Elastos is pleased to announce the official release of our updated Project Development Roadmap. As we advance our mission to develop an open source network operating system that protects individual liberties in the digital age, we would like to update our community about our recent development progress and how it affects our long-term goals.
At the core of any blockchain project’s development is its foundational infrastructure—that is, its Main Net. At Elastos, the development of our Main Net is especially critical, as it is a platform that will support whole ecosystems of DApps and users. Thus, designing and perfecting the Main Net is our highest priority. In order to keep our community fully informed, our updated Project Development Roadmap (PDR) provides both a Broad Overview and a Comprehensive Roadmap of our Main Net development process, which is delineated into three distinct stages.
The Broad Overview summarizes each stage and highlights some of the significant developments that have advanced Main Net to where it is today, before describing where it is headed in the future. The Comprehensive Blueprint highlights each stage’s significance and development progress in detail, and provides measurable, time-specific development targets, as well as the technical nuances that affect implementation. Our goal is to offer members of the Elastos community deeper insight into the day-to-day work and long-term vision of the Elastos Blockchain Developer Team, and we are confident this information will give community members an opportunity to better acquaint themselves with Elastos’ technical framework, the path to its realization, and our vision of a trustless and secure Modern Internet infrastructure that protects user privacy and secures digital assets.
The Elastos Main Net PDR
I. Broad Overview of the Elastos Main Net
Elastos Main Net 1.0: Main Net Goes Live
Main Net 1.0 was defined by the establishment of critical developer teams and the launch of basic technical infrastructure and core technologies. Though far from complete, Main Net 1.0 transformed the vision of Elastos into a viable working product.
August 2017: The Elastos Blockchain Developer Team was established.
Together with partners and community members, research and development was conducted for the Main Net, and all related open source code was published on Elastos’ GitHub page.
December 22, 2017: The Elastos Main Net went live, thus enabling ELA transfers and officially launching both the Elastos Browser and Web Wallet. Merged-mining operations with Bitcoin officially underwent R&D and testing by the Blockchain Developer Team and the tech team dedicated to btc.com, Bitmain’s BTC mining pool. Elastos’ Auxiliary Proof of Work and Delegated Proof of Stake (AuxPow+DPoS) hybrid consensus mechanism also underwent related R&D and testing.
July 2018: Elastos officially launched the DID (Decentralized IDentifier) Sidechain. As the inaugural sidechain based on Elastos, the establishment of the DID Sidechain represented a major milestone for the project, as it verified that Elastos’ unique main chain-sidechain architecture was capable of supporting real world scalability.
August 26, 2018: Bitmain was integrated into Elastos merged-mining, and the Elastos Main Net began operating a limited AuxPoW consensus mechanism, as further infrastructure development advanced in suit.
Elastos Main Net 2.0: Main Net Upgrade and Complete Consensus:
Main Net 2.0 is defined by a fully functional and decentralized blockchain. Elastos entered the era of Main Net 2.0 by successfully launching merged-mining operations and gathering DPoS nodes through a democratic election process.
March 3, 2019: Merged-mining was opened to the public. In addition, the first round of DPoS Supernode elections began, and the Elastos AuxPoW+DPoS hybrid consensus started to take shape, as each node would act to protect the Elastos Main Net and secure transactions on the Elastos Blockchain.
June 17, 2019: After the first round of DPoS Supernode elections conclude, elected Supernodes will join CRC Supernodes to begin participating in consensus. At this stage, DPoS consensus will go live and votes will be recounted every thirty-six blocks—or approximately every 72 minutes. In line with a fully functional hybrid consensus, improvements will continue to be appended to the Elastos infrastructure, with particular focus on its sidechain architecture.
Elastos Main Net 3.0: Community Autonomy and Self-Governance:
Main Net 3.0 will be defined by the empowerment of Cyber Republic as a fully autonomous community capable of self-governance.
August 2019: With the launch of the CRC election process, the Cyber Republic White Paper will be released and the Elastos Improvement Proposal (ELIP), a delineated process of proposing improvements, will be published. With these community pillars in place, Cyber Republic will gradually advance toward full autonomy—possessing its own governance structure, goals, community members—while serving as a voice for the Elastos community.
