Hello Meterians!

We hope you had a great holiday season and that 2020 is going well.

It’s been a while since our November newsletter. A big reason why we missed the December update (and combined it with this January update) is that the entire Meter team has been focused on improving the testnet with 3rd party validators.

Check out everything that’s been going on below!

Testnet Launch, Warring Stakes Incentivized Testnet Challenge, and Other Development Highlights

We’re proud to announce that we launched the Meter testnet in mid-December! Meter is now the only Hotstuff-based consensus project that is open for public validation. 

Along with the launch of the Meter testnet, we announced the Warring Stakes Incentivized Testnet Challenge. 58 validators applied to help test the network and over 30 were able to set up their nodes and validate transactions. 

But soon after the testnet launch, we faced our first challenge.

One of the basic requirements of being a Meter validator is a strong internet connection. However, as soon as we launched the incentivized testnet, we realized that many participants were from China and had poor connectivity due to being behind the Great Firewall.

This caused many issues we’ve never seen before. It seemed like the network became partitioned and stalled from time to time. 

This situation actually imitated a real network attack! If this were to happen on mainnet, some validators could be tricked into wrong states and double spends could occur.

We implemented fixes and checks to avoid this dangerous situation in the future. This is exactly what testing is for!

Another improvement we made was to push the consensus committee to reconfigure much more frequently. Since Meter uses BLS encryption to reduce the communication overhead within the consensus committee, we need to reconfigure the consensus group for every epoch (essentially, we need to reach consensus on who is in the consensus committee for each epoch). To ensure reliability, we decreased the reconfiguration period from 1 hour to 4 minutes.

Just this week, we also completed another round of upgrades to support an adaptive consensus committee size of up to 100 nodes.

The testnet is now being completely run by nearly 60 validators including top professional staking-as-a-service providers, exchanges, and community members around the world.

The testnet will continue to be released in phases:

  1. Phase 1 (going on now) is to get participants more familiar with the protocol.
  2. Phase 2 will have a competitive theme for bug bounties and a dry run of all the Meter features before the mainnet launch.

If you are interested in testing out the Meter network and being rewarded with MTRG coins, fill out this application now! To get a better idea of what it takes to set up a full node, see this Github page

More details will be sent to registered participants via email. You can also join our Discord server for regular updates regarding the competition and for exclusive challenges with bonus stakes.

Finally, the team has also created a console to monitor the Meter testnet in real time. You can find the monitoring console on the Warring Stakes page on our website. 

Community Updates

Most of our community activities will be centered around the testnet, so stay tuned for more info as we continue to improve the network.

Additionally, we have more Bitcoin miners running on our testnet now. During the peak, we had community members test mining with more than 100 S9s! Please help spread the word about Meter to your Bitcoin miner friends who may face significant challenges going into the next halving (around May). Mining Meter may help them acquire a stable store of value for their hash power. Please share this one pager that highlights the benefits of the Meter ecosystem!

Until next time!

We hope you liked this article! If you did, please share it with the share buttons on your left so others can discover it. 

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