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Blockchain Housekeeping Release

· 3 min read

The 2020.09.30.1 release is a regular blockchain maintenance update. Notably, the team has added support for providing witness validity information to Proof of Coverage receipts, fixed blockchain snapshot determinism and updated state channel client to make device join accepts more robust.

Witness Validation Visibility

blockchain-core now provides visibility for Proof of Coverage witness validation. This would allow network participants to better correlate their PoC mining rewards with poc_receipts_txn paths. This is intended to be used by blockchain-etl and the API. Ultimately this data will be visible in explorer and the Helium mobile wallet.

Snapshot Determinism Fixes

Another minor change was made to make snapshot serialization more deterministic. While this would not normally merit a mention, these serialization issues are making it less likely that any given Hotspot will generate and store a correct snapshot, which has two effects that that a user might notice:

  1. It makes it harder for the Consensus Group to generate a snapshot, because two-thirds of the group needs to agree. This means that snapshots fail more often than they should and there are fewer to choose from when it comes time to bless the latest.

  2. Since fewer Hotspots agree, it's less likely that any given Hotspot will agree about the snapshot hash and store it. New Hotspots coming on to the network have to look around for longer to find a snapshot. Currently, agreement seems to have fallen into two major groups covering around 75% of all spots with a long tail of smaller groups.

Device JoinAccept Fixes

This release also addresses concerns related to client devices not being able to send join requests to the console without repeated attempts. We updated the state channel client on the miner to properly enqueue and dequeue packets once the router accepts an incoming packet offer from a Hotspot.

Blessed Snapshot Update

Finally, this release bumps the blessed snapshot to height 522721 which will improve sync times of newly onboarded Hotspots.


We will begin beta-testing 2020.09.30.1 around 4 PM PST on 30th September, 2020 and plan to release it to GA by 11 AM PST, 1st October, 2020.