December 14, 2020BLOG

Neo Monthly Report - November 2020

By NGD


November saw the completion of some major Neo3 features, as the core development team inched ever forward towards Preview4 and progression to Neo3 TestNet. All governance and economics PRs were merged, following extensive testing in the month prior, which resulted in several fixes and optimizations. Significant progress was also made towards finalizing the Oracle implementation and changes associated with state-related logic. 

Another noteworthy development was the introduction of NEP-17 - A new token standard for Neo3. NEP-17 inherits most of the same methods from NEP-5 with several new improvements, such as the onPayment method, which enables contracts to react to a transfer and automatically handle or reject it.

Meanwhile, Neo's community development groups followed the progress of Neo3 closely. Neo SPCC's NeoGo, COZ's Mamba, NeoTracker's NEO-ONE, and AxLabs' neow3j are just a few projects keeping up with Neo3 and implementing support as new features are finalized. 

NGD Enterprise's Blockchain Toolkit for VS Code also received several enhancements to support the Neo3 preview releases, including private network Oracle support for Neo Express and improved invoke/view flows for the Visual DevTracker.

For regular users, explorers Dora and NeoTube underwent further preparations to provide an easy Neo3 browsing experience, and work continued readying the NeoLine and Neon wallets for the new network.

With the help of Neo's communities, developers and users alike can hope to have a first-class experience upon the launch of Neo3.

Neo3 Preview4 is currently planned to be the final preview release before TestNet. As we move into the final month of the year, both the Neo core development team and Neo's network of global communities are working daily to achieve this goal.

The full November Neo global monthly report can be found below.

Protocol Development

Neo3 Progress

Over the course of November, the Neo core development team concluded its work regarding the governance & economical model logic and applied a series of optimizations and fixes across various core repositories. Development of the state root and oracle services has also entered the final stage as Neo moves ever closer towards the official Neo3 Testnet launch.

Neo3 Preview4, the last build before the final Testnet, has been delayed slightly as the team looks to solve pending incompatibilities whilst leaving adequate time for testing before the release. More detailed information about the current progress on Preview4 can be found here.

Governance & Economic Model

All PRs related to governance and economics were merged in November, marking the completion of these components for Neo3. The changes included a number of fixes and optimizations, particularly in terms of GAS reward distribution. 

These rewards have been rebalanced in order to better cover operational expenses for committee members.

Following the modifications:

  • Users who vote for the top 21 nodes are assigned 80% of GAS block rewards in proportion to their relative vote weights:
    • voters who vote for every consensus node will receive 2/28 of the GAS rewards for this part, whilst,
    • voters who vote for every non-consensus node will receive 1/28.
  • Committee members will split 10%;
  • The remaining 10% is distributed across all NEO holders.

StateRoot

The proposal to use the Merkle Patricia trie to only store the latest state (#1996) has now been thoroughly tested, intended to improve TPS and reduce node storage requirements. Following core team discussions, this change and other state related logic was detached from the core and migrated to neo-modules (#408, #410, #414).

Oracle

The Oracle service implementation for Neo3 is nearing completion. Over the past month, the development team focused on a PR that will move the service to neo-modules (#326), applying several bug fixes and other enhancements in the process. 

Infrastructure Impact

November also saw the introduction of a new token standard, NEP-17 (#2024). NEP-17 provides a new onPayment method to replace the payable check in a deployed contract. If the recipient of a token transfer is a deployed contract, it will call the onPayment method, allowing it to react to the transfer and automatically handle or reject it accordingly. The new standard inherits most of the same methods from NEP-5, which it replaces, except the name method, which has been removed and is now included in the contract manifest for all contracts. 

Other noteworthy changes include an increase in the MaxValidUntilBlockIncrement to 5760 (#2042), which is approximately 24 hours, and the move of MaxTraceableBlocks to the protocol configuration with a default value 2102400, or approximately 365 days. Additionally, UInt160, UInt256, and ECPoint were added to the SmartContract Framework (#362), alongside two interop services, System.Binary.Itoa & System.Binary.Atoi (#2043), which serve to convert BigInteger types to String and the inverse.

