With a year of major development progress, integrations, and tokenomic modifications nearing a conclusion, the core development teams in the Elastos community are already setting their sights on the year ahead. In order to prepare the Elastos tech stack for adoption, provide superior resources to community developer teams, and best position Elastos’ leading community organizations to promote Elastos technologies, form new partnerships, and advance adoption initiatives, each core development team has a lot in the works and on the way for the year ahead. The Gelaxy team is committed to building out Elastos’ main chain-sidechain architecture and enhancing its hybrid consensus mechanism, and the Trinity Tech team is focused on developing Elastos’ platform service components: DID 2.0, Carrier, and Hive, as well as Elastos Essentials. Both Gelaxy and Trinity Tech have outlined a series of major development milestones for 2022, along with their visions and strategic commentary.
Main chain/Sidechain Architecture
Contributing Team: Gelaxy (Blockchain)
Product Lead: Shunan Yu
The Gelaxy team will be focused on 4 main areas of development in 2022:
1) Main chain
The DPoS component of the Elastos main chain’s hybrid consensus will be upgraded to DPoS 2.0, which will contain all of the following features by year-end 2022:
1. The voting model will be modified to staking mining mode.
2. Staked ELA will be locked, and lock time will be proportional to the return percentage.
3. The return percentage on the number of votes a node receives will be inversely proportional to the total number of staked nodes.
4. 36 Arbitrator nodes will be selected randomly from available Candidate nodes to jointly validate blocks with 12 CR nodes.
5. All votes will be shifted to a ticket exchange mode, where users stake ELA to redeem votes at a rate of 1 ELA/vote.
2) Compatibility with the Bitcoin Virtual Machine (VM)
A key focus will be gradually increasing the Elastos main chain’s compatibility with Bitcoin’s virtual machine and scripts, so that it can easily support Bitcoin’s new features. The first edition will be launched in September 2022, and more advanced versions will be released later in 2022 as well.
In order to optimally connect the Elastos ecosystem to Ethereum, the Elastos Sidechains will be bridged directly with Ethereum’s Layer 2, so as to facilitate the flow of ELA from the main chain to an Elastos Sidechain, and then to the Ethereum, and vice-versa. In this model, ELA remains the primary sidechain token, and it will be used for gas fees. ETH will take the form of a token contract, and there will be a corresponding token contract for ELA on Ethereum as well. The token contract model will be implemented in two stages:
1. Facilitating the low-friction, cross-chain flow of ELA and ETH will come first. Gelaxy will employ the Elastos main chain’s DPoS consensus, and use the arbitrator it generates to serve as the arbitrator for cross-chain transactions. Thus, there will be no need to select new arbitrators on the Ethereum network. The next round of arbitrator information will be sent to Ethereum through the signature of the previous round in order to ensure reliability. Signatures from these arbitrators will also be used to verify cross-chain transactions between Ethereum Layer 1 and Layer 2. Development work for Stage 1 is already underway, and Gelaxy anticipates completion in March 2022.
2. The roles played by Optimistic convolution and zero-knowledge proofs on Ethereum will be instrumental in Stage 2. In addition to considering the functions of Ethereum Layer 2, the Gelaxy team will be focusing on features that enable cross-chain transactions between the Elastos main chain and sidechains. The team’s development goal is to create a system where two Layer 1 blockchains effectively share a Layer 2, and they will thus be building a relatively unprecedented cross-chain model. Following the completion of Stage 1, Gelaxy will determine an appropriate roadmap and delivery date for Stage 2.
4) Implementing Schnorr Signatures
Schnorr signature technology is already well accepted by the BTC community. Schnorr signatures can effectively improve the privacy of multi-signature transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain and reduce the space occupied by signatures via compression. Gelaxy has also introduced Schnorr signatures on the ELA main chain, thus achieving the same Schnorr-based multi-signature functionality. However, the team plans to use Schnorr signatures to compress cross-chain transactions, which require DPoS consensus signatures. This feature will be launched in September 2022 as well.
Contributing Team: Trinity Tech
Product Lead: Jingyu Niu
After a very successful and productive 2021, the Trinity Tech team will be focused on improving and implementing a number of critical features for DID 2.0 in 2022.
2021 In Review
Elastos DID tech has been widely used in applications such as Elastos Essentials, Cyber Republic, Feeds, and Profile. In addition to focusing on the adoption and implementation of DID, Trinity Tech established a unified DID standard usage model and workflow, and integrated both into Essentials. Standardizing specifications and procedures remains critical for the successful promotion and implementation of Elastos DID, and Trinity Tech is committed to the long-term viability of all Elastos technologies. With standards in place, applications developed by various developer teams can interoperate via unified identity management and consistent identity verification processes, and users ultimately benefit from a streamlined and frictionless user experience. As a result of intelligent foresight and planning, nearly two years of development and growth have produced a DID solution that is maturing rapidly both in terms of its robust infrastructure and feature diversity.
