For those who have been using the Radix network services like the Explorer and the Radix wallet, today is a day of rejoicing as the new Node and Gateway service is live, as is the new wallet (Radix wallet v1.3)!!
While little appears changed on the surface, underneath is a brand spanking new stack of magical tech wonder (Russ speaks more on this below), that should mean snappier, more responsive user experiences for everyone.
To get that full experience, you MUST be using the updated version of the Radix wallet (the old versions still work for now, but connect via the old Archive Node service, which can be slow and unresponsive under high request load).
This has been a long time coming, and essentially concerns all the things that make the building of services on top of a public ledger possible, rather than the actual business of doing consensus (which is still ticking along very nicely and has been since launch).
This has moved the Node Runner software away from a monolithic stack that requires the running of multiple nodes to scale up front end services, to a separation of the Node Runner layer (process this transaction etc) and the data query layer (what is my balance, what is my transaction history etc).
While this is pretty common in modern scalable services architecture outside of the Web3.0 world, basically no one does this in crypto, which leads to some pretty hinky work to do on the back end to integrate layer 1s into everything from wallets to exchanges.
Since releasing the documentation we have already got some GREAT feedback on the integration experience and we look forward to working with our existing and new partners over the coming months to continue to get the Radix Olympia mainnet integrated into more of the crypto ecosystem.
A mostly hidden win, but a great win and a one which the Radix tech team definitely deserve significant praise for as it was a big piece of work that will serve the network for years and years to come.
Since returning from CES, the team has been focused on ramping up our Q1 campaigns, as well as laying a lot of the foundations required to further scale activity throughout the year, and getting ready for quite a few new additions to the marketing team in the near future!
I won’t preempt the news that is coming from Russell and Matt below, but there are quite a few behind-the-scenes things happening that are taking time and attention!
In a testament to the ever-turning wheel of marketing, the DeFi Download Podcast will reach a milestone in the near future, as Piers has recorded the 50th episode. If you haven’t listened yet, make sure to check out past episodes some of the amazing guests including people like Willy Woo, Do Kwon the CEO of Terra, Stani Kulechov the CEO of Aave, Greg Diprisco of MakerDAO, and many more!
The second community-run Radix Kentucky meetup has also been announced, taking place in Georgetown, Kentucky, in February. Piers and I were lucky enough to attend the community meetup in Lisbon that occurred during Web Summit, and would highly recommend attending if you’re near. It’s also great to see more community-run events spring up, and shows the excitement and growth within the community. If you’re interested in running a Radix event near you, make sure to reach out to one of the marketing team in the community channels.
Piers was recently on the Staking Reward’s YouTube channel, Staking Mondays. One thing revealed is that Radix will be listed on their platform soon, and they also have done a fantastic write-up of Radix we will be sharing soon!
The new Gateway Service is out and running in all its glory! If you’re a careful watcher of our github and docs site, you’ve seen this progressively rolling out since the last Radix Report.
The first step was the release of a new Node and the Network Gateway to let community members running their own Archive Nodes to start migrating to the new way of doing things. The updated Node offers the Core API, which exposes a low-level transaction stream covering everything happening on the network, and is useful to exchanges and anyone else who wants the highest available level of detail. The Network Gateway software allows anyone to gather data from one or more nodes running the Core API, stores and indexes it, and then exposes it via the new Gateway API. It also serves as a front entry point for transaction submissions. The Gateway API is what things like wallets and dashboards use to make specific queries and do transactions for individual user accounts.
Separating what previously was the “Archive Node” into these two parts was crucial – both because the Core API was sorely needed by exchanges and others, but also because a separate query service using a relational database is vastly more scalable and easier to update. But you knew all of that if you’re a loyal reader of this report.
The next step was the ever-thrilling documentation. We have lots of new material on docs.radixdlt.com about running the new Node and Gateway, and the new APIs they offer. Don’t miss the nice ReDocly documentation for the API specification which is a great way to see how it all works in detail.
The step after this was bringing up the Gateway Service (a free-to-anyone instantiation of the Network Gateway, backed by several nodes) for use by the Radix Desktop Wallet and Explorer. We moved the mainnet and stokenet Archive endpoints to the new structure silently – which most of you probably didn’t notice as we also left up the old Archive nodes and are automatically directing existing-wallet traffic to them for a little bit while people upgrade. Which brings us to…
… the new Wallet (v1.3) and Explorer are out! Obviously the big change here was moving the plumbing over to Gateway API usage, which also came with some niceties like more useful error messages. But while we were at it, we took the opportunity to get in a couple of fixes and features; the big ones are 12/18/24-word seed phrases and the ability to hide pesky tokens you’re not interested in. You can catch the full release notes on our Discord #announcements channel.
So what’s next for the network team? Parallel work has been ongoing for something we’re calling “coordinated forking” and this is likely to be what goes out next. In short, this is a mechanism to synchronize the migration of validator nodes from one version of the protocol to a new one. We’ll talk more about how it works when we get closer to release. Having coordinated forking means that many other protocol-update features that we have in the works (like slashing and some state syncing cleverness) will be simple for node-runners to adopt without requiring a planned cutover time. It also means we can start releasing updates to the XRD fee schedule to bring it back to nicer levels, which is something we very much want to do.
The Scrypto team also has some stuff in the pipeline that we think you’ll dig - but we’ll leave that for next episode…
*The Radix Report update comes from team members at RDX Works Ltd