BLOG February 2, 2024

Neo Launches the Neo X Alpha TestNet

Following the launch of the Pre-Alpha Version of Neo X TestNet, today, Neo is excited to launch the Alpha Version of Neo X TestNet.

We have added multiple key enhancements to the TestNet to improve its performance and user experience. The Alpha Version introduces stability improvements such as multiple nodes for consensus. We have also introduced an interoperability layer from Neo N3 TestNet to Neo X TestNet, allowing token migration for users looking to initiate their building on Neo X TestNet.

Experienced Web3 developers are warmly welcomed to join our Early-Access Group. Together, we will test its capacity and work closely with the Neo core development team to co-build the future.

The features of the current version and testing details are explained below.

Introducing multi-nodes with enhancements to the consensus module

The Alpha Version of the Neo X TestNet has been launched on seven consensus nodes, with a minimum of five out of the seven nodes (5/7) required to reach an agreement on block validity, as determined by the dBFT consensus mechanism. There’s a set of consensus module improvements compared to the previously deployed Pre-Alpha version:

  • Consensus module stability enhancements including reliable multi-nodes consensus and proper module shutdown.
  • Reworked RPC API methods provided by dBFT engine.
  • Better consensus mechanism consistency provided by transaction requesting functionality.
  • Adapted the block coinbase and difficulty fields to provide more useful Neo X specific data related to governance and consensus stability.

Bridge from Neo N3 TestNet to Neo X TestNet:

The Alpha Version of Neo X TestNet introduces the interoperability layer as a cornerstone feature. The interoperability layer primarily functions to seamlessly transfer tokens and data between Neo N3 (NeoVM) and Neo X (EVM). We achieve this integration through a ‘native bridge,’ a term that highlights the embedding of contracts and functionalities at Neo X genesis as a precompile, integrating them as essential parts of the network’s foundation. Key highlights of the native bridge for Alpha TestNet include:

  • Decoupled architecture: bridge validators and relayers have different roles and operate separately, targeting enhanced security.
  • Seven bridge validators: ensure the validity of token/data transfers (signing and verifying), using the concept of an Ordered Binary Hash Chain data structure.
  • While only GAS is supported at this stage, we plan to support other tokens/data in the future.
  • Initial version of a bridge dApp.

Join the Early-Access Group to test Neo X

Today, around a month after Neo unveiled the Pre-Alpha Version, the response has been overwhelming: More than 30,000 developers and users have already expressed interest in joining the testing phase. The Neo team appreciates the high level of interest, and we have invited a select group of developers to the Early-Access Group, where they are actively participating in testing and co-building alongside the Neo core development team.

As we transition to the Alpha Version of the TestNet, we will maintain continuity with the same Early-Access Group for seamless communication. If you are an experienced developer eager to explore the Neo X TestNet, we invite you to apply for early access opportunities here. After approval, you will be invited to join this group, which is exclusively for early testers. Your valuable feedback and insights will be instrumental in shaping the future trajectory of Neo X.

We also want to emphasize two key points:

1. At this stage of development, TestNet exploration is most beneficial for seasoned developers. It provides a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with Neo’s core developers, fostering new inspirations for innovation. In line with this intention, not all applications will be approved at this stage of development. For non-developer users, please stay tuned and know that your input will be welcomed and needed in the future: We will open the version for public participation in later iterations.

2. All data on the TestNet will be erased as the TestNet iterates to a higher version in the future. Please store data at your discretion, solely for testing purposes, as it may be lost during upgrades.

Thank you once again for your interest in Neo X! Together, we look forward to a future where NeoVM and EVM stand side by side, both equally vital to shaping the future of the Smart Economy.

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