In 2021, Gelaxy and Trinity Tech collaborated to release a new EID Sidechain and a W3C-compliant and -compatible Elastos DID 2.x SDK. The teams’ major achievements for the year included the following:
- Completed and released Elastos DID method 2.0 specification and related specifications
- Supports custom DID identifier
- Supports multi-party DID co-ownership and co-management for documents via multi-signature functions
- Supports transfers for custom DIDs
- Supports independent publication of verifiable certificates to the EID Sidechain
- Supports retrieval and analysis for public vouchers
- Released new EID Sidechain with DID 2.0 features slated for official release via upcoming CR DID proposal in January 2022:
- Supports Elastos DID 2.0 features
- Vastly improves user experience with faster, 5-second block time
- Introduces dynamic and flexible ID transaction fees
- Released version 2.x SDKs
- Upgraded original Java/Swift/Native/Python SDK to support 2.x and DID 2.0 features
DID 2.0: 2022 Outlook
In 2022, Trinity Tech will be shifting its focus from developing DID infrastructure to developing DID-based applications and DID-related services, with the goal of better supporting applications that integrate Elastos DID technology. Their main areas of focus are as follows:
- Q1 2022: Write and publish DID development documents and developer guides that instruct developers how to utilize Elastos DID tech.
- Q1 2022: Write DID application example code, ease the learning curve for developers, and provide reference code that can be easily and directly copy/pasted.
- Q1 2022: Provide standardized definitions of credential types and data structure definitions to facilitate credential sharing and interaction between different applications.
- Q1 2022: Design and implement issuance and analysis mechanism for voucher types.
- Q1 2022: Launch passport-based KYC service integrated with the third-party passport verification function that issues DID certificates to users. DID will support the application’s requirement for real-name verification.
- Q2 & Q3 2022: Launch a one-stop, user-friendly DID integration solution for both mobile and web applications. The integration solution will function similarly to “Sign in with Google”, and will allow developers to easily integrate Elastos DIDs.
- Q3 2022: Launch self-hosted KYC service based on DID. Most centralized identity service providers on the web (Google, Alibaba, Facebook, et.) have adopted some form of KYC, and Elastos DID will provide KYC services through DID 2.0.
- Q4 2022: Publish standardized library of DID application workflow that instructs developers how to utilize and integrate SDKs.
- Q4 2022: Integrate DID and object identification features.
EID Sidechain and SDK
- Q1-Q4 2022: In response to ever-evolving application requirements, the EID Sidechain will transition from being a technology-centric focus to one centered on application requirements. -On Demand
- DID SDK will augment the following features:
- Q1 2022: Improve international support (i18n)
- Q2 2022: Add encryption key support, provide data encryption method to complement signature method
- Q1-Q4 2022: Service applications by providing features as demand arises
Contributing Team: Trinity Tech
Product Lead: Zhilong Tang
Trinity Tech will be focused on developing and properly transitioning to Carrier v2 in 2022.
1) Carrier v1: Limitations
The Carrier v1 network is a decentralized secure communication platform based on the F2F (Friend-to-Friend) model. Although Carrier v1 is a strong model in its own right and supports Carrier-based applications, it is also limited as a general communication service platform.
1. Both parties engaging in communication must be friends to interact and exchange information with each other. This feature is suitable for basic instant messaging (IM) application scenarios, but is unable to support more complex application scenarios involving communication.
2. Carrier v1 lacks an integrated offline message delivery and storage mechanism. Although there is a centralized offline message storage mechanism, it remains a temporary, interim solution.
2) Carrier v2: New Features
Trinity Tech will design and develop a new Permissionless DHT network for Carrier v2 that sustainably resolves the limitations intrinsic to Carrier v1. Carrier v2 will be divided into two layers:
1. The base layer will be the Permissionless Kademlia DHT network, which includes integrated decentralized offline message storage, NAT penetration services, and Pub/Sub services.
2. The communication service layer will support end-to-end secure message exchange in Carrier v1, as well as session communication and WebRTC audio and video communication based on message exchange.
3) Carrier v2: 2022 Outlook
Carrier v2 development will be divided into 2 development periods in 2022.
- Q1 & Q2 2022: Trinity Tech will implement and build a basic DHT Permissionless network as a completely open underlying network layer that supports the following basic services:
- Routing provision or content addressing services for the upper layer or Overlay business layer;
- Offline message storage and delivery service;
- Basic Pub/Sub message service;
- Reverse Tunneling service to resolve outstanding NAT penetration problems;
- Node discovery and service discovery.
- Q3 & Q4 2022: Trinity Tech will implement peer-to-peer data security communication based on the DHT Permissionless network layer via the base layer, thereby adding the following features:
- Support for Carrier v1 messaging mechanism and session mechanism;
- Support for same-layer WebRTC audio and video communication;
- Integration of Elastos DIDs with support for multi-point login.
