Weekly Dev Update #70

Weekly Dev Update #70

Hey Y’all, 

Last week we released the Trusty Tyr 5.1.1 Binaries. All Service Nodes, mining pools and exchanges will need to update to these new binaries before block height 385824 (est. 7PM AEDT, 2019-10-23). Currently, approximately 78% of Service Nodes have upgraded, so if you are operating a Service Node, make sure you update in the next week so you stay on the correct chain.

In other news, the Loki Messenger team has sidelined multi device work for now since a key team member is on holidays. Instead, the Loki Messenger team are working on File attachments, profile pictures and @mentions, which should be delivered in a new release shortly.  

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet:

We merged a significant batch of performance improvements for Lokinet, which should allow for better performance scaling, particularly on multi-core machines. Work continues on implementing a Lokinet GUI, which will allow desktop users to easily control and view their Lokinet connection stats. This requires the underlying Lokinet daemon to be securely controlled by another process (the GUI), so we will need to do some rearchitecting of the Lokinet internals to allow for that. The plan here is for the interface to be used in both the GUI and also via a `lokinetctl` command-line tool that will allow command-line users (such as Linux greybeards and SNApp admins) to control some portions of Lokinet without having to edit config files.


PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

5.1.0 Trusty Tyr Mandatory Upgrade

loki network coin wallet

Hey Everybody, 

Today marks the start of the mandatory upgrade period for the new Loki Core Trusty Tyr 5.1.0 release. Trusty Tyr adds a number of notable features to Loki Core, including: 

  • Fully enabled and enforced Service Node checkpointing 
  • Updated RPC Calls to reflect transaction checkpoint status
  • RandomXL stability updates
  • Extended Uptime credits to 48 hours from 24 hours 
  • Number of bug fixes for issues which caused Service Nodes to calculate incorrect winners for certain blocks
  • Increased uptime proof relaying robustness 
  • Fully Linear Staking requirement curve
  • “Export_transfers” is now available via RPC (see Lokidocs RPC documentation for more information).
  • Better integration with Loki Storage Server to enforce network reliability

We have set the hardfork height for block 385,824, ‬which is approximately 13 days away and should fall on  ~22nd of October 2019 UTC. 

If you’re running a Service Node, mining pool, or you’re full node operator, you will need to update to the new version of Loki Core to ensure that you stay on the correct chain. 

Non Service Node Operators 

For mining pools and (Non Service Node) full nodes, Loki binaries can be downloaded directly here: https://github.com/loki-project/loki/releases/tag/v5.1.0

Service Node Operators

Service Node operators running Loki Launcher should refer to this guide for updating: https://docs.loki.network/ServiceNodes/SNFullGuide/#updating-your-binaries

For those running Loki Service Nodes using the Debian releases, you can upgrade using this guide: https://docs.loki.network/ServiceNodes/DebianPackageGuide/#upgrading

As part of their update procedures, Service Node operators should also update their Loki Storage Server to the newly released Version 1.0.7. This should happen automatically if you follow the guides above. 

Thanks,  

Kee

Weekly Dev Update #69

Hey Y’all, 

Last week the Loki Messenger team continued work on limited multi-device support for mobile devices, and finished the last required changes to support @mentions on Desktop. The Loki Core team is almost ready to release Trusty Tyr 5.0.0 – we just want to fix a bug which previously caused some Service Nodes running lokid 4.0.5 to become stuck on an invalid chain.

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet: 

The Lokinet team (now including new addition Stephen Shelton – welcome!) spent some time discussing new designs for the Lokinet internals. In the long term, we’re aiming to make Lokinet easier to use for end-users with, among other things, a separation in the design to allow the integration of a graphical control interface. We’re also looking make Lokinet work on mobile devices. In the shorter term, we’re planning some significant performance improvements to the build process, a new starting point for iOS builds, and various command-line updates.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Does Pulse Make the Rich Richer?

Loki Improvement Proposal: POS Scheme Pulse

Recently we released our fifth Loki Improvement Proposal in which we outlined a new Proof of Stake scheme, Pulse. If it’s to be implemented, Pulse would have Service Nodes produce blocks, order transactions, and secure the blockchain, rendering miners in the Loki ecosystem no longer necessary.

While we’re excited about the potential of Pulse, and the improvements it can bring to Loki’s suite of privacy tools, we’re aware it has raised some questions and concerns within the community. The main one being: “Won’t it Just Make the Rich Richer?”

Transitioning from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake

Let’s imagine Loki transitions from its current Proof of Work / Proof of Service hybrid consensus mechanism to Pulse (Proof of Stake). In this scenario, the Loki Network will be made up of two parties: Stakers and Non-Stakers. 

Stakers are those who are running a Service Node, either by themselves, or with others in a pool. They have enough $LOKI to do so.

Non-Stakers are those who aren’t running a Service Node, because they don’t have enough $LOKI to meet the staking threshold, or because they’re choosing to hold their $LOKI instead. 

