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Blockchain Release: Snapshot Fixes and Implicit Burn Support

· 4 min read

The core developers have tagged a new 2021.06.08.0 Hotspot firmware release which fixes Snapshot creation and ingestion. It also adds support for storing transaction with implicit burns. This is a required upgrade for all miners and will be automatic for all Hotspots using the Helium firmware when we release to General Availability.

Community Contribution!!!

The core developers would like to thank @syuan100 for implementing support for storing "Implicit Burn" events on the blockchain. This is a substantial contribution made by a community member on blockchain-core and we are very excited that it's packed in the new release. Storing "Implicit Burn" events essentially allow consumers of blockchain-core to store those transactions where the fee has been paid for by burning HNT on behalf of the user by the network. Please feel free to read the blockchain-core#771 for more details.

Snapshot updates for reliable generation and ingestion

As some of the community members have noticed, the blockchain is not constructing new snapshots reliably, this release aims to fix that.

IMPORTANT! This release is not forwards compatible, i.e. if a Hotspot is on an older firmware than this one, they will fail to retrieve and ingest newly generated snapshots, therefore it's imperative to update to 2021.06.08.0.

Below are the snapshot fix related PRs:

  • blockchain-core#786: Incremental snapshot [de]serialization

    This change fixes the [de]serialization of snapshot to not cause huge memory spikes the team observed on some of the hotspots.

  • blockchain-core#857: More fixes for atomic checkpoint cleanup

    The team noticed that the checkpoint directories were not being cleaned properly, this change fixes that and adds a unit test for it.

  • blockchain-core#856: Make ledger checkpoints more atomic

    This change enforces that we don't accidentally take a ledger checkpoint and omit writing the delayed file or the updates because of a crash or a restart by utilizing a temporary directory and atomic renaming.

  • blockchain-core#854: Store completed ledger upgrades in snapshot

    This adds support for storing completed ledger upgrades in the snapshots, this ensures that snapshots contain all the necessary information required to continue resyncing.

  • blockchain-core#851: Keysort before snapshot serialization

    This change ensures that snapshots are serialized and subsequently hashed in a deterministic order.

  • blockchain-core#850: Fix outdated snapshot API

    This change updates the tests to use the updated snapshot API.

  • blockchain-core#846: Re-add snapshot backward compatibility

    This change enables storing S3 downloads and cross-checking before doing another download. Furthermore it updates snapshot initialization to use the already downloaded S3 snapshot.

Core enhancements for blockchain-etl

The following additions allow blockchain-etl to expose a better API:

  • blockchain-core#840: Expose fee_payer function for transactions

    As a helper to blockchain-etl, each transaction now exposes a fee_payer/2 function from each transaction. This helps in reconciling the actual fee payer of all transactions.

  • blockchain-core#839: Expose blockchain_txn:fee function

    Add support to expose blockchain_txn:fee/1 for each transaction on chain.

Transaction manager and other enhancements for blockchain-core

The following fixes aim to address transaction processing and gossip issues observed on the network:

  • blockchain-core#843: Update condition for next plausible block

    This change fixes a long standing bug in ingesting potentially plausible blocks. Please read the PR for further details.

  • blockchain-core#836: Route depdendent transactions to dialed members

    This fix ensures that a potentially dependent transaction gets an opportunity to be processed by atleast some consensus group members given that it was never accepted before. Please read the PR for further details.

  • blockchain-core#825: Get transaction submission paramaters from num_consensus_members chain variable

    This change updates the transaction submission parameters to use num_consensus_members chain variable instead of being set at initialization. This ensures that the testnet continues to process transactions at a steady rate while also future proofing if the variable eventually chages.


We have been beta testing 2021.06.08.0 since June 8th, 2021 12:30 PM PT. Several release candidates have been tested since late last week. Current ETA for GA is 4:00 PM PT, June 8th, 2021.