Witnet Monthly Report — June 2019
Testnet-3.2 is live, now you can create and try data requests with a few clicks, the Ethereum bridge is around the corner… and so is Testnet-4!!!
If this is your first time visiting our monthly updates, welcome! For some general background on Witnet and our technology, please read this 3 minute primer, take a look at our whitepaper, or check out our project’s “must-reads” digest.
🏗️ Development Update
Testnet-3.1 and Testnet-3.2 are live! Even if these could look like minor releases, they actually include a ton of features that extremely enhance the Witnet Testnet in many ways and bring us closer than ever to the eventual release of the Witnet Mainnet late this year:
- We completed the implementation of the Reputation Engine. This is one of the most important parts of the Witnet node, as it’s the one in charge of computing the reputation of every witness in the system, as well as their eligibility for solving data requests and producing new blocks in the chain.
- We implemented the ability to generate and store mnemonics and HD wallets in witnet-rust’s wallet server component. This enables the Sheikah desktop app to safely store and manage your Witnet private keys without compromising security nor performance.
- Creation of new private keys and wallets is now also supported on the Sheikah side, which now has a nice onboarding menu that guides you through the initial setup. Yes, you can already create your Witnet wallet! (Not for mainnet yet, of course 😉)
- Sheikah now includes a data requests editor that allows you to visually compose (and locally try!) your own requests without writing a single line of code. BOOM.
- Sheikah is now also capable of showing the status of the connection to the wallet server behind it and the Witnet node it is connecting to.
- The wallet server needs to be truly rock solid so as to protect your future wit tokens. Accordingly, there’s been a huge overhaul to its security and stability that allows it to keep your keys safe and private even if the server is “not gracefuly” shut down — think of power outages, etc.
- The synchronization and consensus logic of the Witnet nodes has been enormously improved. Any accidental fork caused by network malfunction or malicious peers can now be detected and reverted in real time.
- Witnet-rust is now capable of producing a special data structure called Proof-of-Inclusion (PoI). These independently verifiable cryptographic proofs allow to prove that a certain piece of data has been written into a Witnet block. You can think of them as Witnet’s equivalent to Bitcoin’s SPV proofs. This will enable a critical feature that will be soon see implemented: verification of Witnet transactions from other networks like Ethereum. But that is just the beginning, as PoI also introduces everything is needed to build the first “Witnet light node”, i.e. at some point you will not need to download the entire block chain to start mining and resolving Witnet data requests.
- We have written and published the first implementation for a Verifiable Random Function in Solidity. This is paramount to enable Ethereum contracts to post data requests into Witnet and have the results reported back in a totally trustless way. Hey, smart contracts, say goodbye to isolation from the rest of the world. Say hello to Witnet!
- If that wasn’t enough, we have published on NPM our own Solidity implementation of Elliptic Curve Cryptography. Surprise: it is the most cost-efficient, ergonomic and complete Solidity crypto library to date!
- Last but not least, we have also published the first prototype for every single part of the future Witnet <> Ethereum Bridge Interface, including the
UsingWitnetcontracts written in Solidity. We are just a few weeks away from releasing the bridge and start seeing Ethereum developers actually using Witnet to securely and trustlessly feed data into their smart contracts!
TL:DR; We are perfectly on track for the planned release of Testnet-4 by the end of July. Yay!
👏 New contributors and bounties
We have kept publishing bounties on the Gitcoin platform, which is a great way to reward the effort of open source contributors.
Witnet bounties list on Gitcoin
Gitcoin is the easiest way to monetize or incentivize work in Open Source Software.
We are taking this opportunity to remind the community that we are running the Witnet Summer of Code program, through which the Witnet Foundation will be funding and mentoring students who want to contribute to the Witnet ecosystem by creating open source software during the summer months:
Introducing the Witnet Summer of Code Program (WSoC)
Up to $18K in grants for students contributing to the open source ecosystem around the Witnet protocol
We are also extremely interested and receptive to anyone curious about building a separate implementation of the Witnet protocol. Have a favorite language you’d like to try to build Witnet with? Let us know and we’ll be happy to support you!
The Stampery Labs team — which was commissioned by Witnet Foundation to develop witnet-rust and Sheikah — will soon be welcoming two new brilliant and enthusiastic members (María and Claudia), who will be respectively joining the front-end and research efforts. We will introduce them to the community in the following weeks through a team interview. Really looking forward to read their own views on the future project!
If you want to be involved in Witnet make sure to check the open positions, including a new Growth Lead/Developer’s Advocate role based in Madrid.