November 12, 2020BLOG

Neo Monthly Report - October 2020

By NGD


October marked the four year anniversary of the Neo MainNet launch. While the Neo community took a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come, October’s focus was very much on looking forward.

The next milestone on the Neo calendar is Neo3 Preview4, which is planned to be the final Neo3 preview version before we reach TestNet. All community development groups reported progress on Neo3 products, while the Neo core developers continued to whittle down the list of outstanding tasks on the Neo3 Preview4 checklist.

The Neo3 governance and economic model is now in its final stages, having undergone extensive testing in terms of functionality and efficiency. Voter incentives such as GAS distribution based on governance participation are being merged into the master branch.

A proposal is also currently being investigated to allow MPT to be configured to only support the latest state. Possible improvements include increased TPS and reduced disk usage. Other various Neo3 progress included refactoring, new methods, and fee changes.

On the community side, explorers by COZ and NEL received updates in service of Neo3. COZ completed it’s Neo3 API for Dora, while NEL added a Neo3 TestNet contract list page to NELScan, including information such as contract hash, creation time, name, and author. 

NEL also made updates to its Teemo wallet to distinguish the Neo3 dAPI functionality from Neo2, while NEXT integrated support for the Neo3 TestNet into NeoLine mobile.

Development tools received a lot of attention in October. COZ released v0.5.0 of the Boa Python contract compiler, with substantial improvements to its CICD Framework, including integration with the native Neo3 Test Engine. COZ also made progress on neon-js, with v5.0.0-next.5 scheduled to be released alongside Neo3 Preview4, enabling the majority of features required for projects or applications that wish to integrate with Neo3.

AxLabs published v3.4.0 of neow3j which brought significant improvements to its SDK, including an API for interaction with non-fungible tokens following the NEP-11 standard. The compiler also received several improvements, including the ability to emit debugging information, allowing developers to debug Java smart contracts in the Neo Blockchain Toolkit for VS Code.

Finally, Neo SPCC rolled out substantial updates to NeoFS, publishing the sidechain smart contracts and releasing the NeoFS CLI and storage node for public use. The NeoFS governance model was also completed, while a MetaStor prototype has been mostly completed and is undergoing benchmarking. Neo SPCC is also preparing to deploy its CDN ready for the Neo Preview4 TestNet.

The full Neo Global Monthly Report for October can be found below.

Protocol Development

Neo3 Progress

Throughout October, the core development team continued to make remarkable progress across different aspects of Neo3. The governance & economical model is now in its final stages, and state root performance tests are underway as the team seeks to further optimize the protocol.

As we draw closer to the release of Neo3 Preview4, more tasks have been completed and details confirmed. The latest detailed information can be viewed here.

Governance & Economic Model

Neo3

Governance progress predominantly consisted of improvements related to voter incentives (#1848), with additions such as committee result caching, a committee epoch, and other assorted optimizations. The new model has been tested extensively in terms of functionality and efficiency, with the changes now approved and ready to be merged in the near future.

StateRoot

Neo3

A proposal to allow MPT to be configured to only support the latest state is currently undergoing testing to evaluate its performance impact, including possible TPS improvements and reduced disk usage in some circumstances. 

Changes in the PR (#1996) include the addition of:

  • A full_state parameter when constructing the trie, which will remove old state tree nodes when set to false; previously all nodes would be retained regardless to preserve historical states by default. 
  • A reference counter to avoid the deletion of nodes in use by other branches. Only one copy of a node with the same hash will be stored in the database.
  • A cache for use during ISnapshot read and writes.
Neo2.x

A pull request to refactor Neo2’s MPT implementation (#1878) is still undergoing review. Another related PR (#1922) seeking to raise the priority of state root syncing was closed due to the disappearance of the issue that prompted the change.

Oracle

Throughout October, the core developers continued to build on the oracle functionality, improving and fixing code whilst final discussions take place. Once consensus is reached on the final design for the oracle module, related pull requests will be merged to master.

Infrastructure Impact

A range of miscellaneous infrastructure improvements was also completed in October. The ExecutionEngine limits in NeoVM were refactored (#373) to make them easier to use, and the default methods _deploy and verify were added to enable operations to be automatically triggered on contract deployment or verification respectively (#364).

A minimum fee for oracle requests was also implemented (#374), and the fee for voting by NEO holders was reduced from 5 to 0.05 GAS (#2010). The RpcClient was replumbed, replacing all sync calls with async from end to end (#335), and an exception field was also added to RPC invoke results, allowing debug information to be shared when an exception occurs during invokefunction calls (#364).

