Dot Leap 15
Win an NFT by spreading the Dot Leap word, first treasury proposals on Polkadot, sentries becoming deprecated, time-delay proxies, a guide on chilling your validator, and more!
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We cover Polkadot, Kusama, Substrate, and all related Web 3.0 projects!
The content in this newsletter is the author’s own opinion and not in any way endorsed by the Web3 Foundation. This is an independent and unaffiliated effort.
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Spread the Word
Follow @bitfalls and send out this tweet and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win one of 100 special edition Dot Leap NFTs deployed on Kusama (coming soon!) - the draw will happen on August 20th and the announcement and NFT distribution will happen in the next edition of Dot Leap!
(design might change)
The NFT will allow you special access to swag, early releases of any media (Podcasts, tutorials), and voting power in some decisions Dot Leap (the newsletter) and DotLeap.com (the platform) will need to make in the future - more on that next time.
The NFTs are implemented on Kusama as remarks, so “hacks”, but they work well enough until we mature and replace them with the real thing™.
Polkadot (v 0.8.22)
🚨 The first liveness slashing!
26 validators have been reported as offline in a single session, and a slash has been triggered for a total of 5,265 DOT. Usually, a single validator being offline would just be chilled (lose nominations and set to inactive) but when multiple validators are offline the punishment is more severe. This event triggered such a punishment. Details below.
Twenty-five of this group were operated by Web3 Foundation. Almost all slashed DOT belonged to W3F and will be deposited in the Polkadot Treasury for use by the community in support of the protocol.
This slashing event was caused by validator unresponsiveness due to a previous deployment of development code that was not ready for production and not a part of Polkadot’s client software, which caused the reset of the validators, with session keys lost. The twenty-sixth validator - not operated by the Web3 Foundation - was slashed because it was offline when the slash occurred.
The Web3 Foundation is working on an improved open-source detection system that will alert operators by reporting problems before the offense occurs, preventing future slashes of this kind.
Vote for a better tomorrow!
I’m running for Council Member on both Polkadot and Kusama! Read more about why and what I can bring to the table in this post or click the banner below - the post also explains how to vote in screenshots. Remember, voting costs nothing but a transaction fee - and can be done with locked and staked funds - but has the potential to change the landscape forever!
Polkadot’s first Treasury Proposal has appeared. The proposal has been clarified in a separate post, but the gist of it is that Patract labs, a company working with ink smart contracts, wants to develop helper tools around smart contract usage and debugging rivaling Truffle and Ganache from Ethereum.
Immediately after #0, proposal #1 and #2 have appeared, submitted by the Polkascan Foundation for maintenance and development of the Polkascan block explorer. The proposals are based on a social contract discussed during Kusama’s evolution. More details in the linked threads.
Kusama (v 0.8.22)
The performance impact of running at 500 validator slots is being discussed and analyzed in this Polkassembly thread. Early results seem to indicate we’ll be fine at 1000 validators even with the current implementations, but this might both improve with optimizations and deteriorate with parachains.
The metrics will be re-reviewed once we reach 600 validators through the auto-bump logic executed in Referendum 76.
⚠ Kusama Participation Lottery
A new proposal is up for discussion: implementing a Kusama participation lottery. It’s a lottery which would let you “wrap” your vote in governance or council voting in a lottery ticket for, say, 1 KSM. This would add to a lottery pool, from which a single winner would be selected post-vote. This should encourage turnout in democracy, even if it does misalign incentives somewhat. Discussion here.
🏛 Kusama Governance
Read the detailed digest of Kusama Governance week of August 3rd on Commonwealth.
Referendum 78, Kusama’s runtime upgrade to v2022 has been enacted.
User gm275 opened a post on his treasury submission: an application for an NFC cold wallet on Kusama. The aim of the project is to build a solution for storing wallet mnemonic seeds securely offline by using NFC tags and industry standard cryptography and encryption. The Treasury proposal is out now and being voted on.
LocalCoinSwap submitted a new Treasury proposal for the final milestone of their work implementing Kusama into LCS for local p2p trades. The API they developed will be kept up to date as their exchange depends on it, and they even published a repo of examples showing what can be done with it.
A discussion about increasing the council cap. Also discussed: the modification of minimum stake needed for validators to join, so that low-stake validators can’t just swoop into the empty slots as the validator cap is increases.
🔩 Core Stack
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Sentries are becoming deprecated in October! Make sure you set up your infrastructure in a way that lets you work without them - that means secure firewalls, reverse proxies, monitoring and more. For a full discussion on why this is necessary, see this issue.
The Web3 Foundation will be updating the Secure Validator Guide to include this new setup!
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You can now subscribe to GRANDPA justifications and round state via RPC using the RPCs
Time-delay proxies are coming. This allows a proxy to be set so that the delegated account is required to announce (a hash of) their action some period before they can actually do it. During this period, the proxied account can cancel the announcement and veto the action.
Combined with wallet software that alerts when these announcements are made, it should allow hot keys or warm keys to be used practically on relatively large sums of funds.
The Rococo collator node can now run one of two runtimes - a basic one, and a contracts one (ink!). This means you can test being a collator for either chain type when playing with Rococo.
The Phragmen election was inefficient up until recently: submitted solutions were zero-padded which bloated the size on-chain. With a custom codec, this is now more expensive computation-wise, but much smaller.
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.
Moonbeam monthly dispatch, August - an update post of what was done and what’s planned in the near future.
Moonbeam is planning a crowdcast on August 18th, introducing the platform and how to use it from within Ethereum tooling - the tools can’t tell the difference!
Polkadot JS Apps is at version 0.54.1! Among other things:
an Unvote All button has been added to the Council screen’s Vote popup which lets a user unvote for all members and unlock all locked vote funds
the Slashing screen now has a summary table showing how much damage in total is going to be applied to the offending validators, and when exactly.
You can now save custom endpoints so it’s easy to reconnect to a custom node!
The targets screen now shows what the average and lowest staked validator is.
Halva Suite is a version of Truffle for Substrate. Still under heavy development but promising!
Polkassembly will now flag a user who is also a Council member with a special tag!
Ryabina’s Telegram bot for Substrate chains is now open source!
Did you know that Substrate has manual seal functionality which lets you fully customize how and when blocks are produced via RPC calls? This also allows you to emulate the instant-block functionality seen in Ethereum’s Ganache.
Here's a tutorial: https://substrate.dev/recipes/3-entrees/manual-seal.html
The Polkadot wiki now contains more information on HRMP - the precursor to XCMP, the messaging protocol parachains will use to talk to each other.
There is now a guide on how to chill in the wiki. Chilling is the act of leaving the validator or nominator set without unbonding your stake, so you can instantly re-stake when desired. This is particularly useful when you think you might experience downtime and want to avoid being punished for being offline.
The Web3 Space on Quora now numbers over 600 members. Are you one of them?
Phala is rewarding everyone who tests their dark wallet’s secret voting! Here’s an introduction into their Dark Wallet.
Here’s an enterprise sample app - a fictitious supply chain operation between entities - with a Substrate light node embedded in an Android mobile application!
AirGap Vault added support for DOT.
Don’t forget to vote!
Your vote only costs a TX fee (a few cents) but it can change the protocol (both Kusama and Polkadot - depending where you vote for me!) for ever - good governance is responsible governance! Click the banner to learn about my candidacy!
Note: your tokens will be locked in democracy, but are still usable for staking, referendum voting, etc. If you want to transfer them, just cancel the vote and they’re free, no strings attached.
That's it for this week - I hope this was as useful for you to read as it was for me to write!