Unification 2022 Roadmap — Halvening, Multichain Support, Partnerships & More

As February 4th has arrived and the xFUND halving has been executed as planned, we realised that there is a tremendous amount of foundational/platform work taking place in the Unification roadmap as we start 2022, laying the ground for the next transformation of the network & all Unification Tools overall.

In this article, we’re going to cover many of the upcoming updates, releases and announcements occurring over the coming weeks and months.

Possibly the most exciting are the long awaited Mainchain network upgrade to the Cosmos SDK 0.42 branch, and the initial Multichain release of both VOR and OoO on Polygon.

Scheduled xFUND Halving

As per the schedule, the xFUND emissions were halved at 00:01 2022–02–04. The daily emissions have been reduced from 12 to 6 and will keep us on track for the final total supply of 10,000 xFUND. The number of emissions will remain at 24 per day, meaning each emission will be 0.25 xFUND until the next scheduled halving event.

This second halving will be followed by the last/final halving to 3 xFUND/day on April 21st, 2022, with the last xFUND to be minuted on August 22, two years beyond the initial release of xFUND.

Governance Proposal: xFUND Emissions — Validator Quality Check

Following an increased expansion of new nodes on the Unification network, a new governance proposal was submitted to Mainchain on 24/01/2022, relating to xFUND emissions.

The proposal can be found here — https://explorer.unification.io/proposals/4 — and all Validators and Delegators can vote until the block for the end of the voting period on 09:03:18 2022–02–07 UTC.

The proposal is as follows:

“In order to encourage and reward the continuing high quality of validator nodes on the network, it is proposed that a further quality check will be applied to the daily xFUND emissions algorithm in addition to the existing checks on whether or not a validator node is jailed or offline. One of a validator’s key roles is validating and signing each new block.

It is therefore believed the fairest way to apply this check is to analyse each active validator’s block signing activity at the time of each day’s emissions. This will be implemented by querying mainchain to obtain the number of blocks each validator has missed in the last 10,000 blocks at the time of each day’s emissions. If a validator’s node has missed signing more than a specified threshold of blocks in the last 10,000 then that node will not be included in the day’s emissions algorithm.

If this proposal is accepted, it is anticipated that the modification will be implemented and deployed within 72 hours of the proposal’s acceptance.”

It is important for validator operators and delegators to vote on this proposal. This can be done using undcli, for example:

undcli tx gov vote 4 [yes|no] \
--from [MY_ACC] \
--gas=auto \
--gas-adjustment=1.5 \
--gas-prices=0.25nund \
--chain-id FUND-Mainchain-MainNet-v1 \
--node=https://rpc1.unification.io:443 \
--trust-node=true

Where [yes|no] is your vote of either yes or no, and [MY_ACC] is your wallet account (without square brackets)

At the time of writing, the proposal has overwhelming community support with 21.8 million Yes votes, meaning it has (tentatively) passed. Voting remains open until February 7th.

Mainchain Network Upgrade

Over the past couple of months, we have been working hard on upgrading the software that runs Mainchain (see the stargate branch of the official Github repo for mainchain). This is a major upgrade that will implement Cosmos SDK v0.42.x. The upgrade contains many improvements, fixes and optimisations to the Cosmos modules and Tendermint that will make the running of Mainchain a smoother experience, and integration into third party services (such as explorers and wallets) much simpler.

Since this is a major upgrade with some significant modifications to the state, the network upgrade will require an export of the current state to a new genesis block, and the chain will start from block 0 using this exported state with a new chain ID. This process is standard practice for Cosmos based chains prior to SDK v0.44. Account data, FUND balances, wallet addresses etc. will all remain the same after the network upgrade takes place.

We plan on first upgrading TestNet towards the end of February 2022, and would request that as many validator operators as possible spin up nodes on TestNet (even if only temporarily, for a practice run of the upgrade process) so that they can test the upgrade, and familiarise themselves with the process prior to the MainNet upgrade.

A TestNet governance proposal will be submitted in due course with the target halt-height, new chain ID and new genesis timestamp. Migration and upgrade documentation will also be published in good time. Keep an eye out in both the Discord and Telegram groups for official announcements.

Once the TestNet upgrade is complete, we aim to spend time testing further, squashing any potential bugs, and ironing out the upgrade process ready for MainNet. The MainNet network upgrade is currently pencilled in for the end of Q1/start of Q2 2022.

Of the many improvements, we’re particularly excited about the potential for future network upgrades — the 0.42.x branch paves the way for a much simpler (for validator operators) upgrade path to the 0.44.x branch, because future upgrades to the state database can be done in place. Additionally, we have implemented the Cosmos x.upgrade module in this release which means future upgrades can occur via governance and automatically managed by cosmovisor. As such there will be no need for exporting the state to a new genesis when the 0.44 upgrade occurs later this year. This is a huge step forward, and allows us to easily and cleanly add completely new modules to the chain without needing a “reboot”.