Infrastructure and Tools Development

October Highlights

Flamingo

Launched Swap, the first AMM on Neo, allowing users to provide liquidity and stake LP tokens to continue earning rewards. Total value of asset liquidity in Swap has stabilized around US $200M.

COZ 

Completed the Dora API for Neo3 and rolled out back-end improvements to enhance scalability, and released Boa v0.5 with try-finally support and integration with the native Neo3 Test Engine.

NEO Tracker 

Published an alpha version of NEO•ONE v3.0 to NPM, updating the Node to successfully sync with the Neo3 Preview3 TestNet and adding the C# VM to ensure consistency with other nodes.

AxLabs

Rolled out debugging capabilities for Java smart contracts, support for non-fungible token contract interaction, and BIP-32 key derivation for hierarchical deterministic wallets.

NEXT 

Integrated support for Neo3 TestNet into NeoLine mobile, and began developing a new version of the wallet to provide network data services.

Neo SPCC 

Published various components including NeoFS sidechain smart contracts, CLI, and storage nodes for public use, and began preparing to deploy the CDN ready for the Neo3 Preview4 TestNet.

Red4Sec 

Discovered one critical vulnerability and some other issues since the review of Neo3 Preview3, which have been reported or fixed. The upcoming Preview4 release is now undergoing auditing.

NEL 

Updated NELScan with further Neo3 compatibility, including contract details and manifest information on the TestNet contract list page and adding log/notify info to transaction pages.

Project Milestones

DeFi

Flamingo Finance by NGD

Began the month by implementing a new USDT strategy in Flamincome for yield optimization and followed by launching the Swap module, creating the first AMM-based exchange on the Neo blockchain. The functionality was later improved with the Trading Router and Analytics services.

Node

NeoGo by Neo SPCC

Neo SPCC’s Go node implementation saw several updates in October, namely the integration of NeoFS into its oracle module and the ongoing addition of a P2P signature collection service. The team also performed research into several key areas, including fair opcode pricing, blockchain tail cutting, and the MPT size problem.

Explorer & Monitor

Dora by COZ

In October, Dora received improvements to its API documentation and design and was updated to use a new back-end, providing improved scalability. COZ also completed the implementation of its Neo3 API, and completed a detailed design plan for the future development of the project.

NeoTube by NEXT

Changes to the NeoTube explorer primarily focused on bug fixing, correcting issues related to transaction history, and other details that were not being properly displayed. Work also began on a new UI design for Neo3.

NELScan by NEL

NEL continued to roll out updates to its explorer, specifically focusing on the Neo3 version. A TestNet contract list page has been added, displaying information such as contract hash, creation time, name, and author. An interface to display manifest information has also been provided, and log/notify information of the calling contract has been added to transaction pages, intended to help developers check return logs.

Smart Contract Compiler

Boa by COZ

COZ released v0.5.0 of its Python contract compiler in October, with substantial improvements to its CICD Framework, including integration with the native Neo3 Test Engine. New features include support for try-finally statements and the implementation of a number of interop methods. October also saw significant expansion to Boa’s unit and integration tests.

neow3j by AxLabs

New compiler updates for Java developers arrived with the neow3j 3.4.0 update. The compiler received several improvements, particularly in the areas of error reporting and byte array initialization, alongside refactoring to make the tool more modular and maintainable. The update also enables the compiler to emit debugging information, allowing developers to debug Java smart contracts with the debugger utilities in the Neo Blockchain Toolkit for VS Code.

SDK

neow3j by AxLabs

The neow3j 3.4.0 release also brought significant improvements to its SDK, which was extended with an API for interaction with non-fungible tokens following the NEP-11 standard, along with a convenient method for tracking sent transactions. The team is also spearheading the adoption of BIP-32/44 hierarchical deterministic wallets in the Neo ecosystem, beginning with support for BIP-32 key generation.

neon-js by COZ

Completed work on contract interaction workflows, planned to release alongside Neo3 Preview4 in mid-November. This milestone release, v5.0.0-next.5, will enable the majority of features required for projects or applications that wish to integrate with Neo3. The SDK also gained extended support for RPC methods.

Smart Contract & dApp framework

NEO•ONE by NEO Tracker

The v3.0.0-preview3.1 release marks a significant improvement in Neo3 compatibility for the NEO•ONE framework. The alpha update, now available through npm, focused primarily on the NEO•ONE node, which can now sync with the Neo3 Preview3 TestNet. The node was also updated to use the core C# VM to ensure execution consistency.

