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August 28, 2018

Filecoin 2018 Q1 & Q2 Update

Filecoin 2018 Q1 & Q2 Update

Filecoin 2018 Q1 & Q2 Update

0. Table of Contents

1. Filecoin Development Update

Let’s not bury the lede. The most exciting thing going on right now in the Filecoin Project is building the first protocol implementation: go-filecoin. We have been hard at work on this for many months, and are thrilled to have reached a point where:

You can take a closer look at completion state of various parts of go-filecoin in this working document.

1.1. Dev Update / Demos of go-filecoin

Along with this update we are publishing 3 demos of go-filecoin in action. The demos are basic, but they show a lot of complex components working in the go-filecoin node. We get to see basic blockchain operations, such as blocks being mined, propagated through the network, and the chain coming to consensus on the best next block. We get to see the resulting blockchain data, including the state tree, the internal data storage for actors, wallet balances, wallet payment transactions, and more. We get to see the decentralized and verifiable Storage Market in action, with bids, asks, and deals storing files. In the future, we will make and release more demos of functionality.

Demo 1: go-filecoin & testnet simulator

This demo introduces tools that are used in other demos. It boots up a local test network, spawns several go-filecoin nodes, runs random actions on them, then inspects the resulting blockchain data. The demo shows:

Demo 2: Network Vis & Block Explorer

In this demo, we can see a real-time visualization of all the activity in a local test network and its nodes, and a block explorer. We see the following actions:

Demo 3: Storage Market Basics

In this demo we walk through a set of storage market operations:

1.2. Dev Update / Codebase opening up

Private codebase so far. We have been developing in a private codebase. This is not our typical way of working – almost all of our work is fully public from the first commit (see IPFS, libp2p, IPLD, and more). We made the hard choice of starting the codebase privately primarily to avoid distractions and to move quickly.

Public codebase and community forums coming soon! We have passed the critical period when we needed to have the codebase private, and are quickly reaching a point where the implementation would benefit more from being public. Therefore we plan to publish the codebase in the coming months. This will be an exciting time to get involved! At that point, everybody interested can come learn about Filecoin, help build parts of it, and start building on top of it.

Organizing the Community. We are looking forward to fostering a collaborative and resilient culture to build out the infrastructure for the distributed web. Our discussion forums will field questions, and our codebase will be the place to file issues. In addition, we are setting up some structures to organize collaboration in a scalable and easy to enter way:

2. Filecoin Research Update

The Filecoin Research team has been focused on the following lines of work. We will give a succinct summary here, and dive in-depth in future posts.

3. Filecoin Project Roadmap

With this update, we are publishing a more detailed project roadmap and a rough optimistic timeline, extending out to many milestones ahead. We plan to keep this roadmap updated in this document.

3.1. Roadmap / Optimistic Timeline

While we cannot commit to any exact dates on this timeline, we want to give at least an indication of where we are, what’s next, and when next milestones will be reached. We hate giving dates that may turn out to be too optimistic or slip, but we hate the silence and keeping our community in the dark even more. So, against typical mainstream software & product development wisdom, we are publishing this optimistic roadmap with expected dates of targeted milestones, and we plan to revise it as we need. The pros: a much clearer and transparent planning approach, easier coordination across the community, and excitement as milestones get closer. The cons: timelines will certainly have to change – some things may come sooner or later than initially anticipated.

3.2. Roadmap / Where are we

In rough terms, this is a high-level view of where we are. (These phases are not equally long)

3.3. Roadmap / Upcoming Milestones

Our coming milestones are as follows:

4. Filecoin Public Talks & Media

We have stayed mostly out of the public sphere this year, as we have been focused on building. We gave a few public talks, and visited a few research groups. Our activity will remain similarly constrained until the lead-up to the launch of the network.

5. libp2p update for Filecoin

Filecoin is built on top of and depends heavily on libp2p, a project led by Protocol Labs as well. Therefore we include a compressed update from that project tuned for Filecoin.

6. IPFS update for Filecoin

Filecoin is built on top of and depends heavily on IPFS, a project led by Protocol Labs as well. Many users of IPFS aim to also become users of Filecoin, so IPFS capabilities and use cases greatly inform Filecoin. Therefore we include a compressed update from that project tuned for Filecoin.

7. Changes to the blog and to our updates

We are making some changes to our blog and our updates. In our last update, we planned to broadcast updates at least once a quarter. We are sorry to have missed that goal – we know this was frustrating for some in the community. Hence, this update is longer than usual, and we’re making the following changes:

8. Cautionary Notes

Miner Caution: We have noticed a number of companies making and selling “Filecoin Mining Machines” or “Filecoin Mining Hardware”. Please note: we have not released official specifications for mining hardware yet, so these systems may turn out to be suboptimal or unnecessarily complex. Once we have a clear idea of optimal constructions for Network Launch, we will publish concrete specifications of system requirements, trade-offs to consider, and hardware recommendations. We recommend holding off on buying Filecoin-specific hardware until we publish those specifications.

What is holding back mining hardware specifications? We aim to have as broad compatibility and as minimal system requirements as we can. We want existing storage systems to be able to be near-optimal Filecoin miners with minimal modification (ideally zero). Recent improvements to core components like Proof-of-Replication (which currently require SNARKs) have drastically reduced overheads and improved tradeoffs for such systems, and we may have more improvements like that in the short term.

Investor Caution: During and after the Filecoin token sale we’ve heard reports of attempts to defraud investors from actors claiming to be selling Filecoin SAFTs or tokens. Similarly, we’ve seen unscrupulous exchanges claiming to list Filecoin and Filecoin derivatives. Remember that the Filecoin token will not be live until network launch, and all the transfer restrictions and other terms of the SAFT still apply. Therefore, any exchange or seller that lists or offers Filecoin, IPFS tokens or related derivatives is likely fraudulent. We will announce in our official blog when the Filecoin Network and token go live. Until then we strongly recommend staying away from any exchange or entity who claims to be buying, selling, or trading Filecoin tokens or derivatives.

Legal disclaimer: This update lays out our current plan for the project. The actual future may, and is likely to, play out differently as things continue to develop. You should not rely on any predictions made here.

Many Thanks!

Thank you for all your support so far, and in the future! And thank you in advance for your referrals, ideas, and suggestions. Your help accelerates our progress.

The Filecoin Team
Protocol Labs

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