The client can now also add services via the plugin system (#2068), for example, ConsoleService could be added to the system in order to allow plugins to access the console. Finally, several integer cast types have been implemented, such as short, ushort, byte, and sbyte (#380).

Infrastructure and Tools Development

November Highlights

Flamingo

Launched the Flamincome DAO and token, and added the new SWTH/nNEO trading pair to the Flamingo Swap module.

COZ 

Upgraded Neon wallet and Mamba with new functionality, and began work on atomic swap and NEP-17 token contract examples in Python. 

NEO Tracker 

Improved on the NEO•ONE v3.0 release with bug fixes to node storage and RPC services, ensuring consistency with the core implementation.

AxLabs

Added exception, try-catch-finally, and event support to its compiler, and implemented a reference implementation of a NEP-11 compliant NFT contract.

NEXT 

Deployed a new blockchain browser for Neo3, and rolled out new NeoLine wallet versions with Neo3 TestNet support.

Neo SPCC 

Rolled out several NeoFS improvements, began deploying CDN components for public testing, and continued to update NeoGo’s Neo3 version.

Red4Sec 

Shifted focus from its ongoing Neo3 codebase audit to a security assessment for the upcoming Preview4 release.

NGD Enterprise

Previewed the new "Fractal Debugging" experience with debugging support for Oracle and future cross-chain transaction scenarios. 

Project Milestones

DeFi

Flamingo Finance by NGD

Throughout November, the team focused on the development of governance components and other platform optimizations for the Flamincome and Flamingo platforms. Flamincome saw the release of its governance token FLAG, and the launch of the included DAO for Ethereum-based voting. The Flamincome team is now working on a solution to restore n-asset price pegging, intended to solve the current price discrepancy between n-assets and the original assets. 

On the Flamingo side, the Swap module was updated to introduce the new SWTH/nNEO trading pair and FLM rewards for its liquidity provision. Finally, the team also announced the upcoming Perp Trading Competition to accompany its beta launch.

Node

NeoGo by Neo SPCC

Neo SPCC closely followed the core C# node implementation during November, implementing all Neo3 updates into the Go node. Changes include the addition of a transaction retransmission mechanism, batched JSON-RPC request support, and a P2P notary native contract to provide a signature collection service. The team also integrated manifest checks into the compiler for NEP-17 compliance and added an in-header state root protocol option.

Explorer & Monitor

Dora by COZ

Through November, COZ made significant development progress on the integration of Neo3 into Dora. Changes were accompanied by a backend overhaul designed to meet the service’s performance and scaling needs, and work is underway on a Neoscan API alignment, in preparation for its end of life.

NeoTube by NEXT

November saw the release of a new NeoTube version by NEXT, specifically developed for the Neo3 blockchain. The new version (https://neo3.neotube.io/) includes a dedicated token page and detailed transaction breakdowns including signers, witness information, notifications, and other standard information.

Smart Contract Compiler

Boa by COZ

COZ continued to work on its Python compiler through November, introducing a number of new features required by new example contracts currently under development. These include an atomic swap contract example and a template for the new NEP-17 token standard.

neow3j by AxLabs

November saw the release of Neow3j v3.5.0, bringing a range of improvements to AxLabs' compiler for Java contracts. Support for exception throwing and try-catch-finally blocks has been completed, in addition to supporting for smart contract events. The team is now attempting to provide a reference implementation for a NEP-11 compliant non-fungible token contract, written in Java.

SDK

neow3j by AxLabs

Neow3j v3.5.0 also brought small fixes and improvements to the SDK. A check for invalid decimals in token transfers was added, and the return types of the Any and InteropInterface stack items have been corrected. AxLabs is closely following the development of Neo3 Preview4 and continuing to adapt its tools accordingly.

Neon.js by COZ

The Neon.js library underwent miscellaneous refactoring, intended to replace the previous "quick implementation" of various components with a more permanent and maintainable format.

