Development Update (September 2019)

Hello there!

Things have moved so quickly since the testnet launch in July, thanks in large part to our wonderful growing community:

To all our new validators — thanks for hosting nodes! Thanks also for being so patient with us, and for helping us flag and resolve issues. Being the first requires a certain amount of daring, curiosity and conviction, and we really appreciate the vote of confidence.

Here’s an overview of our progress in the past month, and a view into what’s next.

Incognito embraces a full-stack approach to decentralized privacy. The core development team consists of four sub-teams — one for each layer. Our monthly development update will address the progress made in all four layers.

The different layers of privacy

Physical Layer

Incognito will soon ship its own hardware, the Incognito Node (known affectionately as just Node). Node is a simple plug and play, energy-efficient home gadget that powers the Incognito network. For Incognito to be truly decentralized, we need as many validators as possible to host Nodes, including less technical users.

The first production batch will be finished in 2 weeks! We’re super excited to bring Node to the world. Fancy a sneak peek? Here’s Chris unboxing one of the very first Nodes:

What’s next? Node will launch soon! You’ll be able to get early bird prices for the launch, and up to 100% off for referring friends, so stay tuned for details.

Join our telegram channel to stay updated on launch dates, referral program details, and more:

Network Layer

Our validators are the best. Thanks @jaroslav @nonick and many others, for helping us fix a few bugs to improve and scale the network. Much appreciated.

When the testnet went live in late July, it had just 4 shards (and 8 nodes per shard). In mid August, it scaled to 8 shards and 16 nodes per shard. Right now (early September), the network is running 8 shards and 32 nodes per shard. That’s a total of 256 committee slots. Woop! Incognito is real and we couldn’t be more excited.

The team also spent lots of time building tools to better manage and operate the network. While the easiest way to keep track of basics is still the web-based Testnet Explorer, it doesn’t give you quite enough information to troubleshoot if issues arise.

If you’re a developer or an experienced node operator, download our Network Monitor Desktop App to dive deeper. You’ll be able to monitor multiple nodes, review the current committees, look at pending transactions, and make RPC calls.

Keep track of your Node activity

What’s next?
 We finished the implementation of BLS signature (to replace Schnorr signature). Our team will start testing BLS signature in the next 2 weeks and plan to push it live soon after. Once BLS signature is live, we hope to scale the number of nodes per shard to at least 100–150 nodes. All this to say — Incognito will soon be able to support thousands of nodes!

Data Layer

Other privacy blockchains require users to host a full node in order to send a single private transaction. That’s not ideal. It should be easy for anyone to claim privacy if they need, want, or value it. With the Incognito Wallet, users can send and receive crypto privately, just as they would any other type of transaction. And they’ll do so right from their mobile devices, where they’ll also hold their own private keys. We’re working every day to make the whole experience as seamless as possible.

The privacy team rewrote our zero-knowledge proof library from scratch in Go (to be replaced soon with a further-optimized C implementation). They then compiled it into Android Archive (for Android app), iOS Framework (for iOS app), and WebAssembly (for web wallet).

The code is open-source here. We hope that the community will find our “ZKP stack on mobile” helpful and integrate our code in their projects, making privacy truly attainable for the entire token economy.

ZKP optimized for mobile

What’s next?
 Our privacy team is working on a better privacy design. Obviously. We don’t stop! We’ll be sharing updates in more detail when we hit the next development milestone.

App Layer

Our mobile app is live on both Android Play Store and iOS App Store.

The app is the easiest way to send, receive, and store your crypto assets privately. You can also use it to monitor your Nodes on the go. The mobile app is in MVP form — perfectly functional, but you can look forward to steady improvements.

If you have any comments, want to report issues, or even send suggestions our way, the team is always happy to assist or chat. You can reach us on Telegram pretty much all the time, or you can always send an email to [email protected]

Conduct private transactions and run a node from your Incognito Wallet app

What’s next?
 We’re making it better, easier, simpler and more fun. That’s pretty much our development ethos summed up. We’ll be continually improving the UI/UX to make it more intuitive and delightful — so do shoot any feedback our way!

Grow with us

Incognito is learning to assert itself in this space. It’s the perfect time to be a part of its history and help shape its future. Join our Telegram, we’d love to hear from you. Host a Node, earn rewards for making the chain more robust. Review our code, help us grow sustainably. Comment on our whitepaper, keep us sharp.

Till next time,

All of us here at Incognito

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