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Blockchain Release: Blockchain Sync Improvements

· 2 min read

The core developers have tagged a new 2021.09.16.1 Hotspot firmware release which primarily includes performance improvements for Hotspots. You can read about them below. This release also updates the blessed snapshot to 1012321.

This is a required release for all hotspot manufacturers and we recommend especially those with Raspberry PI 3 or similar hardware to upgrade quickly. See the note below on Snapshot changes for more details on why this is a required release.

Improvements to Block Absorption / Chain Sync

The root cause for blockchain sync issues in the past few weeks have been due to the size of the network and Hotspots with weaker hardware not being able to absorb blocks fast enough to keep up with the chain. This release should help OG Helium Hotspots, Bobcats, Nebras, and other similar hardware.

Your Hotspot will need to be fully synced before PoC activity resumes and you are again able to earn HNT for providing coverage.

Changes to Snapshots

An important note for manufacturers and "fast sync" features. Snapshots generated by Validators and Hotspots after this release (1.3.3 and 2021.09.16.1, respectively) will not work on older Hotspots. Please plan accordingly with snapshot generation.

In addition, miners (and other participants that are in "follow-mode") will no longer generate snapshots. This should help reduce spikes in memory and CPU utilization when miners are generating snapshots. This is no longer needed on Hotspots as Validators are responsible for generating snapshots for the chain.

Various Bugfixes

This release also includes some bugfixes around region lookups, a discovery mode bug (thanks @maco2035 for finding and @ke6jjj), and prepares dependencies for a future Erlang/OTP 24 upgrade.


We have been beta testing 2021.09.16.1 and prior release candidates since since Sept 16, 2021 4:00 PM PT. Current ETA for GA is 9:30 AM PT, Sept 17th, 2021.