Dev Status Update – January, 2021

The full article was originally published by Jakub Cech on blog.iota.org. Read the full article here.

Published by the IOTA dev team every month, this update will provide you with news and updates about our key projects! Please click here if you want to see the last status update.

The research department is also releasing a monthly update that you might want to read.

IOTA 1.5

IOTA 1.5 (also known as Chrysalis) is the mainnet’s intermediate stage before Coordicide is complete. You can read more about the strategy for releasing Chrysalis here.

The Chrysalis phase 1 components were deployed to mainnet in August. The engineering team is now working on Chrysalis phase 2.

Implementing Chrysalis phase 2

Last month, we made the Chrysalis testnet open to the public. This allows us to test all the Chrysalis components in the open, as well as add the remaining capabilities and products to the mix. Several fixes have been introduced in the testnet in the past month, one of them resolving a confirmation rate issue, which has been close to 100% for the past weeks. Overall, the testnet has been very stable.

Users will be able to test the Bee node software on the testnet next week. And Firefly will join in in the near future as well.

Most of the protocol changes are either already implemented or being implemented as we speak. With audits on the protocol level ongoing.

Pollen

The team released the 0.3.5 update yesterday. The update focuses on security and reliability. The GoShimmer team is now focusing on the next milestones, Tangle refactoring, Mana, finality, congestion control, and more.

You can read more about Pollen, Nectar, and Honey, concepts we introduced to talk about the milestones on the path to Coordicide, in this post.

You can follow the project on its GitHub repository. If you want to get involved, check out our updated contributing guidelines.

Bee

The Bee team has finished a large part of the implementations necessary for Chrysalis phase 2. This includes all the new node APIs, message processing and the storage layer. The team plans to have a version of Bee ready to join the Chrysalis testnet next week.

Tests with the Bee IOTA Experience team to compile Bee across Linux/Mac/Windows are underway, and the overall focus is on experimentation and discovering issues.

Audit of the node software is also in progress and will take approximately 3 weeks.

The team has also published new live coding sessions.

Hornet

Hornets have been running on the Chrysalis testnet for the past month. This allowed the team to further test the implementation. Most of the integrations for Chrysalis phase 2 are already in place. Dust allowance output has been added to iota.go and dust protection is being implemented into Hornet.

Couple of the fixes that have been introduced related to a solid entry points bug in local snapshots and to a bug that negatively affected the confirmation rate.

You can already set up a Hornet on the public Chrysalis testnet. For example using the instructions from Svenger87#8523.

Stronghold

With the December release of the Alpha, we are now in high gear on our way to a full-featured Beta that we will be releasing this spring. In order for Stronghold to qualify for the Beta stage, will be the verification of all subsystems in a native desktop app based using Tauri, that will enable using Stronghold to share secrets between devices, for managing contacts, in order to revoke access, for the remote signing messages, and potentially even for facilitating secure group chat.

This will all be secured by the noise protocol within the communication actor, which can ultimately only be really tested in the context of a distributed integration test. Furthermore, this app will also allow us to white-box instrument the application using Frida. This will help us perform runtime analysis and prove that the memory-security of Stronghold’s runtime holds up against attackers.

Once we are satisfied with the feature-completeness and robustness of Stronghold, we will enter the beta phase. In this part of the lifecycle, we will commence a final architectural / code audit, create all bindings, finish the specification, publish the stable documentation, and begin making tutorials.

We admit, Stronghold is very complicated and in some cases so innovative that it is challenging to understand – let alone implement. This is why we have started soliciting questions for our FAQ and providing answers where possible. We warmly welcome you to visit the Github Discussion Page and read along or even ask your own questions. And if you are really motivated, please read the X-Teams announcement below and come to our X-Teams kickoff on Thursday the 21st January, 2021 at 8pm CET.

Firefly

We have made good progress this past month. Firefly is coming together nicely. We have an audit scheduled for later this month and so our focus is getting the app into an alpha state. The vast majority of the UI is done and much of the feature set as well. Setup is more or less complete for the alpha, and work is now concentrated on finishing off the dashboard.

One recent architectural shift was made with our storage. Instead of using Stronghold as an active database, we will instead use SQLite and use Stronghold for secure seed handling and state backup. We are also undergoing an internal security review of the wallet’s architecture and application, to feed into the work later this month with the audit.

The wallet library is in a stable state and we have been fixing any outstanding bugs identified with the Chrysalis testnet. Any changes will be reflected in updated CLI wallet builds.

IOTA Identity

The fresh new year gives the IOTA Identity team a nice opportunity to plan ahead and organize the further development. We are currently scoping the exact feature list for the set of releases bringing IOTA Identity from Alpha to a 1.0 Release. We have also planned our approach to improve the documentation, test coverage and transparency of the project. We look forward to a year with many major milestones, collaboration with the X-team and community, and adoption into agnostic identity frameworks and use cases.

From the technical side, the team has made important contributions to the Crypto.rs repository. They have successfully implemented fast authentication of identities with a rich history of updates and are currently developing another unique addition to the DID standard that enables credentials revocation with maximize privacy considerations.

Smart contracts

We have released the pre-alpha version of IOTA Smart Contracts. You can read all about it in this blog post. The team has been heavily focused on refactoring the Rust environment and adjusting smart contracts implemented as PoCs to the refactored shape. A lot of effort is also being put into the creation of new tutorials for developers who will work with the IOTA Smart Contracts Protocol to follow.

You can follow the updates in the #smartcontracts-discussion and #smartcontracts-dev channels on Discord.

IOTA Streams

The team has mainly been focused on WASM bindings for the current IOTA Streams implementation. These should be ready for a release in the near future.

The team has also been maintaining a streams implementation compatible with Chrysalis phase 2. As well as preparing migration resources and documentation for Chrysalis phase 2.

Chronicle

The Chronicle team is focusing on making Chronicle ready for Chrysalis phase 2. The team has also been heavily involved in strengthening the infrastructure that powers our explorer.

IOTA Experience Team

2021 started with renewed energy from the IOTA community for the IOTA Experience Teams.

IOTA community members launched an independent initiative called the Simplify IOTA Experience Team, their purpose is to simplify the idea of IOTA and Tangle to attract more people to the IOTA ecosystem.

The X-Team members proposed different goals to simplify the IOTA experience for newcomers and established members. The first tasks will cover the IOTA Discord channels reorganization and preparing resources to reach out to other crypto communities.
We are excited to see the outcomes of this initiative!

Let us welcome our Simplify X-Team members:

Roy#5421, shonuff#4904, Bas#7510, SimplyIOTA#1471, Phylo#2233, overclocked#9046 and Linus Naumann#3645.

Daniel Thompson-Yvetot, Senior Architect at the IOTA Foundation, will lead the Stronghold Experience Team. This initiative will be launched on Thursday the 21st January, 2021 at 8pm CET and interested participants are encouraged to join the kick-off meeting to explore the initiative and decide for themselves if they want to participate and contribute. Follow the news in the #experience channel on the IOTA Discord.

Everyone is invited to the IOTA Experience Teams to pave the road for IOTA to have the best experience in the DLT and IoT space. Read more about the IOTA Experience team in this blog post, discover the IOTA Experience Team on GitHub, explore the IOTA Experience Initiatives and then apply through this form.

Watch the previous X-Team meetings here on the IOTA Foundation YouTube channel.


As always, we welcome everyone to stop by on Discord — every project mentioned here has a channel (or more) for discussion with the devs!Follow us on Twitter to keep track of all the latest news: https://twitter.com/iotatoken

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