Oasis Engineering Update November 2022

The engineering team has more updates about the work completed in November.

The continuing work on the Oasis Wallet — Web saw version 1.4 released last month with improvements to usability, security, and performance. There was also an important security update for the Oasis Wallet - Browser Extension.

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The overall network health remains good, with Emerald and Cipher ParaTimes experiencing no downtime and Sapphire ParaTime running steadily on the Testnet. Emerald also saw a daily peak of 22,594 transactions on 8 November, a 20% increase from October’s peak.

There are many other improvements and fixes to the developer and core platform, as well as several Testnet highlights and statistics for November.

Read more in-depth updates below!

Wallet Updates

In November, a new release of the Oasis Wallet — Web was made, version 1.4. A number of UI improvements were introduced which improved usability, security and performance. A lot of work was also put into internal testing framework refactoring which now uses Playwright for end-to-end tests. Feel free to give the new version a spin at wallet.oasisprotocol.org! Most notable additions:

  • Multiple accounts derived from mnemonic: add pagination to import account flow (#1124, #1142, #1141)
  • Fix extension WebUSB permission issue (#1079)
  • Disable Google Translate on displayed account addresses (#1144)
  • Split commission bound entries into rows (#1150)
  • Fix modals scrolling to top on every selection (#1157)
  • Prevent browsers from writing sensitive form inputs to user data (#1171)
  • Implement ParaTimes transfers, but hide it for now (#992)
  • ParaTimes: increase test coverage around components (#1114)
  • Playwright E2E test extension popup gets state from background page (#1128)
  • Move route address validation from AccountPage into routes (#1145)

64 pull requests were merged in November.

An important security update was released for Oasis Wallet — Browser Extension. Version 1.8.1 fixes a potential vulnerability where a browser caches sensitive information unencrypted on the disk of the fields which the user filled in the past for future autocompletion. If you’ve installed your Oasis Wallet — Browser Extension through the Chrome Web Store, your wallet has already been automatically updated.

Network Updates

Throughout November, the Emerald and Cipher ParaTimes were stable both on Mainnet and Testnet. Sapphire has not been deployed on Mainnet yet, but is running without major issues on Testnet. No downtimes or other incidents have been reported.

Testnet saw increased Sapphire compute and key manager nodes deployments. We want to further encourage potential node operators and dApp developers to learn about Oasis and join our ecosystem! Follow our documentation on how to set up your own validator and ParaTime compute node, test the network and report any issues back to us.

Mainnet highlights

  • Emerald on Mainnet saw the daily peak of 22594 transactions on 8 November which is a 20% increase from October (18827 on 13 October). On average, there were roughly 9k transactions daily, seeing a further decline from October (14k transactions).

Statistics as of 30 Nov 2022:

  • 120 validator nodes
  • 54 Emerald ParaTime compute nodes
  • 27 Cipher ParaTime compute nodes

Testnet highlights

  • Testnet saw three successful non-breaking upgrades of the Oasis Core minor versions, namely 22.2.1 on Nov 7, 22.2.2 on Nov 18, and 22.2.3 on Nov 23.
  • A non-breaking upgrade to the new minor release of Sapphire ParaTime 0.2.1 was performed on Testnet on Nov 23.
  • On 12 November, Sapphire on Testnet had a peak of 165 daily confidential transactions (down from 1.7k transactions at the end of the Oasis Sapphire Hackathon in October) when we performed a series of tests for the new Sapphire Hardhat example running in the browser. Read more about the Sapphire Hardhat browser support in the documentation section below. In the rest of November, no major community Sapphire-related events occurred, so there were only about 66 daily transactions on average in November (down from 575 avg. daily transactions in October).

Statistics as of 30 Nov 2022:

  • 44 validator nodes
  • 16 Cipher ParaTime compute nodes
  • 32 Emerald ParaTime compute nodes
  • 6 Sapphire ParaTime compute nodes
  • 6 key manager nodes

Developer Platform and Paratime Updates

In the Sapphire ParaTime, the new pending block tag was added which allows you to fetch all transactions that will be included in the next block (0d4ba11608). A new example based on the hardhat-boilerplate was also added with support for the browser frontend (#73). See the documentation additions below to learn more. A new 0.2.1-testnet release was made and it is already live on Testnet. A total of 4 pull requests have merged into the Sapphire ParaTime in October.

A new release of Emerald Web3 Gateway3.2.0-rc1 — was released. It is compiled with the new Oasis Core 22.2.x branch and Sapphire ParaTime 0.2.x. Other fixes were mostly minor dependency bumps. In November, we merged 8 pull requests.

Work on the Oasis Indexer continued steadily:

  • Two important rounding fixes were merged and new data structures were added for Emerald contract transactions handling.
  • Next, we’ve improved consistency and integrity testing to ensure the Indexer works correctly.
  • Many cycles were also spent on speeding up and parallelizing reindexing, since this is common in this stage of development.
  • A survey on existing services for verifying EVM smart contracts was made and we are working on adding Emerald and Sapphire chains to the sourcify.eth service in the future. 15 PRs have been merged.

Two chapters were added to our Documentation:

  • The Sapphire Browser Support will show you how to write dApps for Sapphire where the transactions are signed and submitted in the web browser.
  • The Key Manager Policy Signing chapter collects useful commands for the committee members that will verify and sign the new key manager policies on important upgrades.

Additionally, when a dark theme is used we now inject a bright background behind the images. This way, we temporarily solved the issue of the diagrams without the background not having readable text when enabling the dark theme. We also did some housekeeping and bumped Docusaurus to the latest version 2.2.0 and fixed links pointing to non-existent external sites. A total of 17 pull requests have been merged.

Core Platform Updates

Three maintenance updates for Oasis Core were released in November: 22.2.1, 22.2.2 and 22.2.3. Currently, the 22.2.x branch is live on Testnet and users are encouraged to update their nodes. When the release will be proven safe and stable, we will announce the adoption on the Mainnet.

The new ADR 20 was accepted in November which proposes additions to the existing governance voting protocol introduced in ADR 4. Currently, the validators vote on behalf of their delegators. This ADR overrides this so that anyone can vote depending on their stake regardless of being in the validator set or not. Such voting can cause performance degradation though and this ADR provides a number of benchmarks and viable implementation proposals.

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