- Q3 & Q4 2022: Trinity Tech will launch economic incentive mechanisms on Carrier v2 in order to attract community nodes to improve the robustness of the network. The economic incentive mechanisms will include the following basic requirements:
- Time proofs and flow proofs in conjunction will support automatic payment for net transaction flows over a predefined time period using pre-deposited ELA;
- Traffic usage within a predefined time period will require signing by both involved parties before payment can be issued via contracts;
- Services will only be accessible after payments have been issued.
Contributing Team: Trinity Tech
Product Lead: Zhilong Tang
Trinity Tech has deeply integrated Elastos DID 2.0 to support DID-based authentication services for data ownership, and will be focused on implementing an array of new features to Hive in 2022.
1) Hive: Present Features
In terms of UX/UI, Trinity Tech made major strides in providing support for a number of powerful mobile use case scenarios in 2021:
- Support for file type data storage, as well as for unstructured data access that is compatible with the MongoDB interface;
- Support for customized scripting rules with data access authorization via Vault;
- Support for Hive backend to enable Vault data backup and Vault service migration between nodes by integrating IPFS Node;
- Support for basic paid service and pricing features.
It should be noted that the Hive backend is deeply integrated with IPFS. In addition, the back-end Vault data backup mechanism is simplified substantially by integrating the IPFS Node, which improves the robustness of the Hive node network.
Although Hive supports a wide array of basic functions at present, it is not yet a mature product. In order to establish Hive as a mature product, Vault data’s encrypted storage needs to be strengthened. In addition, Hive Node will be enhanced to support NAT penetration so as to enable individual users to run customized Hive Node services on idle machines or Raspberry Pi devices. Users that choose to run customized Hive Node services in this manner will be able to access their Vault data anytime and anywhere.
2) Hive 2022 Outlook
Hive development will be divided into 2 development periods in 2022.
- Support front-end Vault data encryption interface;
- Explore back-end data encryption mechanism;
- Support Hive Node service NAT penetration by integrating Carrier v2 NAT service;
- Improve UI/UX for data management features in Hive Node/Vault;
- Further improve Hive development documentation.
- Q3 & Q4 2022: Trinity Tech will transition the Hive network to a Layer 2 network based on the Carrier v2 base layer DHT network, which will support the following value-added service features:
- Pub/Sub interface for application business;
- Support for on-chain record browsing based on open metadata types.
- Q3 & Q4 2022: Trinity Tech will explore the implementation of an economic incentive mechanism. All Hive Nodes form a unified Hive storage network. By introducing an economic incentive mechanism that combines proof of time and proof of space, community members will be naturally incentivized to build more Hive Nodes and thereby support and improve the robustness of the entire Hive network. The Hive team aims to employ economic incentives to make Hive a truly self-sustainable ecosystem platform operating on Elastos.
Contributing Team: Trinity Tech
Product Lead: Benjamin Piette
The Trinity Tech team will be focused on improving and implementing major features for Elastos Essentials in 2022:
Offering a competitive, seamless, and simple user experience continues to be one of the greatest challenges facing Web3 platforms, and one of the only competitive advantages remaining for their Web2 counterparts. Trinity Tech will be focused on streamlining navigation, by minimizing the clicks required to access various applications and execute commands within Essentials. As always, enhancing and modernizing Essentials graphics and general interface will be given attention as well.
2) Support and Integrations
In order to make Essentials interconnected with platforms and services within and beyond the Elastos ecosystem, Trinity Tech will be focused on integrating Elastos core technologies more deeply as new features are released. In addition, providing support for a wider breadth of wallet applications and wallet management features will attract more users to Essentials without requiring them to compromise on their preferred methods for asset management.
3) Enhanced Cyber Republic Use Cases
As the DAO guiding and directing the outward expansion of the Elastos community and the adoption of the Elastos tech stack, Cyber Republic and its consensus stand as the most important mechanisms of decentralization in the Elastos ecosystem. As such, Trinity Tech will be taking measures to add new features involving CR voting procedures, and improving existing features in order to allow users to simply and easily contribute to and keep up with Cyber Republic events from within Elastos Essentials.
4) Elastos Essentials 2022 Outlook
Elastos Essentials development will be divided into 2 development periods in 2022.
- Q1 & Q2 2022: Trinity Tech will add wallet support for BTC and Lightning Networks.
- Q1 & Q2 2022: Essentials will continue to serve as the main gateway for Elastos technologies with the addition of features such as Hive Vault backup, Vault transfer, and DID credential standardization.
- Q1 & Q2 2022: Trinity Tech will enhance Essentials’ UX/UI with the following features:
- Overall speed improvements;
- Home screen rework with one-click dApp launches and fast scans.
- Q3 & Q4 2022: Trinity Tech will add wallet support for Ledger.
- Q1, Q2, Q3, & Q4 2022: (1) Trinity Tech will add and improve CR-related features:
- Suggestion viewing;
- Proposal detail viewing;
- Voting from within Essentials.
To stay on track with Elastos’ core developer teams as they continue to build out the Elastos tech stack and release new updates, stay tuned here on the official Elastos Info Blog.