NEO Global Development Monthly Report — February, 2019

3/1/2019

3/1/2019

Throughout the month of February, the entire NGD team was busy working on NEO DevCon 2019, which took place in Seattle on February 16th and February 17th. Although China’s Spring Festival also took place in February, we remained focused on the preparations for our annual developer event. We are pleased to report that after many months of planning, NEO DevCon 2019 was a huge success.

The following is the NGD monthly report for February 2019:

Highlights

NEO DevCon

As the largest annual developer meet-up in the NEO ecosystem, NEO DevCon attracted nearly 400 attendees and hosted over 50 speakers, each of whom who gave high-quality and insightful presentations. In addition, NEO founders Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang shared their vision for realizing the future NEO Smart Economy.

 

NGD Seattle

NGD announced the opening of NGD Seattle. The office will be led by John deVadoss, who before his role at NGD spent over 15 years at Microsoft and co-founded messaging service, text11. In his positions at Microsoft, John was responsible for driving the success of .NET with architects in Microsoft’s competitive efforts against Java/J2EE, and most recently built up Microsoft Digital from zero to $500 million in business worldwide. He will bring extensive software experience development to the team.

Development Progress

Erik outlined the general design concepts of ​​NEO 3.0 at NEO DevCon. The most important goal for NEO 3.0 is to enable the support of large-scale commercial applications. There are three main requirements for improving the platform, along with some improvements that are already complete.

 

Improve reliability

dBFT 2.0

Much effort has been dedicated to optimizing the dBFT consensus mechanism to improve consensus stability and applicability for large-scale application scenarios.

The first of the main changes was to add a commit phase to the consensus protocol, which will avoid accidental orphaned blocks that have caused issues with peer nodes in the past. The second change is to add two new state recovery mechanisms—Recovery Log and Recovery Message—to the state synchronization protocol. These will allow offline consensus nodes to recover from abnormal conditions more quickly, and ensure that the network can always generate blocks and process transactions even under extreme network loads.

These improvements to the dBFT consensus will make transactions truly irreversible, which is critical to support large-scale commercial applications.

See https://github.com/neo-project/neo/pull/547 for specific changes. The development and testing are nearly complete and changes will be merged into the next release.

Streamline the architecture and improve performance

There are multiple possible updates to the architecture of NEO that will enable it to achieve its goal of supporting large-scale commercial applications.

a) Increase TPS for Layer 2.

Layer 2 expansion can effectively increase TPS. However, disputes limit the improvement, which create a proportional relationship between the TPS of Layer 2 and the TPS of the main chain. The TPS of Layer 2 increases in multiples corresponding to the TPS of the main chain. To increase the TPS of Layer 2 and attract more applications, we will move the business verification to the application layer in NEO 3.0. In the process of transaction verification, we will only allow state independent verifications, leading to significant improvements in transaction efficiency, greatly increasing TPS.

b) Remove all global assets.

Currently, there are two types of asset that can be created on NEO. The first is a global asset created by RegisterTransaction, and the second is a contract asset created by a smart contract. Contract assets are more flexible and have more functions. As global assets are not integrated with smart contracts, managing global assets in smart contracts is very difficult. Therefore, we believe removing global assets in NEO 3.0 is ideal, further simplifying NEO's architecture and improving system performance.

c) Unify all transaction types.

Currently, there are nine different transaction types in NEO 2.x. Some of these are related to the use and creation of global assets, so if global assets are removed, these transactions may also be removed. Other transaction types will also be removed, with their functions replaced by interop services in smart contracts. Therefore, in NEO 3.0, there would be only one type of transaction, simply called Transaction. The role of this unique type of transaction is to run smart contracts.

d) Enhance smart contract functionality.

In NEO 3.0, we intend to add native smart contracts, a manifest and permission system, Internet resource access and other features that will make NEO smart contracts more convenient for developers and viable in additional scenarios. To coincide with the NEO 3.0 performance improvements, the cost of smart contract deployment will be significantly reduced to attract more users to develop on NEO.

Distributed storage

NeoFS is a distributed storage network built on NEO with its own economic model. It is inexpensive and can store large amounts of data. Storage space can be purchased with GAS, whilst everyone can earn GAS by sharing unused hard disk space. In addition, NeoFS offers some additional features such as data encryption to protect privacy and integration with smart contracts in both a read and write capacity.

Community

NEO DevCon 2019 had a positive effect on the growth of the NEO community. The NEO Ecosystem Growth and R&D teams had the opportunity to talk with many developers and teams who are interested in building dApps based on NEO. In addition, over 50 media organizations reported on NEO DevCon and we welcome them all into the NEO ecosystem. NEO social media presence also grew in February.

Social Media

  • Twitter: 316,475
  • Facebook: 30,602
  • Reddit: 97,910
  • Discord: 24,308
  • Medium: 2,219
  • Youtube: 3,520
  • Wechat: 16,845
  • Weibo: 8,935

Events

-February 16th & February 17th, NEO DevCon 2019 was held in Seattle, USA. A replay of the full livestream can be found on the NEO Smart Economy official YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl1AwEDN0w5lTmfJEMsY5Vw

For Chinese coverage on NEO DevCon, please follow the official WeChat official Account of NEO Smart Economy(neosmarteconomy).
For English coverage on NEO DevCon, please follow NEO Medium.(https://medium.com/neo-smart-economy)

-On February 23rd, NEO founder Da Hongfei attended the 2019 Blockchain Conference held by the Harvard Business School BlockChain Club. There he delivered a keynote speech and shared his vision on “The Promise of Smart Economy.”

Other Progress

Media Interviews

We post a link of DevCon media release summary, please click to see more

https://www.reddit.com/r/NEO/comments/axhneq/neo_devcon_press_release/

 

New Employees

 

Li Shuai - Research and Development

Shuai graduated from the East China University of Science and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and has been engaged in .NET development since 2012. Shuai has worked for both eHI and aiHuiShou, and is familiar with the architecture design of B/S system.  

Cheng Wei - Financial Controller

Wei is a CPA certified by the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants and joined the NEO Foundation in February 2019 as Financial Controller. He is mainly responsible for the financial management and disclosures of the Foundation. Prior to joining the NEO Foundation, he was a senior auditor of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a financial manager of Allyes Media Group, an assistant financial controller of Red Star Macalline, and CFO of several startups (Kick9, Chinapex, Mytoken).