Wallet

Neon by COZ

COZ spent October working towards the v2.6 version of its desktop wallet, a feature-complete version set to release in the new future. This update marks the last “new feature” release until Neo3 support is added. The team also continues to work on the upcoming mobile version of Neon wallet. The feature-complete MVP is now undergoing User Acceptance Testing, with an open beta to follow in the near future.

NeoLine by NEXT

October saw a range of updates applied to different versions of the NeoLine wallet and its backend. Neo3 implementation was completed in the mobile and Chrome extension versions, and assorted improvements were rolled out to better support multi-chain users. On the server-side, data caching was added to improve request speeds, and the multi-chain/PolyNetwork request middleware was improved to assist cross-chain transfers. 

Teemo by NEL

The dAPI of the Teemo wallet’s Neo3 version was modified to distinguish it from the Neo2 version, ensuring there are no unexpected interactions.

NeoFS 

NeoFS by Neo SPCC

Neo SPCC rolled out substantial updates to NeoFS throughout October, publishing the sidechain smart contracts and releasing the NeoFS CLI and storage node for public use. All services from the recently updated v2 API are now implemented in the node, and the CLI can be used for all object and container-related operations.

The NeoFS governance model was also completed and implemented through the sidechain alphabet contracts, and a data replication routine has been implemented for storage nodes. Finally, a MetaStor prototype has been mostly completed and is undergoing benchmarking.

Additional services related to NeoFS also saw considerable updates, culminating in the implementation of the S3 and HTTP gates, AuthMate for the v2 API, and integration testing set up for CDN components. The team is now preparing to deploy the CDN ready for the Neo Preview4 TestNet.

Research

Publications by NeoResearch

29th October, the MDPI Future Internet journal published an academic article by NeoResearch members, titled “A MILP Model for a Byzantine Fault Tolerant Blockchain Consensus”.

Miscellaneous

Auditing by Red4Sec

As in previous months, Red4Sec has maintained pace on its ongoing security audit for Neo3. Code review is now up to 75% of Preview4, in which time a critical vulnerability with Preview3 was reported and fixed. Remediations in the CNEO and CGAS contracts are also undergoing review by the team.

Marketing and Operations

October has been another busy yet exciting month for the NGD team. We celebrated the 4th anniversary of Neo’s MainNet launch together with the community by reflecting on our past achievements and looking towards the future. 

Following the successful commencement of Mint Rush, which attracted the participation of nearly two billion USD worth of digital assets, Flamingo launched the SWAP component - the first AMM on Neo blockchain, and a big step for Neo blockchain as a digital asset protocol. I am looking forward to the initial governance voting module, and PERP (perpetual contract module), which will be coming very soon. 

In November, the NGD marketing team will be reshifting the focus back to the major theme of Neo3 with Preview 4 release coming, which is the last preview version before the TestNet launch. We are anticipating the acceleration of infrastructure development, governance mechanism deployment, component integration, and intensive testing as well as optimizations throughout the protocol.

As the Neo3 MainNet launch is on the horizon now, abundant events and campaigns are currently under planning at NGD. We are collaborating with Neo global communities on items such as a global-level online hackathon, migration plans for digital assets and projects, as well as on-ramp and long term incentive plan to support developers. Last but not least, we hope to bring back Neo Devcon next year, which was unfortunately canceled in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

- Yuan Gao, NGD marketing director

  • 6th – 7th October, Da Hongfei gave a speech at the LA Blockchain Summit virtual conference.
  • 7th October, Da Hongfei, spoke with CoinDesk about the Flamingo protocol, stating that Flamingo is not a “copy and paste,” of Ethereum products, but is “like rebuilding a parallel universe.”
  • 9th October, John deVadoss contributed to an InterWork Alliance article discussing how industry standards can make tokenized services as mainstream as WiFi or broadband. To do so, the IWA has identified a set of industry concepts and built protocol-agnostic templates for developers to use.
  • 15th October, John Wang joined the NNT Podcast to share insights on Eco Growth's day to day work, the types of projects it seeks to collaborate with, interoperability, Neo3, DeFi, Flamingo Finance, and much more.
  • 17th October - The fourth anniversary of the Neo MainNet launch. To celebrate, the Neo Foundation released an open letter to the community highlighting Neo’s successes and challenges moving forward. The NF noted recent progress in joining the InterWork Alliance, partnering with Blockchain-based Service Network, forming the Poly Network interoperability protocol alliance, and launching the Flamingo Finance DeFi protocol. It also discussed the upcoming launch of Neo3, outlining the new features of the full-stack blockchain solution. As the Neo3 release nears closer, the NF is preparing an early adopter and migration plan, developer grants program, and a post-launch hackathon.
  • 26th – 30th October, Neo and ChainNews jointly organized a knowledge contest with the theme of “DeFi Paradise in Flamingo”. The top ten players who succeeded in the challenge received 35 NEO rewards in total.
  • 29th October, Da Hongfei joined Fabio Canesin on the seventh episode of Nash’s Beyond the Chain podcast to chat about the waves of decentralized finance, liquidity, token incentives, and more.