Mamba by COZ

In November, work on the interop layer was completed for the Mamba SDK, which has been tested with the Preview3 build. A new version will be released in the near future, prior to the Preview4 release, which itself will be followed with another patch in order to correct any breaking changes.

Smart Contract & dApp framework

NEO•ONE by NEO Tracker

Building on from the NEO•ONE v3.0 release, which was unveiled at the end of October, November saw the Neo Tracker team rolling out several bug fixes to the release. Updates to token transfer and balance storages and various RPC methods ensure that calls now return the expected information and data types. Application log data has also been added to the node, giving access to more detailed contact information, and the team is now working on the client APIs to handle end-user interaction with it.

The team reports significant progress towards the v3.0.1 milestone, which will include both the client and CLI updates for Neo3 and allow users to run local private networks. This release will primarily focus on bug fixing, aiming to achieve consistency with the official C# node implementation.

Neo Debugger by NGD Enterprise

In November, NGD Enterprise continued to iterate on components included in its blockchain toolkit for VS Code. The Neo Smart Contract Debugger was updated with enhancements to support the preview release, and the Neo Express module received private network Oracle support. The Visual DevTracker also saw new improvements focused on developer experience, improving invoke/view flows and other changes to support the next Neo3 preview release.

Wallet

Neon by COZ

November saw the release of a new Neon wallet version, v2.6, including major dependency updates, automatic over-the-air update support, and a redesign for both light and dark themes. The release was followed by patch v2.6.1, which expands the block explorer options, adds new nodes to the RPC list, and corrects a bug that prevented multiple Switcheo tokens from being sent.

NeoLine by NEXT

NEXT continued to progress on the Neo3 versions of the NeoLine wallet. For the mobile wallet, optimizations to the Neo3 TestNet module and the addition of an address book and message center are hoped to improve the user experience following the Neo3 Testnet launch. The Chrome plugin was also updated with complete multi-chain support and interface adjustments to accommodate them. Finally, NeoLine’s backend service was updated to improve asset exchange rates, the notification system, and to solve various bugs.

NeoFS 

NeoFS by Neo SPCC

NeoFS core saw a number of improvements in November. Neo SPCC implemented a new Blob storage engine for better efficiency for large and small objects and added a new Metabase with index support for fast operations such as SEARCH and HEAD. 

SSD write cache support has now also been implemented, in addition to a new Netmap query language parser. The network’s governance scheme received updates in accordance with Neo discussions, and a number of new NeoFS CLI features have been rolled out. 

External services also received updates, particularly those that involve the CDN components. Test coverage has been completed for the CDN SDK toolkit, and integration testing has been set up. The HTTP and S3 gates have now been completely integrated into CDN; components are currently being deployed for real world environment testing.

Miscellaneous

Auditing by Red4Sec

The team’s persistent Neo3 core audit has reached 80% coverage. The upcoming Preview4 release is currently undergoing evaluation for any security defects.

Marketing and Operations

Throughout November, the marketing team focused on ramping up preparations leading to the launch of Neo3 Preview4 and the TestNet. Personally, I am very excited about the upcoming launch of Neo3 Preview 4, which marks the addition of several key features:  built-in Oracle, governance mechanism, and token economics, as well as an improved NEP-17 standard as an NEP-5 upgrade. 

I believe these new features are indispensable elements of Neo3’s ambition to build a “straight out-of-box” full-stack blockchain experience. We are working on a major revamp of the official website to highlight major changes in Neo3 to the community. The team is also planning for several online activities to provide the community chances to communicate face to face with our Neo3 developers. 

On the other hand, the Flamingo team decided to postpone the launch of Perp to mid-December to take time to conduct extensive testing and optimization. We want to take a more cautious approach towards launching the product, and the team will be hosting a trading competition along with the beta launch.

- Yuan Gao, Marketing Director at NGD

  • 1st November, Da Hongfei, joined Nash’s Beyond the Chain podcast to discuss how decentralized finance has entered a new era as digital currencies increasingly become an internationally accepted product. Da and Nash co-founder, Fabio Canesin, shared their perspectives on the current wave of DeFi and how they’re navigating its waters.

