Welcome to the Space Race
The Filecoin Testnet Incentives Program is kicking off on, Monday August 24th at 10pm UTC (3pm PT | 6am CST on Tuesday, August 25th)! For the next 3 weeks, miners on the Filecoin Testnet will be competing for up to 4M FIL in prizes as they race to onboard as much storage space as possible. In the past month, we’ve already seen over 240 miners from 5 continents preparing to participate - reaching sealing speeds of 1 TiB / second (15 PiB sealed within 3 days)! Huge thanks to all miners for their help diagnosing issues, proposing fixes, and stress-testing the network in exciting ways. 🙏
Now, it’s time to start your engines. 🚀 Lotus is in code-freeze for the competition, and we have officially merged the “next” branch into “master” in preparation for resetting the Filecoin Testnet to start the Space Race.
Epoch 0 will start on Monday August 24th at 10pm UTC exactly, with the genesis being released approximately ~2 hours ahead of time for miners to get set up.
Let the countdown begin! ⏱
Space Race is a collaborative competition intended to stress-test the network, encourage participation all over the world, and help miners get ready to run the world’s biggest decentralized storage network. In this 3-week competition, miners are competing to onboard as much storage capacity as possible to the network. The top 100 miners globally, as well as the top 50 miners from each continent, will earn Filecoin rewards based on how much storage they and the network achieve during the competition period. Once the competition is live, you’ll be able to track progress at https://spacerace.filecoin.io.
In addition to onboarding storage capacity, the 20 largest block reward winners will split an additional 100K FIL prize proportionally based on how much block reward they win. You’ll be able to track the standings on this prize at https://reward.testnet.filecoin.io/ once the network’s up.
For now, you can see ‘calibration’ versions of both competition dashboards at https://calibration.spacerace.filecoin.io/ and https://reward.calibration.fildev.network/ respectively.
Space Race Eligibility
Filecoin aims to create a decentralized, efficient, and robust foundation for humanity’s information. Successfully reaching that goal requires a global network of miners able to demonstrate responsible stewardship of client data. Therefore, in order to be eligible for Space Race, participating miners must respond to storage and retrieval deal requests from competition bots, maintaining a 80% success rate or above for BOTH storage and retrieval deals. Bots will start making deals with miners who have successfully sealed sectors within 12-24 hours after competition launch, and will continue making deal requests throughout the competition.
To demonstrate they can execute the whole sector lifecycle (onboarding, upgrading, and terminating a sector), participants must perform at least one committed capacity sector upgrade during the competition to be eligible for rewards. See instructions in the Filecoin docs.
Miners will be able to track their deal success rate and sector lifecycle status in the spacerace.filecoin.io dashboard. For additional details on the rules and eligibility requirements, see the Space Race docs and FAQ. Please join the #space-race channel on Filecoin slack for the latest competition updates, and #fil-testnet for network/debugging questions once the competition begins!
Incentives Calibration Period
Since late July, we’ve been running a Space Race “calibration” network for miners to practice in real competition conditions and see how their performance influences hypothetical competition standings. This calibration period was a critical addition to ensure that miners participating in the Space Race were able to meet eligibility criteria by making successful storage and retrieval deals - and that the network was stable enough to enable their success.
The Calibration Period also saw huge improvements in network functionality and performance. New features launched in the calibration devnet included the ability to upgrade committed space with real deals, store multiple deals in one sector, request fast retrieval from miners via a plaintext copy, and exchange FIL for successful deals via payment channels. Similar to EIP1559, the calibration network also introduced burning gas for the on-chain resources that message execution consumes, and enabling message senders to directly pay priority fee to block producing miners, untethered to gas usage.
Huge thanks to the great community in the #fil-net-calibration channel on Filecoin slack for all their help upgrading the network over the past few weeks! 💪 If you’re still not happy with your standings, you have a few more days to iron out any last issues. Please ensure you’re up to date with the latest calibration network to make sure you’re ready to start Space Race with the latest fixes on Monday.
Participating in Space Race
Thanks to the calibration period, miners in the Space Race have a number of new tools (and better docs!) to help them participate successfully in the competition.