II. Comprehensive Roadmap of the Elastos Main Net
Elastos Main Net 1.0: Main Net Goes Live
Fifty years into its development, the internet has transformed commerce, exponentially improved process efficiency, and revolutionized all forms of communication. However, information on the internet exists in the form of data, which can be copied ad infinitum. Users enjoy a large amount of free content, but content creators and information owners no longer benefit from their labor because their intellectual property cannot be protected from costless replication in the digital realm.
In addition, sensitive personal information including account balances, transaction records, biometric identifiers, and browsing history has been collected and stored without adequate security measures in place. Today, data leaks from applications and smart devices have become so common that they are rarely considered significant news. It becomes only more clear as the Information Age continues to advance that data is the most valuable asset in the modern economy, as internet giants like Google and Facebook have processed and sold user data as a business model. Thus, the unpermitted replication of a user’s data not only violates user privacy, but greatly dilutes the wealth that is vested in his or her personal data. In fact, the United Nations has declared internet access a basic human right. As it has become integral to our daily experience, we must focus on the creation of a better, more inclusive internet.
At the heart of such a better internet is blockchain technology. Blockchain utilizes cryptographic encryption to enable peer-to-peer exchange and guarantee immutability. In other words, blockchain automates trust by facilitating fair exchange to resolve some of society’s most perplexing problems. Through encryption, users are able to maintain their privacy, and through decentralization, personal ownership over digital identities is guaranteed, bestowing users the power to share or withhold their data as they see fit. Blockchain technology transfers control of personal data from internet monopolies and tech giants back to users, returning the wealth vested in data to its original owners. In recognizing the shortcomings of a flawed infrastructure, Elastos envisioned a prototype and development direction for the next-generation internet—the Modern Internet. By employing blockchain, a suite of powerful core technologies, and a fast, scalable infrastructure, Elastos designed a blueprint for a decentralized internet that preserves the privacy and ownership rights of its users while solving the data and digital asset double spend problem.
After successful incorporation of a secure blockchain, Elastos turned to building out an open innovation ecosystem that could further support the internet of the future. Among such initial developments were the Elastos P2P communication technology in Elastos Carrier, which was deployed in over one million Elastos TV Box units that would serve as the future peer nodes of Elastos. Following the hardware launch, Elastos’ first sidechain, the DID (Decentralized IDentifier) Sidechain, went live, enabling digital assets developed on the Elastos blockchain to receive unique IDs. Through the DID Sidechain, products are identified and verified according to their unique DIDs to protect against fraudulent accounts, promoting a secure and credible operating environment crafted to safeguard user accounts. Elastos also began merged-mining operations on limited terms with Bitmain to activate the early stages of AuxPoW consensus. Finally, the Elastos community contributed by developing DApps such as ELA Chat and Elephant Wallet, the initial pilots that have inspired other creators to build DApps on the Elastos blockchain.
Main Net 2.0: Main Net Upgrade and Complete Consensus
The focal point of Main Net 2.0 was the key launch of the Elastos Main Net and the full implementation of merged-mining, which allowed all mining pools and miners using the SHA256 hashing algorithm to participate. Mining pools that have already been integrated into ELA merged-mining include BTC.com, Antpool, BTC.TOP, ViaBTC, F2Pool, and Huobi.pool. The participation of some of the industry’s top mining pools globally contributes to the stability of ELA miners’ outputs, thereby further strengthening the security of the Elastos blockchain. As of June 2019, the hashpower being leveraged by ELA merged-miners is approximately 40% of the hashpower of the entire Bitcoin network. As world-leading BTC mining pools integrate into the Elastos Main Net via merged-mining, the network security and reliability of the Elastos blockchain is fortified by the Bitcoin PoW hashpower. The newly added connections contribute to the future Smartweb of Elastos, producing an increasingly robust system.
Elastos chose to implement merged-mining with Bitcoin not only for its unparalleled hashpower, but also to avoid conflicts between ever-increasing data processing requirements and limited available hashpower. Merge-mining conserves resources, and requires no further computing power than that being used by the Bitcoin network.