We’re also excited about the rapid state syncing functionality baked into SDK v0.42.x, which means it should be much faster for new nodes to join the network and fully sync the chain data when the chain reaches a larger size. No more waiting for days to fully sync!

Some may be wondering why we’re upgrading to SDK v0.42 and not going straight to v0.44. There are several reasons for this, including:

  1. 0.42.x is pretty well established now and has been tested quite significantly in the wild by several other chains, whereas 0.44 is relatively new. We wanted to wait for the target SDK branch to be established and robust before upgrading.
  2. Mainchain is on the v0.38 SDK branch. Unfortunately, there is no simple migration path directly from 0.38 to 0.44 for either chain developers or node operators, since the core SDK 0.44 genesis migration does not support migration from 0.38 genesis exports.
  3. Much of the planned wFUND functionality relies on SDK 0.44 and the now separated IBC code branch. An incremental upgrade to SDK 0.42 will allow us to better plan the wFUND and 0.44 upgrades and allow for a much cleaner development path.

VOR & OoO Multichain — Polygon Deployment

In a continuing effort to expand our toolset adoption, we have just deployed both VOR and OoO on the Polygon network. This will allow smart contracts running on Polygon to pull price data from Finchains and run randomness natively, without any need for a convoluted custom chain-bridging solution. It also means that xFUND fees for requesting both Finchains data and randomness are much lower — in the region of 0.001–0.002 xFUND per request.

Provider info and contract addresses can be found in the VOR and OoO documentation:

VOR Contract addresses: https://vor.unification.io/contracts.html

VOR Providers: https://vor.unification.io/providers.html

OoO Contract Addresses: https://docs.finchains.io/contracts.html

OoO Providers: https://docs.finchains.io/providers.html

Holdem Heroes

Given the expanded utility of VOR & OoO on Polygon, we’ve been able to respond to previous requests of those made earlier on to utilise these tools and enable a unique flagship game on Polygon with the Unification Toolkit.

The game/NFT project Holdem Heroes will be the first of its kind with an on-chain NFT Poker cards randomly distributed through VOR and the game, which is a hybrid of a classic Holdem & Video Poker will be playable using VOR.

Holdem Heroes is still in stealth mode, but the team will be releasing details of this innovative project in the coming weeks.

You can stay on top of updates and follow the development/site here and on Twitter.

OoO V2.0

OoO has also had a major update that has been recently rolled out. In addition to several optimisations and fixes, the new Golang implementation of the provider oracle software allows smart contracts to raise ad-hoc price queries for DEX pairs not currently tracked by Finchains. The new AD API endpoint will be picked up by the OoO v2 Oracle, which will attempt to query several DEXs for the pair’s price data. Once it has acquired the data, it will calculate the mean price and return it to the requester’s smart contract in exactly the same manner as Finchains data.

For example, your contract requires a one-time price for the FOO/BAR token pair. Since this is not currently tracked by Finchains, the endpoint FOO.BAR.AD can be used in your contract to grab the price data. The Oracle will query Uniswap V2, Uniswap V3, Sushiswap, Shibaswap and Quickswap (more may be supported in future updates) for the latest FOO/BAR price data. As long as at least one of the DEXs supports the pair and the pair has the equivalent of at least $100,000 liquidity, the mean price will be returned.

Full examples and documentation for the ad-hoc functionality can be found here — https://docs.finchains.io/guide/ooo_api.html#type-ad

Shibarium

In addition to the extensive Network, Protocol & new partnership developments discussed above, Unification foundation is proud to continue development of Shibarium, the next prominent L2 in partnership with the Shib Army, enabling rapid low cost transactions optimised for gaming.

While the scale of the project doesn’t allow a definitive timeline to be released as of yet, the second version of Shibarium’s private testnet is live and under optimisation across both teams with plans of a public testnet release to come very soon.

The Road Ahead

The Unification team is committed to continue development as we have for almost half of a decade to continue to serve & revolutionise blockchain efficiency & pragmatic productivity as the industry continues to evolve with us.

The foundational groundwork the team is involved in is what has always set us up for moonshots to come and we will continue the path to success on these projects and more to come as the year unwinds & evolves with all there is to come!

Important Links & Things of Note

xFUND Yield Farm: https://yield.unification.io/

ShibaSwap SSLP & Woof (Yield program)

https://shibaswap.com/#/yield

https://shibaswap.com/#/add/0x892a6f9df0147e5f079b0993f486f9aca3c87881/ETH

For an introduction to xFUND, see this article

Holdem Heroes Twitter: https://twitter.com/holdemheroes

FUND — Native token, hold in web wallet buy and sell here https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/unification

xFUND — Extremely limited supply ERC-20 token designed for onchain queries and consumption

xFUND contract — 0x892a6f9df0147e5f079b0993f486f9aca3c87881

https://unification.com/xfund/

https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/xfund

UND — Unsupported testnet token., Don’t buy it

OoO — Unification’s Oracle of Oracles onchain oracle powered by xFUND — uses price feeds from https://finchains.io/

Telegram — https://t.me/unificationfoundation

Website www.unification.com

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