Ecosystem Growth

October saw exciting progress across Neo’s DeFi projects, with Switcheo, Nash, and Flamingo Finance each delivering on noteworthy items. 

Nash kicked off the month with the launch of its new liquidity mining program that offered a pool of 20,000 NEX tokens per week to users who trade above certain volumes on its exchange. The campaign was successful, leading to a 1000% rise in exchange volume compared to September. Nash followed up with the launch of Nash Link, a new payment service that allows merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrency and have it settled to fiat. It is designed to serve the same purpose as user-friendly payment services such as Paypal or Stripe. However, it goes a step further with its focus on blockchain-based payments, cutting out middlemen and enabling faster cross-border payments at a significantly reduced cost. Nash’s payment solution takes care of all blockchain integration for its users. Digital assets are received from customers, directly converted to USDC on the Nash Exchange, and then settled with merchants directly in national currencies.

Switcheo took a big step forward with the launch of the TradeHub governance module, shifting decision making on products from the Switcheo Foundation to SWTH token holders. Switcheo anticipates the new governance model to become an integral part of TradeHub as it expands its product offerings. For example, users can propose new spot or derivatives markets with any underlying asset on the Switcheo Exchange in a permissionless manner. Votes are held through TradeHub Improvement Proposals, of which two have already been held.

Finally, Flamingo Finance realized its Swap module, an on-chain automated market maker powered exchange. Swap also ushered in the second phase of Flamingo’s FLM token distribution schedule. Swap is a simple to use on-chain exchange that allows traders to swap one token for another. It relies on its users to provide liquidity, which involves depositing token pairs into pools, creating an abundant supply for traders to exchange tokens against. Liquidity providers are compensated for their contributions through the distribution of trading fees and provided with LP tokens that can be redeemed at any time for their underlying contribution. The LP tokens can also be staked in Flamingo’s vault in return for FLM rewards. At the time of writing, Swap markets had combined liquidity of over US $180,000,000.

More ecosystem growth progress can be found below:

  • 1st October, Nash began offering a weekly reward pool of 20,000 NEX to users who trade on its exchange. The rewards pool is split between maker and taker volume at 10,000 NEX each.
  • 2nd October, NGD hosted an AMA on the Flamingo Finance Discord channel with NEXT co-founder, Edison, to share what the team learned from the FLM Mint Rush. In the AMA, Edison discussed the history of NEXT, the team’s vision for the NeoLine wallet, issues that caused NeoLine to fail on the first day of the Mint Rush, future blockchain and hardware integration, and more.
  • 4th October, 493,540 FLM tokens minted before the Mint Rush pause were re-distributed to eligible addresses, in accordance with the previously laid out rules.
  • 5th October, Flamingo Swap launched with liquidity mining for FLM.
  • 8th October, TranslateMe started live beta-testing its Marketplace, a web-based portal that allows users to contribute translation suggestions and receive TMN rewards. The launch included support for its German and French language models.
  • 15th Oct, John Wang joined in episode 42 of the NNT podcast and discussed how the NGD EcoGrowth department uses its relationships to connects projects by providing resources to support developers and projects.
  • 15th October, Switcheo launched its governance functionality on Tradehub, allowing users to create TradeHub Improvement Proposals and vote via Tradescan. The first TIP vote was completed on October 17th.
  • 14th October, Nash launched its Nash Link service, allowing merchants to accept cryptocurrency as payment and have it settled in fiat.
  • 22nd October, Switcheo upgraded its SWTH token smart contract to transition to an inflationary token economic model. 
  • 26th October, Distributed cloud computing platform Ankr has announced support for Neo blockchain nodes. The integration provides an easy way for developers and enterprise customers to access the Neo network and connect it to their own applications.

#Monthly Report