This post will serve as an update for Synapse. Read through to the end to get caught up on the development progress!
First, let us offer you a “crash-course” on the different components that make up Synapse. (If you are already familiar, feel free to skip to the next section).
Synapse is comprised of a few critical components: The beacon module, validator module, shard module, and relayer module.
The Beacon Chain is the “main” blockchain that ties together all of the shard blockchains. It contains summary transactions of user activity on shards, helps finalize blocks, enables secure cross-shard transactions, and registers validators on the network.
Validator Modules interact with all of the other modules and are the primary active nodes that propose and validate blocks on the shard and beacon blockchains. Registering a validator requires a collateral deposit, and validators receive rewards for the services they perform. They also make a commitment to provide those services reliably and properly for a period of time, and the validator deposit can be penalized if they do not fulfill their commitment.
The Shard Module acts as the “executor” for all of the side-chains. It executes code for shard transactions and blocks and keeps them in sync with the beacon chain.
The Relayer Module is the data management portion of the system. It keeps track of the complete state of one or more shards. Relayers then package up transactions submitted to the network and advertise these packages to validators. Validators can then ensure that the packages are valid without the entire state, and propose the best package as a new shard block. This module allows validators to perform their work without syncing the entire state, which is important so that validators can be rapidly and randomly assigned to work on different shard blockchains.
These components all work together in order to provide a secure and scalable framework for processing transactions across hundreds or thousands of shard blockchains simultaneously and form the structure of our Synapse sharding architecture.
The development team has made progress on the Relayer module — specifically the “chain protocol” that allows the relayer module to sync up with the shard module. Basic P2P functionality has also been completed allowing users to create nodes for both the Shard and Relayer modules. Work still needs to be done to implement communication between different modules, but the groundwork for this function has already been completed.
Work To Be Done
Shard-to-relayer communication must be completed to allow the shard module to request for transaction packages from the relayer module. This has already been completed for the relayer module, but must also be implemented on the shard module for communication to work effectively. This work is part of the core process allowing transactions to be submitted by users to be included in blocks.
Once this is complete, a fully working version of Synapse will be ready for testnet!
The first step from this point will be launching a simple testnet internally, amongst a small network of our development team. This will shortly be followed by a public testnet which will be open to anyone interested in participating.
Aside from this, a significant amount of work has already been done on the wallet interface and front end design. Once the core blockchain is functioning on testnet, we will be able to complete this.
We welcome all user feedback and invite everyone to help us test the wallet and provide ideas and suggestions for the wallet when it is ready for initial testing!
After this (and some significant test and securing of the code)…
Synapse will be live!
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