run-down before we get into the details of the development update.

Rocket Pool is a next-generation Ethereum proof of stake (PoS) infrastructure service, designed to be highly decentralised, distributed and compatible with Casper 2.0, the new consensus protocol that Ethereum will transition to in late 2020.

We offer any user, business, corporation, pool, wallet provider, exchange, hedge fund — just about any service — the ability to provide their users with the option to earn interest on their ether holdings for a fixed term without worrying about maintaining an extensive staking infrastructure, just plug and play.

Rocket Pool has a long history in Ethereum and work on it originally began in late 2016 after the Mauve paper was released by Vitalik Buterin. This provided an early functional spec for Ethereum’s new consensus protocol called Casper which would allow users to earn interest on a deposit of Ether. Since then, Rocket Pool has grown and evolved into a next-generation staking network, aiming to allow businesses and their users to earn interest on their ether and to empower users who wish to stake on their own node by providing them with additional income on top of interest awarded by Casper.

Rocket Pool isn’t just a whitepaper, it’s actual code. Be sure to read the Rocket Pool 101 — FAQ for more information.

Not one beta, but two!

Rocket Pool is aiming to be a decentralised staking network for Ethereum 2.0, which includes businesses, groups and those awesome community members who are just thrilled about helping secure the network and getting rewards for it. We align the interests of those who want to stake, but not run a node, with those who do want to run a node and generate a higher return on their own staked ETH during the process.

Click here to view a quick video of Rocket Pool’s Beta UI in progress

To help make Rocket Pool as good as it can be for Phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0, we’re going to run two betas with a break of approximately a month in between. We want to listen to users who stake as well as node operators who run the nodes and get as much feedback as we can to help make the network and smart contracts as robust and easy to use as possible. We also aim to familiarise all users with how Rocket Pool will work, well before any mainnet release.

Below we’ll outline the general setup and parameters of each beta, its intended goals and chances of it imploding in a glorious spectacle of ETH and RPL being sent into the stratosphere .

Beta v1 — It’s my first time, be gentle.

Besides spending time coming up with slightly inappropriate beta names, we’ve been hard at work getting all the moving parts of a decentralised staking network into place for the public to test. This involves work on our extensive smart contract suite, the javascript library for building UIs on top of the network, the beacon chain simulator for emulating a full running ETH2 beacon chain network and our smart node package (repo link will be public soon) which allows people to run their own staking nodes in the Rocket Pool network and generate a higher return than outside of it.

The first beta will put all these moving parts to the test and we couldn’t be happier for it, as it’ll be the Ethereum community giving it a good work over and we can’t wait to get feedback on it as it runs.

You’ll get a quick intro into how Rocket Pool works when you first start the beta. It’s informative, short and there’s no way to skip it :)

The Setup

The Rocket Pool v1 Beta will be running on our very own Ethereum Clique Proof of Authority network testnet. It will also feature a built-in faucet for people who wish to grab some testnet ETH to stake with and an RPL faucet for those users that wish to be node operators. We had considered using the Goerli testnet for the V1 Beta, but decided to use Goerli for the V2 beta instead to avoid node operators having to spend a while syncing before participating.

Interaction with the beta will be through MetaMask and we’ll be supplying the URL for the RPC connection in an upcoming guide on how to get started with the beta, its features and general usage.

For this beta we’ll be using our beacon chain simulator in place of any real beacon chain client. It’s a centralised service that mimics interaction with a real beacon chain. While several early versions of actual beacon chain clients are currently running successfully on their own testnets, in order to focus just on our platform and make sure errors that might popup are in fact due to issues with Rocket Pool and not a bug in a beacon chain client. The V2 beta will look at integrating live beacon chain clients.

Beta Summary:

  • Network: Rocket Pool Testnet
    Network Block Time: 15 seconds.
    Network ETH Faucet
    : 20 — every 24hrs per account.
    Network RPL Faucet: 48 — every 24hrs per account.
  • ETH1 Clients: Geth
    ETH2 Clients: Beacon chain simulator
  • Deposit Min: 1 ether.
    Deposit Max: 16 ether — this is the max per deposit.
    Deposit Queue Max: 320 ether — this is the max amount of sequential deposits allowed by all users with no minipools available. Node operators must create more minipools to get ETH assigned to them from the queue.
    Deposit Terms: 1 day, 2 days and 3 days respectively.
  • Withdrawals: Will be made in rETH, our token which represents bETH locked on the beacon chain. More about that in a detailed article soon.
  • RPL Giveaway: 10,000 RPL split among all participants, stakers and node operators alike after beta completes.
  • Launch Date: 24th September, 2019 UTC
    End Date: Between 24th October — 24th November
  • Chances of blowing up: Moderate.

Beta v2 —Electric Boogaloo.

Our second beta will aim to build on the first one with improvements to the UI, network, smart contracts, node software and any other issues found during the beta +feedback from the community as a whole.

One of the biggest changes to the v2 beta will be the introduction of real beacon chain clients in place of our simulator used in the v1 beta. We’ve already begun early testing with some clients such as Prysm and Nimbus with the hope of integrating one or more clients for the v2 beta when the time comes around.

A GUI for desktop users who wish to run a node in Beta v2

We are already hard at work planning some initial goals for Beta v2, the most primary of which is integration of an actual ETH2 beacon chain client. But there are others currently on the horizon, such as:

Beta V2 Goals:

  • Beacon Chain Client Integration with 1 or more clients.
  • An ETH1 light client option for node operators which uses Infura.
  • GUI for desktop node operators to use. V1 beta features a terminal CLI for this which registers their node with the Rocket Pool network and more.
  • UI improvements. More details and information on deposits/withdrawals + breakdowns of fees charged by the network etc.
  • UI mobile compatibility.
  • Bug fixes, all the bugs.

Beta Summary:

  • Network: Görli
    Network Block Time: 15 seconds.
  • ETH1 Clients: Geth, Parity
    ETH2 Clients: 1 or more actual beacon chain clients.
  • RPL Giveaway: 10,000 RPL split among all participants, stakers and node operators alike after beta completes.
  • Launch Date: TBA
  • Chances of blowing up: Smaller than v1… hopefully.

The Countdown Begins!

The v1 Beta will begin in just a few weeks and it will have limited capacity, so first in, best dressed. We can’t wait to see how users and node operators will jump in and test the waters. There will be several guides on how to use the beta and setup a node to come in the following weeks.

The Ethereum community has been great to us, so we welcome all users from n00bs to experienced devops to have a play and break some stuff. If anyone has difficulties or needs some assistance, jump into our discord room and head to the #beta channel and let us know how you‘re stuck or any features you’d like to see implemented for the v2 beta.

This may or may not happen. Let’s hope it’s the only time you see this GIF.

Devcon 5

We’ll also be at Devcon 5, so if you see a Rocket Pool shirt making the rounds, feel free to grab us for a chat or berate us from a distance, the choice is yours!

Questions or just say hello!

If you have questions or want to know a bit more about us, why not swing by for a chat and say G’day! You can view our website or have a chat with us in our chat room that anyone can join. If chat rooms aren’t your thing, we’re also on Twitter!

Rocket Pool

Casper Friendly Decentralised Ethereum Proof of Stake Pool

David Rugendyke

Written by

Rocket Pool Founder, CTO and Ethereum Developer

Rocket Pool

Casper Friendly Decentralised Ethereum Proof of Stake Pool

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