Witnet Celebrates Summer By Introducing Sheikah 1.9.4 and Witnet-Rust 1.2.3

These two releases introduce key usability and stability changes, and will act as an important stepping stone for what’s to come next in Witnet.

Sheikah Witnet Wallet 1.9.4

The Sheikah Witnet Wallet is the most usable way to store and spend Wit tokens, as well as a convenient tool for creating, debugging and deploying Witnet data requests using its visual editor.

Version 1.9.4 introduces important usability improvements that will allow newcomers enter the Witnet ecosystem more easily than ever:

  • Initial synchronization of Witnet wallets is almost immediate now. No more waiting 5 or more hours. Your wallet will be up and running in a matter of minutes.
  • Transactions can now be timelocked. That is, when sending out Wit tokens, you can now set a date and time until which the funds will be locked. The recipient of the transaction will not be able to spend those tokens until the specified date and time is past.
  • Wallets can now be renamed, and the wallet descriptions can also be seen and edited within the main UI.
  • When a wallet session is about to time out (after 15 minutes of inactivity), a prompt is now shown, asking the user whether to renew or close the session.
  • For as long as the user keeps interacting with the Sheikah app, wallet sessions are now automatically renewed. As always, even if the session is closed, synchronization continues in the background as long as the Sheikah app is kept open.
  • When importing a wallet from an xprv backup, Sheikah only checks now for related transactions in blocks that happened after the creation of the original wallet.
  • When importing a wallet from a backup secret phrase (aka BIP-39 mnemonics), now there is the option to provide the date of its creation so as to speed up synchronization, as only blocks after that date will be scanned for related transactions.

Witnet-Rust 1.2.3

Witnet-Rust is the implementation of reference of the entire stack of the Witnet protocol. Among other key components, it contains a fully validating archival node, and also the backend of the Sheikah wallet.

Version 1.2.3 introduces key changes that will improve the reliability of the network and prevent major network disruptions from happening in the future:

  • All the urgent changes from the early June 1.2.2 emergency release have been, reviewed, backported and integrated into the master branch.
  • One of those urgent changes was the limit on data request eligibility. In case of abnormal ARS shrinkage, this prevents the network from being affected by “commitment transaction flooding”. This change will soon be further explored and improved with WIP-0016.
  • Computation of data request transaction weight now strictly follows the amended specification in WIP-0015.
  • When handshaking, nodes now use the superblock beacon instead of the block beacon. This prevents nodes from falsely “icing” peer addresses only because their tips of the chains diverge slightly — which ever since superblocks were adopted is no longer a problem.
  • When a node falls into SuperBlockConsensus::Different state, it no longer drops the connection and “ices” the peers with the same tip of the chain as the local one. This issue alone was suspected to cause the “snowballing effect” that quickly turned reduced superblock consensus into an immediate lack of superblock votes.
  • The wallet part of witnet-rust has also received important updates that make possible the Sheikah Wallet features described above. Namely, wallet sessions can now be refreshed, the default session duration has been shortened, and synchronization can be sped up by providing a wallet’s “birth date”.
  • In addition to this, the wallet component now supports choosing the sending address when creating transactions — an important feature when integrating Witnet with some pieces of software like token wrappers or even exchanges.

What’s next for Witnet

These are the first Sheikah and Witnet-Rust releases going live after the recent shift of the Witnet Foundation into a non-profit, and the agreement with startup OtherPlane for the development and go-to-market of the Sheikah Witnet Wallet and other key parts of Witnet’s software landscape.

These releases prove how efficient and productive this strategic partnership is, and put the ecosystem in a great position for what’s to come next:

  • Late June launch of WitSwap’s ERC-20 wrapper of the Wit token (aka eWit), and their own liquidity mining program
  • Imminent deployment of the Witnet<>Ethereum bridge on mainnet
  • Deployment of the bridge on other EVM-compatible chains, including other L1s and L2s.

The Witnet community is full of unstoppable BUIDLers. Stay tuned, because there are many more surprises coming this summer!

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Adán Sánchez de Pedro

Adán Sánchez de Pedro

@Witnet_io board member, CTO at @StamperyCo, founder of @LoquiIM. Microelectronics aficionado. I write code, give talks, make music, brew beer and laugh a lot.