On November 7 around 3 PM PDT we rolled out a new beta release.
We're aware that since our last major deployment on Nov. 1 that block times have been less than ideal. That release did a much better job of distributing PoC request/receipt pairs, which allowed more of them to complete, but at the cost of nearly continual overdue blocks (the target block interval is 60 seconds). To ameliorate this problem, this release includes a new process, which we call the validation sidecar, that allows validation of requests to proceed in parallel to the progress of the consensus protocol. This should improve the block times quite a bit, and since it can validate more than one transaction at time should allow still more PoC receipt transactions to complete.
We're still working on version two of our PoC system, which radically decreases the cost of production and validation of receipt transactions, and should allow many more of them to complete, increasing our insight into hotspot placement and spreading PoC rewards more evenly throughout the hotspot ownership.
Update: During the beta, a few bugs were discovered and fixed.
- Validation Sidecar: As described above, this change allows us to validate transactions in an asynchronous way, which should lead to improved block times. PRs: miner/245, blockchain-core/285
- Metadata Gossip Randomization: This change reduces the amount of metadata gossip by selecting a random subset of the nodes that a given knows instead of gossiping the whole set. This should reduce the bandwidth that hotspots use, but may occasionally increase metadata convergence time in the system. PRs: libp2p/229
We plan to let this beta overnight and deploy in the morning PST on Friday the 7th.