Ecosystem Update

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest Blocknet news each month.

Quick Take

  • Our DEX compatible multi-wallet, XLite, is entering public beta.
  • Hydra, our decentralized replacement for Infura, is set to launch in 2021.
  • Trading volume on Block DX exchange closing in on $1,000,000.
  • ERC-20 BLOCK nearing release.

XLite Wallet — Public Beta

XLite, our DEX compatible multi-wallet, will be advancing from private to public beta! Our developers have been extensively testing and debugging XLite over the past several months and are now sufficiently satisfied with its stability and performance to open testing to the public. If all goes well with the public beta, a production release of XLite could be as early as this year.

Our developers are also testing a new build of Block DX exchange that will automate the process of connecting XLite for trading, which currently requires some manual configuration.

A public release of XLite, along with an automated XLite setup wizard for Block DX, will improve the user experience by an order of magnitude. We could not be more excited about these upcoming releases.

Be the first to know about the public XLite release by signing up to our e-mail notification service here.

Hydra — Launching in 2021

We are gearing up for a 2021 launch of Hydra, our decentralized replacement for Infura. Marketing has already started with a new twitter account and, over the coming months, we will be working on a new website and user documentation.

A preview of Hydra’s own distinct micro-branding.

The term “decentralized Infura” is likely new for many of you, so we will take this opportunity to quickly explain what Infura is, why it’s flawed and how Hydra is superior.

What is Infura?

Infura is a centralized Ethereum node provider that allows developers and users to run applications without requiring them to set up their own Ethereum node or wallet.

You may not be familiar with Infura by name, but if you’ve used MetaMask or Uniswap then you’ve used Infura. A majority of Ethereum application rely on Infura as an absolute source of truth for Ethereum blockchain data.

“An average of 6.5 billion JSON-RPC requests per day on the Ethereum network are channeled through Infura infrastructure, making the project an essential pillar of the ecosystem” — ConsenSys, an Ethereum production studio

In an ideal world everyone would run their own node, however, this is not realistic for the vast majority of Ethereum users, or even developers, as Ethereum nodes are expensive, complicated and cumbersome.

Infura is flawed

The problem with Infura lies in the fact that it’s centralized. With so many decentralized applications relying on Infura it effectively becomes a single point of failure for the Ethereum network.

This was made abundantly clear earlier this month when Infura experienced a major service outage. The incident caused some crypto exchanges, including Binance, to halt ether withdrawals and numerous dApp front-ends were inaccessible.

While this incident was related to an “unannounced hard fork”, Infura is also vulnerable to attacks that may limit its functionality, or regulations by government to censor transactions.

Hydra

What sets Hydra apart from Infura is that the Ethereum nodes are not operated by a single centralized organization, but a decentralized network of service nodes.

This decentralized architecture has several advantages over Infura:

  • Antifragile — The Ethereum nodes are distributed amongst many independent nodes, so there is no single point of failure.
  • Security — Users can make requests to several service nodes in order to gain higher confidence in the result.
  • Sybil Resistance — It requires 5000 BLOCK as collateral to operate a service node, which ensures service nodes are financially invested in Blocknet’s success and prevents the network from being overwhelmed by an attacker.

Hydra will also have a payment gateway functionality similar to Infura. Users will be able to send a request with a payment (e.g. ETH or aBLOCK) to service nodes in return for a project ID and API that will allows them to make a certain number of requests to the Blocknet network based on how much they paid.

It will also be easy for developers to switch to Hydra from Infura. Hyrda is designed to be a drop-in URL replacement for Infura, meaning that developers will be able to switch to Hydra effortlessly, with only a few clicks. While Hydra is starting with Ethereum, it is compatible with any blockchain.

The result is that developers and users will no longer be forced to rely on centralized infrastructures to connect to decentralized blockchain networks. This will be a game changer from decentralized finance.

Trading Volume Nearing $1,000,000

Trading volume on our peer-to-peer decentralized exchange, Block DX, is continuing to grow organically and is now closing in on an all-time total of $1,000,000! At the time of writing, the all-time trading volume is $993,499.

Overview of the trading volume on Block DX exchange this year (Excluding trade worth $134,990.79 in February 2020)

ERC-20 BLOCK nearing release

Support for BLOCK has been merged into the Anyswap Cross-Chain Bridge codebase and is currently undergoing testing and debugging. Once complete, users will be able to mint ERC-20 BLOCK, known as aBLOCK, for trading on the Uniswap Protocol and for general use in the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem.

Governance

We are an open sourced, self-funded, and self-governed project with dedicated contributors around the world.

Our governance system was built from the ground up to be on-chain and completely transparent. We are the first project to have implemented on-chain governance on a Bitcoin codebase.

Up to 40,000 BLOCK are minted and distributed each month to successful proposals in an on-chain vote called a superblock. You can learn more about our on-chain governance process here.

Looking Forward

With the upcoming public releases of Xlite and Hyrda, there is good reason to be excited about the future of the Blocknet project and its impact on the DeFi Ecosystem. We will continue to keep you updated on all the important developments. To stay up to date with the latest, subscribe to our Newsletter and join our Discord.

Onwards and upwards,

– The Blocknet Contributors

About Blocknet

The Blocknet is a decentralized network and protocol suite for seamless cross-blockchain interoperability.

Website | Docs | Discord | Twitter | Reddit | Github

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Blocknet is a 2nd layer blockchain interoperability protocol that enables communication, interaction & exchange between different blockchains.

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