It has been another week of good progress on the testnet. This has been a particularly special one, as we opened up our ‘friends & family’ testnet to any stake pool operator who wanted to join the network. We’ve had a very positive response with lots of community activity, discussion and collaboration.
We are very pleased to report that at the time of writing, we now have nearly 200 registered active stake pools set up and running on the testnet, just 4 days after opening the doors of the ‘Friends & Family’ testnet to the entire Cardano stake pool operator community.
Of course, some of our pioneers are running more than one pool. But to see this number already is testament to the competency and commitment of the Cardano community and the experience we all gained through the build-out of the ITN in the early part of this year.
On the development side, we’ve had a good week. We have ended the first part of our crucial sprint which wraps up and starts to integrate all the efforts made by 8 distinct teams. We have not encountered any major bugs or blockers so we still remain confident in the milestones we announced at the end of May. Our technical and monetary parameter analysis – significantly enhanced and steered by testnet and community feedback – is bearing fruit and helping us set some working assumptions with which to start. We are also slowly rebalancing some development efforts towards integration with Goguen era features.
Our development efforts this week have also been focused on our first wallet release next week. Here’s how that will happen.
The wallet back end team has been busy implementing the next set of features that will, in time, allow Shelley functionality from within Daedalus. On the testnet, this will happen in a series of iterations. Coming up next week, a simple test wallet (along with some exercises and scripts) will be released to our pioneer stake pools to test backend integrations. This will at first contain just the core features needed for initial transaction testing. We’ll be asking our pool operators to test things like; creating a wallet, submitting Shelley transactions to send Ada between addresses, funding a pledge address and so on. Once we are happy with the core functionality, and that everything has been properly tested, we’ll next turn our attention to the first wallet for ‘regular’ ada holders to try out. We’ll start slowly but we plan to then iterate fast (the Daedalus Flight program is our inspiration here) starting to implement the UI features for Shelley. We plan to start this also next week but remember this is a testnet, so dates are always indicative.
This week we have also delivered some minor updates on the Node CLI, based on community and QA feedback. Major upgrades on cardano-db-sync are being implemented that will upgrade the blockchain explorer backend with Shelley specific features.
In terms of testing, things are going as planned with no major issues. We have started with end to end testing on the first set of features to be enabled as we start to integrate the wallet backend and Daedalus. We also have major ongoing testing efforts on the Hardfork combinator - things are looking very good there. We are executing ITN test snapshots and the process of migration of rewards to the Haskell Shelley testnet (before we do it for the mainnet).
What is happening next week
So next week is really wallet week; first, delivering the ‘basic’ version for our stake pool pioneers and after a period of testing and QAing the more advanced features, preparing the first Daedalus wallet candidate for you, the ada holder, to try. The next week or so really marks the migration towards a testnet that everyone can start to get involved in.
Also next week, QA will be building up confidence for the mainnet candidate. We are also stepping up our engagement with exchanges, so they make timely progress with their integration efforts. We will be focusing on performance optimization after all integration efforts are done. Aside from all this, we continue to look at ways we can optimize various KPIs and improve the overall user experience.
Looking a little further ahead to July, today we also officially announced the Cardano Summit 2020: Shelley Edition. We had the honour of internet pioneer, the legendary Vint Cerf declare the summit open for registrations. Make sure you don’t miss that event, that’s 2nd & 3rd July - more details here.
We are making good progress and currently tracking well against our published milestones. With a testnet, anything can change, so these dates remain targets. But confidence is currently high and the team is feeling positive. The wallet backend is being integrated and that basic wallet should be out early next week. Major testing efforts are providing validation of the right path that we have chosen with our formal methods approach. And we have nearly 200 stake pools active. That all feels like a good week’s work. Thanks - as ever - to all the pioneers and community members who are helping to make all this possible.
See you next week!
If you are interested in running a stake pool on Cardano, you can visit our testnet site where you will find everything you need to get you started.