Multinode testnet is live!

Right on time with another monthly release, this time a multinode testnet with better smart contracts.

Multinode testnet release
It’s early days, but we are now supporting multiple nodes with generalized smart contracts! Our team was hard at work at the end of June to get this release out (like clockwork). Buy Greg and Stephen a beer next time you see them, they deserve it. Stay tuned for next month’s public beta release!

The community continues to explode
Last time you got a newsletter (one month ago) we were at 12,000 newsletter subscribers and 8,000 Telegram members. We’re now at 30,000 newsletter members and just crossed 25,000 Telegram members! We’re so honored to have this level of interest in our project. We’ve also got a submission for a Japanese version of the whitepaper, with French and Italian on the way. Come ask your questions in Telegram while our founders still have time to answer!

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Partnership with Helium
In addition to our partnerships with GlobalID and Hard Yaka, we’re now partnered with Helium! Helium is the world’s first decentralized machine network powered by a blockchain. The partnership will help disrupt massive markets from blockchain, IoT, and even telecommunications. Keep your eye out for more to come.

The team is growing
We’re so excited to announce the hiring of Rob Walker, former Senior Director of Engineering at Qualcomm. We’ve also got 2 other new full-time hires this past week, as well as 3 part-timers. Stay tuned to the next newsletter to find out who they are, and the mysterious location of our new office! We’ve worked hard to expand the team with only the best engineers in the world, and we’ll continue doing so this year. If you’re interested in seeing how you can contribute to Solana, email jobs@solana.com.

Sold out panel with SAP
On May 31st, we teamed up with SAP and the Google alumni community in a fireside chat with early Blockchain investor, Alyse Killeen and a panel of founders, fully funded, building live products, with real users as we go beyond cryptocurrency and ask if “blockchain is eating the world”. It featured our very own Alan Yu! Always check the site for updates on upcoming events. We’ve got a hackathon and decentralized exchange event on the way this summer.

NEW RELEASE: v0.6.0

Multinode testnet! Very much in its infancy, but we’ve massively de-risked performance concerns surrounding high-throughput multinode testnets. You can now spin up validator nodes and see that the leader is able to get the blocks to them without any TPS slowdown. That was our theory and now it’s a reality.

Three software pipelines! Last month we introduced the Transaction Processing Unit (TPU) at the Solana meetup in San Francisco. The TPU is now fully implemented, as well as a new pipelined RPU to process client requests, and a TVU to validate transactions and produce a Proof of Validation. Each pipeline is built up from stages, an abstraction we built up in Rust, inspired by CPU design.

Network Control Plane using CRDTs! Most of the building blocks to the Avalanche architecture are now implemented. The leader avoids congesting the network by breaking blocks into segments and passing them to validators. The validators then pass their segments to their peers and reconstruct the block.

Generalized smart contracts! In the last release, we offered a minimal unnamed builtin smart contract bytecode. In this past month, we broke it out and defined a generic interface to it. As we described at the meetup, we can now light up any language that is able to safely implement that interface.

As always, you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out our GitHub to run a node for yourself!

WHAT’S NEXT?

Public testnet! Let’s see if you can knock down our network as fast as we can. :)

Network stability features. Auto-restart, block retransmission, erasure codes, etc.

More pipelining. We’ve got a hammer and aren’t afraid to use it. We’ve identified a fourth place that would benefit from pipelining, which we’ll call the NCP, the Network Control Plane pipeline. It’ll benefit the TVU in the same way RPU helps the TPU — offload control messages, leaving the TVU with a speedy, linear pipeline like the TPU.

More nodes! We’re only making use of 2 tiers in our Avalanche architecture. We expect that to be at least 3 tiers by mainnet and with far more nodes at each tier. This is a feature where the devil is in the details and it will be implemented over several months. We’ll be busy building up infrastructure dependencies like the NCP pipeline mentioned above, erasure codes, and improved asynchronous messaging.

More smart contracts! Now that smart contracts have been generalized to an interface, we can showcase that generality by embedding a general purpose programming language.

TPS improvement. We massively restructured our codebase and with this release, took a performance hit that we’re still working through. We’re seeing consistent transaction processing rates between 140k and 170ktps. That’s running with or without a validator node in place. Though TPS took a hit, we’re celebrating that adding validators doesn’t slow the network down in the slightest. And with our new pipelining infrastructure, it’s now much easier for us to do performance analysis and identify bottlenecks. We expect to be back en route to 710ktps long before our mainnet release.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Contributions

  • @mvines moved all our CI to BuildKite and created an automated release process! But is there any way we can get a new bot, @solana-grimes, to correlate new features to popular surf breaks?
  • @rlkelly implemented the HD wallet feature of deterministically generating private keys. He used it to make the demo’s JSON file almost exactly one million times smaller!
  • @CriesofCarrots added functions to make it painless to generate test ledgers. She’s also working towards bringing asynchronous messaging to our thin client.
  • @jackson-sandland improved error messaging with 23 commits, touching nearly every module in the codebase.
  • @djKooks reviewed the README and with each issue, either corrected it or created a ticket for it.
  • @jangsa submitted a pull request for a Japanese version of the whitepaper

Investment interest
We’ve had tremendous interest in a potential pre-sale. We have no announcements to make on this front, but if you’re interested in expressing your interest in an allocation, please visit the presale form on our website.

Newsletter #1

Newsletter #2

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Want to learn more about Solana?

Check us out on Github and find ways to connect on our community page.