Service Nodes

With Pulse, Service Nodes will create blocks in the Loki blockchain every two minutes, and receive a reward ($LOKI) for doing so. Ninety-five percent of that reward will go to the Service Node Staker (or Stakers, if it’s a pool), and the remaining five percent will go to the Loki Foundation.

In order to run a Service Node, Loki recommends you stake at least twenty-five percent of the full staking requirement. At the time of writing, that is roughly 5,200 $LOKI, which equates to about 1,400 USD. So Stakers – those that have enough (and choose) to stake the recommended amount of $LOKI – will increase their wealth through the accrual of rewards. 

Furthermore, each time a Service Node creates a block, the overall monetary supply of $LOKI increases. Just like in a traditional economy, assuming everything in the market stays constant, when the monetary supply increases, so does the inflation rate. And when the inflation rate goes up, the purchasing power of the currency goes down. This means everybody’s $LOKI buys a little less than it did before. This is an unfortunate (but not uncommon) side effect for those that hold (and don’t stake) currency. 

However, the inflation situation is the same with Proof of Work consensus mechanisms. When miners create blocks, they also receive rewards, which in turn increases the overall monetary supply and drives inflation up. 

One major difference between Proof of Work and Proof of Stake consensus mechanisms is the size of the barrier to entry. The initial investment (fixed cost) required to mine cryptocurrencies – specialised hardware, constant electricity, and a high-speed internet connection – is much higher than the cost of running a Service Node – which is essentially the cost of renting and maintaining a VPS. In essence, you need a lot more financial resources to be a miner, than to be a Staker. 

Of course, in reality everything in the market does not stay constant. The real-world market cap of $LOKI fluctuates, and if it increases, everyone’s purchasing power increases. Same goes the other way. Regardless, there still exists an inequality caused by the barriers to entry for mining or staking. However, a barrier to entry is necessary* in order to keep the Loki Network protected from malicious activities like Sybil Attacks. 

Low barrier of entry allows more people to benefit from POS

The lower barrier to entry for Service Node operators is why Pulse is an attractive prospect for Loki. It means more people have the opportunity to participate in the rewards-based ecosystem (especially when compared to Proof of Work). Ideally, it also means more Service Nodes are in operation on the Loki Network, making our privacy products better for all. So we think it’s a win-win.

We love that our community is engaged, and challenges us to be better, which is why we’ve endeavoured to answer this question. If you have more, please keep them coming on our various social media channels.

Weekly Dev Update #68

Hey Y’all, 

Last week we released the 5.0.0 testnet binaries for lokid, which include enforced checkpointing and a number of P2P and uptime proof fixes. We’re running a Bug Bounty with a prize pool of 4000 $LOKI for finding bugs related to checkpointing, so jump in and get testing! 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet: 

We released a minor update (0.5.2) which fixed a lingering issue in Lokinet that was causing a timeout of a few seconds every 10 minutes. We also held our first weekly dev meeting on a Mumble voice chat server entirely over Lokinet, and it worked perfectly with good latency and no drops at all! 

Recently, we’ve been interviewing for a new full-time Lokinet developer position, and I am pleased to report the role has now been filled with a great addition to the team starting this week. Jeff was on vacation last week (which explains the light number of PRs), but is back this week. With Jeff, plus the addition of our new developer, expect to see some interesting Lokinet developments soon.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Testing Bounties

Service Node checkpointing is now being enforced on testnet v5.0.0. We really want to make sure everything is running smoothly, so are inviting you to do your best to break checkpointing on the testnet! 

As a reward for the hard-working testers out there who manage to find bugs in v5.0.0, we have put a bounty system together: https://github.com/loki-project/loki/releases

The total reward pool is 4000 $LOKI.

Bounty Guidelines:

  • Attacks should be performed on the Loki testnet, where the most recent checkpointing code has been activated. 
  • The goal of an attack should be to invalidate Service Node checkpointing. Functionally, this means you should be able to get an unmodified lokid node to sync or switch to any alternate chain that competes with a mainchain with more than 2 consecutive checkpoints.

Some attacks you might try to execute are:

  • Targeted attacks that prevent Service Nodes communicating during consensus. 
  • 51% attacks on the mining network. 
  • Joining a dishonest minority of Service Nodes – please remove these nodes from the network once you finish testing as others may be trying to use similar methods.
  • Constructing special transactions/blocks. 

The following attacks are out of the scope of this bounty program and will not be rewarded: 

  • Gaining more than 51% of the Service Nodes on the Service Node network (this would be prohibitively difficult on the mainnet). Note: The 20 Service Nodes operated by the Loki team on the Loki testnet represent the “Honest Majority”.
  • Blanket DDOS attacks are not considered in scope as they would be prohibitively difficult on the mainnet given the size of the Service Node network.

Bug Severity will be decided arbitrarily by the Loki team. High severity bugs will earn 50% of the total prize pool at the time your claim is approved. Medium severity bugs will earn 20%, and low severity bugs will earn 5%.