Competition Faucet: our new and improved faucet (deprecated as of 2023-02-28) helps miners smoothly onboard their storage onto the network, while avoiding pointless hoarding or spamming. We want to simulate real-world dynamics around efficient gas and fee prices by fairly limiting access to testnet FIL, without overly inconveniencing large miners.
We’ve evolved our faucet logic significantly during the calibration period to try to find a reasonable setup. To get started, new addresses are allocated an amount that is sufficient to start sealing, but not too significant to be easily abused. Most storage onboarding needs should be met with the reimbursement mechanism that distributes more testnet FIL as more sectors are sealed. Miners can regularly tap the faucet for additional but small streams of testnet FIL for their daily operations. Larger miners may be expected to have multiple Github accounts to initialize their operations, but reimbursement should kick in fairly quickly.
- To receive testnet FIL from the faucet, miners must authenticate with a Github account over 48 hours old.
- Miners can receive a one-time grant of 100 testnet FIL to any address.
- Once a participant has an active miner actor, they can return to the faucet for additional requests of testnet FIL once per 24 hours. The first of these requests will return 1,000 testnet FIL, and subsequent requests will return 200 testnet FIL. To receive these top-ups, enter your miner ID into the faucet and funds will be sent to the worker address.
- This is separate from the one-time grant - so miners can request both the one-time grant and miner actor grant within the first 24 hours.
- In addition, for miners able to seal data at high-velocity, we have a faucet bot that will send reimbursements for initial pledge to miner addresses in real time - allowing speedy miners to continue sealing quickly. (Note that this mechanism will only exist for the Space Race, not mainnet.)
Filecoin is a community-built network, and a healthy economy is built through collaboration, not abuse. This is a good first exercise in collaboration ahead of Mainnet launch. 🤝
Connectivity Checker & Logs: Miners can check their dialability and connectivity status on the dashboard to ensure they can successfully receive storage and retrieval deals. For miners who encounter connectivity issues, please see the Filecoin Documentation to ensure your storage miner is well configured. To track and debug any issues with storage and retrieval deals, miners can also search for their miner and see a log of all requests from the competition bots here.
Deal Filtering: If a miner is receiving a lot of deals from other clients, resulting in poor success with the competition bots, one can use the deal acceptance criteria described in the Space Race FAQ to only accept deals from specified clients (Client IDs for the competition bots are included there).
Documentation: Based on the challenges observed in the Calibration network, we’ve added lots of new documentation to help miners onboard smoothly. See new pages for miner troubleshooting, improving connectivity, and Space Race FAQs. We also have a whole host of great suggestions for more documentation improvements from the community, so expect to see more updates here as the team works on these suggestions over the next few days. 🙏
Space Race Events
Please join us for the Space Race Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, August 26th at 10pm UTC (3pm PT | 6am CST on Thursday, August 27th). We’ll celebrate the start of Space Race and have presentations from the team.
The Space Race will also feature a number of events for participants:
- Weekly workshops on Tuesdays at 6PM (PST) | Wednesdays at 9AM (CST) | 1am (UTC)
- 8 / 25: Filecoin Mining Workshop #1 - How to troubleshoot common issues
- 9 / 01: Filecoin Mining Workshop #2 - Improvements and new features
- 9 / 08: Filecoin Mining Workshop #3 - Getting ready for Mainnet
- Live AMAs with the Filecoin team on Wednesdays at 6PM (PST) | Thursdays at 9AM (CST) | 1am (UTC)
- Miner Show and Tell on Thursdays at 6PM (PST) | Thursdays at 9am (CST) | 1am (UTC)
- Space Race Report on Fridays at 5pm (PST) | Saturdays at 8am (CST) | 12am (UTC)
- Other special Deep-Dives on subjects like Filecoin’s CryptoEconomics, Mining Cluster Configuration, etc will be scheduled throughout the competition
All events will be recorded and available online. If you’d like to participate in the Miner Show and Tell, please join the #space-race channel on Filecoin slack where we’ll share a signup link next week.
We’re pumped to see what the Space Race holds for all of us - and very proud of the huge improvements we’ve made together over the past few weeks. It’s an honor to be building this network alongside you! 🛠️