  • 4th November, Flamingo Finance and O3 Labs co-hosted an Ask Me Anything event and offered FLM rewards to participants. O3 Labs discussed integrating support for Bitcoin and Ethereum across its mobile and web-based wallets, while the Flamingo team talked about preparations to launch its DAO governance module. The AMA took place in the #o3-ama channel of the Flamingo Finance Discord server.

  • 5th November, Da Hongfei, spoke on an online panel at Hong Kong Fintech Week about how blockchain can accelerate fintech development.

  • 13th November, John Wang participated in an Ask Me Anything alongside Yuan Tan, Tech Lead for Poly Network and Henry Ma, Chief Technology Officer of the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN). The AMA was held to highlight the recent integration of Poly Network’s new Poly Enterprise into BSN to facilitate cross-chain transactions.

  • 19th November, Da Hongfei, participated in an interview with Blockchain.News’ Sarah Tran to discuss the future of blockchain and the digital economy. Da addressed the development of blockchain in China and Neo’s partnership with the Blockchain-based Service Network.

  • 20th November, NGD hosted an Ask Me Anything on Neo’s official Telegram group with members from Neo St. Petersburg Competence Center, who offered an in-depth overview of the NeoFS decentralized cloud platform and how it differs from competitors. The Neo SPCC participants included CTO, Anatoly Bogatyrev, CIO, Stanislav Bogatyrev, and software engineer, Alexey Vanin. In the AMA, the trio talked about NeoFS’s architecture and functionality and answered questions from the community.

  • 22nd November, Da Hongfei shared his take on how COVID-19 has affected the crypto space in a CoinTelegraph article: “By revealing the weaknesses of our current paradigm, COVID-19 also highlighted the urgent need for blockchain technology. ”

Ecosystem Growth

With holiday seasons around the corner, Neo’s ecosystem projects are still working hard to put a perfect ending to the year. 

After securing a US $1.2 million second-round funding led by DeFinance Capital, Switcheo launched the Switcheo Development Fund. The initiative is designed to encourage ecosystem developers to build new decentralized technologies and was passed as a TradeHub Improvement Proposal by the community. Moreover, the SWTH/nNEO pair was listed on Flamingo Swap, and we are happy to see the entire ecosystem growing in synergy to create more value and use cases for the Neo blockchain. We look forward to more collaboration between Neo and Switcheo in expanding our developer ecosystem.

On the NFT front, GhostMarket is about to roll out a very innovative platform - mint shops. These mint shops will allow artists, musicians and game creators to create their own NFTs. As an advancement to current NFT technologies, the mint shops will enable creators to build nested NFTs by embedding other digital assets.

- John Wang, EcoGrowth Director at NGD

  • 5th Nov, Switcheo secured investment in a US $1.2 million strategic raise led by DeFiance Capital. This round was joined by Three Arrows Capital, Digital Assets Capital Management, DeFi Capital and MXC Exchange.

  • 11th Nov, Translateme.Network completed its third working machine translation model for testing: English to Russian. With the beta launch of TranslateMe Market in October 2020, the platform already has over 2,000 contributors.

  • 18th Nov, Nash rolled out an update to its wallet system, allowing signatures to be generated using secure multi-party computation tools. It enables users to define their own security settings for the platform to enforce, such as whitelisting certain addresses, setting withdrawal limits, or disabling certain functionality such as trading. 

  • 23rd Nov, Nash revealed Nash Link Invoice, a new service that allows contractors to utilize the Nash Link platform to generate invoices, accept payments in cryptocurrency, and have the funds settled in fiat.

  • 25th Nov, The Switcheo community passed a governance proposal to activate the Switcheo Development Fund, designed to encourage community infrastructure development.

  • Cross-chain NFT marketplace, GhostMarket, is ready to roll out NFT mint shops on Neo and other blockchains. 


#Monthly Report