Happy Testing!

Weekly Dev Update #67

Hey Y’all, 

Last week we released a new LIP discussing ‘Pulse’: a proposed proof of stake protocol for Loki. You can read that here: https://github.com/loki-project/loki-improvement-proposals/blob/master/LIPS/LIP-5.md. We also continued to move towards the 5.0.0 release for Loki Core, which adds checkpointing and a number of other features. Keep your ear to the ground for the testnet announcement…some bounties will be available. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet: 

We finally fixed an issue that had been plaguing Lokinet for several weeks! Connections to a remote Lokinet node would timeout for a few seconds every 10 minutes when a Lokinet client changed to a new path (particularly noticeable on long-running pings)…We’re putting out a minor point release (0.5.2) to address this. The Lokinet devs are also set to conduct their first ever weekly dev meeting using voice chat over Lokinet. 

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

What Went on Last Week with Loki Messenger:  

Multi-device is now mostly finished on desktop, and last week our primary focus was on integrating that work into our mobile platforms. We also looked into some ways to support attachments and share multi device mappings, which should be integrated over the next few weeks/months.  

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Loki Messenger Just Keeps Getting Better

Have you downloaded the latest Loki Messenger update? v.1.2.0 has some awesome new features!

Chat Replies

When chat’s flowing, it’s easy for several messages to fire at you all at once. Replying to a message at the top of a thread (with a bunch of messages below it) works…but it’s messy. Here at Loki, we appreciate tidiness, so we’ve added the ability to reply directly to specific messages. Just long press on a message then tap ‘Reply to This Message’.

Link Previews

We know some of you can be suspicious of website links. We get it. Who knows what mystery location that string of characters will lead to? Now with Link Previews, you can see where you’re headed before departing. It’s kind of like opening a portal to another world…which evidently, our developers are also working on (not really).

Conversation Search

So a while ago there was talk of a great new Korean restaurant, but you couldn’t go at the time…and now you have a major craving for kimchi?! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to search ‘Korean’ in that conversation and go back and find that restaurant? Of course it would! Which is why we’ve brought you Conversation Search. Just tap ‘Contact Info’ and ‘Search Conversation’ then type in your search…and wham! There’s lunch. 

Moderator Tags

Lorde sang “we’ll never be royals”, but our Public Chat moderators kind of are… because they now have royal Moderator Tags! When you see a profile picture with a crown tag (👑) next to it, you’ll know that contact’s a chat moderator (and to bow or curtsy in accordance, of course). 

To try out all these new features, download Loki Messenger v.1.2.0 by clicking on this (not so mysterious) link: https://loki.network/getstarted

Weekly Dev Update #66

Hey Y’all, 

Last week we stepped up work on Loki Core, with the final set of changes being merged in ahead of the testnet fork, enabling protections against checkpointing edge cases. Loki Messenger got a new release too – there’ll be many more over the next few months. Finally, Lokinet shifted gears into investigating and implementing various performance optimisations, decreasing CPU and Bandwidth usage for clients and routers. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet:

We officially released the public beta (v0.5.1, with a couple of last-minute fixes to the tagged-but-not-announced v0.5.0 release). Please test out this Lokinet release and let us know how things are working for you!

Focus is now shifting to various performance improvements and other enhancements for a 0.6.0 release sometime next month. We’ve opened a slew of github issues to track various issues we want to address either in the 0.6 release or beyond on the issue board: https://github.com/loki-project/loki-network/issues. We’re also internally working with marketing to improve the information available on Lokinet.org – so expect to see changes there in the near future.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

What Went on Last Week with Loki Messenger:

Last week we released a platform wide update here: https://github.com/loki-project/loki-messenger/releases/latest. This introduced a number of requested features, including link previews, specific-message replies, conversation searching, and moderator tags. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #65

Hey Y’all, 

This week was primarily focused on Loki Messenger user interface improvements, adding features like message replies in public chats and fixing up link previews. We also published the new Lokinet release, which is almost ready, pending a couple of minor UX improvements for first time users. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What went on last week with Lokinet: 

Lokinet public 0.5.0 release is tagged and mostly ready for public release on a new Lokinet test network we’ve set up called ‘beta’. Several routers are already deployed, so it will be usable right away. There are a couple of lingering issues (which look like they may be Windows-specific) which will hopefully be fixed in the next day or so. For now, we’ve delayed the release announcement until these issues are ironed out. Meanwhile, new development towards version 0.6 is taking place in the master branch, with the aim to improve performance and user experience in a few important areas.

PR activity:


Loki Messenger Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

What went on last week with Loki Messenger: 

Loki Messenger (beta) for Android and iOS has improved the way it collects crash reports so we can more easily and better understand how to improve the Loki Messenger user experience on mobile devices. We also undertook a multi device effort to move to Jazzicons (https://github.com/danfinlay/jazzicon) instead of using the Github identicons. 

Loki Messenger for iOS

Loki Messenger for Android


Thanks,  

Kee