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Dot Leap 14
A brand new public parachain testnet, Polkadot at 1 million blocks, a slashing crash on Kusama, IPFS on Substrate, more Ethereum compatibility, and more!
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🎉 1 million blocks!
As we pass a million blocks on Polkadot, many other milestones await us. We have a new parachain testnet (see Rococo below), DOTs are becoming transferable soon, and the redenomination is coming into effect! More info on that in the newest wiki page on redenomination!
Polkadot JS Apps will also warn you about the redenomination through a new banner on the Accounts page!
Polkadot (v 0.8.22.)
Parachain Testnet: Rococo
The Rococo testnet has launched! It has three parachains built-in and uses a precursor to XCMP called HRMP that lets you send tokens to/from relay-chain and parachains! More info on the launch on the Github release page!
Vote for a better tomorrow!
Council elections have been activated in Polkadot. The council terms will first be daily, then weekly, then monthly, as a slow on-ramp for Council Member reputations and backing.
Yours truly is a candidate too, so if you think my contributions to the Polkadot ecosystem are worthy of your support, please consider voting for me. Here’s a post that explains my candidacy and shows the voting process in screenshots.
Kusama (v 0.8.22.)
Dragonstake started an interesting thread about validator sustainability. It seems most Kusama validators operate at a loss, which makes one wonder - why? Is it love for the network? Hope for a significant rise in price of KSM tokens? Something else? And how can we fix this to make the network more sustainable? Increasing the validator number makes things look even grimmer.
A bunch of nodes got slashed due to a software bug. As per core dev Andre:
We seem to have a file descriptor leak that is causing nodes to crash. additionally, we suspect this is preventing the node from writing the grandpa voter state to disk which will cause the node to vote again when restarted (leading to an equivocation)
This caused dozens of slashes which were all reversed in Council Motions 187 - 202. The debugging of the issue continues but it seems like the collection of system info might have been a cause - see the Core Stack section below.
Avoid the issue going forward by using the latest tagged release.
🏛 Kusama Governance
Make sure you read the more detailed governance digest week of July 26.
The Society (the Human Blockchain Project) submitted its treasury proposal for the DotsToLines collab: the human blockchain project. The proposal centers on community growth and education focused on the verge of technology and art. This particular submission covers:
Narrative, marketing, and comms outreach strategy and development.
Society treasury funding for new members, taking into account maker’s fees and candidate rewards.
The motion to approve this treasury proposal has passed, and the Society now has some 11000 KSM to spend on growth.
Referendum 77 entered voting phase for the inclusion of a new registrar into the system. So far, it’s not doing too well, probably due to the registrar failing to identify themselves properly.
A new proposal is up on Polkassembly that discusses the formation of a paid Kusama Devs group: some enthusiasts who need a certain level of financial security before permanently devoting some of their time to experiment on Kusama.
🔩 Core Stack
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The new Rococo runtime is one that contains all the parachain modules for testing of parachain functionality.
DHT query durations now exposed as a Prometheus metric.
The benchmark writing tool for pallet weights has been upgraded significantly.
A sudo wrapper for paras was added. The paras pallet stores data about parachains and parathreads - which are which, what their current head data is in this fork of the relay chain, what their validation code is, and what their past and upcoming validation code is. A parachain is not considered live until it is registered and activated in the paras module, and this wrapper lets sudo call functions within paras.
Substrate Node Template now comes with an additional feature: an RPC builder which lets you build custom RPC calls for your node.
HRMP (Horizontal Relay-based Message Passing) has been documented in the Implementer’s Guide.
🚨 Deprecation of Sentry Nodes 🚨
Until now, sentry nodes provided DoS and other types of protection to validators they stand in front of. However, due to sentry nodes making the DHT routing needlessly more complicated and introducing some harmful latency into the information relaying process, they will be deprecated in October with plans to revamp the secure validator setup to take this new development into account with firewalls and proxies.
As Moonbeam and Parity’s Frontier mature, I believe it’s worth having a separate section discussing Ethereum compatibility with Substrate and Polkadot in general. The potential for collaboration between the two ecosystems is immense.
Four Ethereum precompiles are now supported in the EVM pallet: ecrecover, identity, ripemd160 and sha256.
A video tutorial on using Truffle with Moonbeam:
You can now stake Kusama and Polkadot from the Lunie app. Lunie is a platform that allows users to safely store, manage and stake crypto assets in Proof of Stake (PoS) networks.
Polkadot JS Apps (now at 0.52.1 and available in Korean and Arabic) now let you add proxies through the Account interface, no need to go through the Extrinsics screen any more. The UI will also indicate slashed validators as a warning and now shows all pending slashes in the top level UI on its own separate tab:
The Grafana image below shows the geographic distribution of Kusama nodes as discovered by a DHT crawler.
Polkadot is coming soon, but it’s all open source so feel free to play with it. Notably, this is the crawler, here’s the dashboard that compares all the various crawled DHTs, and here’s the specific Kusama DHT visualization.
the wiki now lists all four of Polkadot's papers for every audience type
the wiki has a new page explaining the Polkadot DOT redenomination - important reading for any DOT holder!
Equilibrium has merged IPFS with Substrate by way of off-chain workers, and now your node can connect to IPFS while it’s producing blocks. Here’s the explanation of a (still very simple) tech demo, but soon we can expect to be able to check for the pinning of certain hashes and more intricate scenarios!
Every Vote Counts!
Even the smallest vote counts in the Council elections - you *can* change Polkadot’s future with a single token! Vote for Bruno and see Polkadot flourish!
That's it for this week - I hope this was as useful for you to read as it was for me to write!