The key addition for Main Net 2.0 is the launch of Elastos’ DPoS consensus mechanism. The core plan for Main Net 2.0 also includes a release of several integral Elastos sidechains that are compatible with large developer-community blockchains like Ethereum and NEO. Community developers will also continue to support the Elastos ecosystem by developing and enhancing decentralized applications based on the Elastos blockchain. During this time, the Elastos Blockchain Developer Team will provide optimization solutions for the community’s unique challenges, which may include suggesting emerging industry applications for future integration, assessing industry case studies, and fine tuning the functionality of Elastos’ main chain-sidechain architecture. At all times, the team will maintain the spirit of openness and inclusivity expected of all developers participating in the Modern Internet.
The Key Developments for Main Net 2.0 are as follows:
(1) March 2019 to June 5th, 2019: Official Upgrade and Release of Elastos Main Net 2.0
i) March 2019: The Elastos Main Net underwent its first upgrade for DPoS functionality, and the Elastos Main Net consensus was upgraded from AuxPoW (merge-mining with BTC) to AuxPoW+DPoS. The 12 Cyber Republic Council (CRC) nodes were the first to participate in the DPoS consensus. In upgrading to a AuxPoW+DPoS hybrid consensus, Elastos realizes a number of benefits.
1. The PoW hashrate makes it significantly more difficult to commit fraud or forking, even if multiple arbitrators attempt to commit fraudulent activity.
2. Merged-mining leverages pre-existing hashpower, saves energy and computing resources, and automatically plugs into massive amounts of hashpower. Together, these measures protect against 51% attacks.
3. An additional layer of DPoS consensus combined with the arbitrator voting mechanism shields against 51% attacks in the PoW arena. By carrying out “finality,” DPoS nodes effectively safeguard the immutability of the blockchain as well as cross-chain transfers.
ii) May 31, 2019: The Elastos Main Net underwent its second upgrade for DPoS functionality. Post upgrade, the Elastos Main Net was fully prepared for community-elected DPoS nodes. This Main Net upgrade also signified the official and complete release of the AuxPoW+DPoS hybrid consensus mechanism on the Elastos Main Net.
* Note: As an SPV wallet, Elastos Wallet is fully decentralized. It is the only ELA wallet that functions during Main Net upgrades, and is available for iOS and Android.
iii) June 5, 2019: Supernode setup documentation and instructions were published, and the community began to set up DPoS Supernodes. During that time, the Elastos Blockchain Team, along with the Chinese-English language community teams, provided service support for Supernodes.
(2) June 17, 2019: DPoS Consensus Goes Live
To commence the first round of DPoS, the Elastos Main Net will take a snapshot on June 17th (UTC) at block height 402,680. After the first round of DPoS consensus concludes, the first round of DPoS earnings will be distributed. Distributing DPoS earnings will encourage community Supernode involvement and provide additional security of the blockchain while empowering the community to participate in democratic community elections.
(3) July 2019: Official Release of Ethereum and NEO Sidechains in the Elastos Test Net
Both the Ethereum and NEO Sidechains will go live on the Elastos Test Net with open source code available on GitHub. The open source code release will signify that DApp development on mature sidechains like Ethereum and NEO—as well as virtual machines and related apps that use them—are officially open to developers. At this stage, four Elastos-based sidechains will exist:
1. DID Sidechain
The DID Sidechain issues decentralized IDs to users, applications, and devices, and provides and expands the ability to store data using blockchain.
Release Date: July 2018
Release Status: Live on Main Net
Code Repository: https://github.com/elastos/Elastos.ELA.SideChain.ID
*Additional Information: The official release of the DID Sidechain’s blockchain browser is anticipated to take place during the second half of June 2019.
2. Token Sidechain
The Token Sidechain issues fungible and non-fungible tokens on behalf of projects and DApps.
Release Date: March 2019
Release Status: Live on Main Net
Code Repository: https://github.com/elastos/Elastos.ELA.SideChain.Token
3. Ethereum Sidechain
Based on Ethereum code, the Ethereum Sidechain is Ethereum smart contract-compatible, and is capable of issuing ERC20 and ERC721 tokens. