Aleph Zero Blog
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Aleph Zero Monthly Update: Smart Contracts and Validators 

Aug 14, 2022

With 670 smart contracts deployed on our testnet and 70 community validators setting up their nodes, July was pretty intense not only for our dev team but—perhaps more importantly—for the Aleph Zero community. 

Testnet Open For Community Validators 

After months of careful planning and development, we finally reached a major milestone in decentralizing the Aleph Zero blockchain—we opened the Testnet for validators from our community. It required a lot of work on three separate fronts: 

  • Preparing the mechanisms enabling the committee rotation itself, mainly the original election and rewards mechanism, which keeps the rewards fair and proportional to the validator stake. It was essential for us to come up with a mechanism that fairly rewards both bigger and smaller validators and doesn’t incentivize stake merging/splitting. We believe this to be crucial for a healthy and decentralized ecosystem;
  • Securing the chain—the more control over the chain we give away, the harder it will be to coordinate both repairs (in case something goes wrong on the chain) and chain updates. In order to safely advance to the current phase, we added an additional mechanism for node crash recovery and finalization recovery in the event of multiple validator failures. Changes were also made to the network layer. The team introduced an interim node update mechanism; 
  • Preparing materials and onboarding guidelines for the validators themselves—this may come as a surprise, but the Testnet environment is even more challenging in this regard than the mainnet, as it requires an additional Sybil protection mechanism (on the mainnet, the necessity of staking AZERO serves as sufficient Sybil protection). Introducing these security features is a delicate balancing act as we want to keep the network as permissionless as possible. 

Other Technical Improvements 

Besides the introduction of the validator mechanism on the Testnet, the development team also managed to improve and refine several crucial features. Here are some of the changes enacted in the last month: 

  • We improved the AlephBFT consensus implementation by changing the mechanism for unit dissemination, which resulted in lowering the consensus-specific bandwidth usage fivefold;
  • Our internal onboarding learning materials have been thoroughly redesigned, and as a result, we’ll soon start working on releasing these materials to a broader audience interested in learning Rust and Substrate;
  • The code required for Aleph Zero’s integration with Ledger is finished and is currently being tested internally.

AZERO Listed on Huobi

Starting July 19th, 2022, it became possible to trade AZERO on the Huobi Global cryptocurrency exchange—it’s an incredible milestone both for the team behind Aleph Zero as well as our amazing community! Huobi Global services tens of millions of users worldwide across multiple sectors, including enterprise and public blockchains, digital assets trading, cryptocurrency wallets, and industry research. The Huobi team is dedicated to providing safe, professional, trustworthy, and world-class services to its global clients in an effort to create a client-first culture.

DRKVRS: A Dark Metaverse To Be Built on Aleph Zero

We are excited to announce that Aleph Zero is partnering with the DRKVRS initiative to bring an imaginative, mythologically rich metaverse to the broader crypto space. The team behind Aleph Zero will collaborate with an executive producer of an Oscar-nominated animation, award-winning science fiction writers, and experienced game designers to deliver a new metaverse, DRKVRS, and reimagine what the future of the metaverse will look like.

We are incredibly excited that the team behind DRKVRS has decided to contact Aleph Zero as they begin their journey into building their Web3 reality and utilizing the network’s architecture and the upcoming privacy-enhancing features. DRKVRS development aligns with Aleph Zero’s roadmap for the next two years. With bridges to other networks being designed and built as you’re reading this, DRKVRS users will benefit from enhanced liquidity, and the interchain privacy component will make the broader experience truly unique. 

Gatenox Concludes $2.5m Seed Round

Not only do we want to celebrate our own successes but also those of our partners. It is with great pleasure that we announce that Aleph Zero’s ecosystem developer Gatenox has just concluded a $2.5m seed round. The fundraising round was spearheaded by the C3 VC fund, A100x ventures, and angel investors like Matthew Niemerg and Antoni Zolciak. Gatenox’s mission is to provide solutions that will provide a new generation of decentralized identity wallets that will allow exchanges, applications, Web 3.0 services, as well as fintechs and banks to integrate a seamless, near-zero cost, instant Know-Your-Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) processes. Additionally, users who do decide to share their data with a third party through Gatenox will be able to profit from this activity.

Aleph Zero To Sponsor Web3 Conferences

Aleph Zero is going on tour in the upcoming months, with the team bringing their presence and message to several conferences across Europe. We are extremely excited by the fact that the Aleph Zero Foundation has decided to sponsor several of the upcoming events, including being one of the main partners of Infobip Shift 2022 alongside such names as Near, T-Mobile, Rapyd, VMWare, and Docker. 

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