After six months of design, development, and testing, the QuarkChain Testnet 1.0 is officially launching today (July 7th, 2018). QuarkChain's promise of high throughput, decentralization, security, and scalability are all demonstrated in this testnet. We hope that this product filled with the team’s hard work and sincerity can bring surprises to community members who have always supported us.
The core of QuarkChain technology is sharding. On this special day of launching our live testnet, we would first like to review the achievements and difficulties of the Sharding technology.
The general public in the Blockchain industry pays much more attention to technology than those in the traditional IT industry. Sharding techniques, which have long been integrated into the traditional IT field, give people a misguided illusion of “innovation” due to the recent popularity in Blockchain.
Actually, the sharding technology in the centralized world is actually very mature and ubiquitous. Nowadays, people are enjoying the benefits of the sharding technology regularly, which is one of the core technologies to support Google search or the social network on Facebook. With the sharding technology, Google is able to service over 1 billion searches every day, and Facebook has 1.5 billion daily active users. (The capacity is much larger. However, large companies generally do not disclose their peak system processing power). Compared with these figures, the number of users and transactions in the Blockchain industry is very small. Thus, our team has been trying to emphasize one thing: without starting from scratch, we should stand on the shoulders of technology giants like Google and Facebook to take the performance of blockchains into a whole new level by adopting the already mature sharding technology.
Still remember the days that we could only visit websites by memorizing website addresses or going through Web Portals before we had Google search. Why? This leads to the discussion on the difficulty of scalability and Sharding technology. People have already realized that the maximum information stored on a single machine is limited. Regardless of how frequent the hardware upgrades are, it still can't cope with the speed of the information explosion. The idea of distributing massive amounts of information on a massive number of machines is straightforward, but it is not easy to coordinate all these machines. How would one keep the overall system corrected whilst state changes in multiple shards? How would one coordinate information exchanged across shards? How to recover the system if a node handling a shard crashes? And many other similar questions and challenges still exist. Even after many years of explorations, the IT giants still have to rely on their rich experience and resources to keep their lead in the technology. Start-ups in traditional industries are often discouraged by this technology barrier and tend to use third-party solutions.
The blockchain industry is still in its early stages. Our team has the technical expertise of the traditional technology industry, and we firmly believe that the already mature Sharding technology will bring a leap in performance to the public chain. On the other hand, we deeply believe that it is easier to say than to do. It is our team’s hard work throughout sleepless nights and endless days that lead to the successful launch of the Testnet, and we promise to continue to do so for the long-term advancement of QuarkChain.
Testnet parameters overview
No. of Shards: 256
No. of Clusters: 50
Cluster Structure: 1 root node, 128 shard nodes (root nodes are responsible for handling and storing of cross-shard transactions)
Total nodes in the network: 6450 = 129 x 50 (distributed amongst East/West America, Asia, Europe, etc.)
Peak TPS: 10,000+
Testnet：https://testnet.quarkchain.io/ (We will officially launch testnet on July 9th, 2018)
Although this is only a Testnet, we did not make any compromise in functionality and performance. In the stress test, we used realistic simulation features including, but not limited to, a large number of wallet accounts, real transaction verification, P2P implementation, and cross-regional deployment. Except for not using real tokens, this is very close to a real test of the chain. We are confident that this milestone of the testnet going live has laid a solid foundation for the release of our mainnet later this year.
During the stress test of the testnet, we will initiate transactions through 12,000 different wallet accounts on each shard, and randomly send them to another account and shard. This means that there will be more than 3,000,000 accounts on the entire network, equivalent to the entire population of Mongolia, trading at the same time on QuarkChain. Each transaction on this test is exactly identical to a real transaction, as it needs to be verified by a signature. This version of the test network can process all 3,000,000 transactions in about 6 minutes. In Ethereum, the same amount of trading takes about two days to complete.
We will automatically launch stress tests periodically in the first week of the publishing the Testnet, where you can experience the speed of QuarkChain in real time on the website.
Alongside the release of the Testnet is the Beta version of our Wallet feature. The user can check their account QKC balance, conduct transactions, and set the price and upper limit of the Gas in the transaction. More smart wallet features will be presented to everyone in future releases.
We want to provide developers with an effortless migration experience. Given that Ethereum is currently the most widely used smart contract deployment platform, QuarkChain was designed to be compatible with Ethereum Smart Contracts, allowing users to deploy smart contracts with only one click. We’ve provided more detailed instructions and examples on how to do so in the Testnet user interface.
- The Blockchain Explorer supports the following information lookups:
- Root Blocks (includes confirmation of information in Minor Blocks)
- Minor Blocks (includes confirmation of transactions)
- Transaction information
- Account information (including transaction history)
The testnet supports the dynamic addition and removal of clusters. We dynamically display the cluster deployment of the testnet and the P2P network connection on the Network Topology graph, color-coded according to the node’s location.
The testnet is a solid step towards the main network, but it is definitely not the last step. In the following few months, we will continue to improve the system to make QuarkChain safer, more reliable and easier to use. We would like to say thank you from the depths of our heart to our community and investors for their long-standing support and trust, and we are eager to share our journey of creating history in QuarkChain.
We will start distributing QKC coins on the test network for testing in a week (7.15), and the specific distribution plan will be announced shortly afterward.
We will open the JSON RPC port and documentation at the end of July, and developers can access the test network by calling the JSON RPC.
Everyone is welcome to report bugs to [email protected], where we will reward the corresponding QKC according to the severity of the bug if the bug is confirmed and follows our report policy (e.g., the first instance of the bug).
Thank you for reading this testnet overview! The QuarkChain community appreciates your support!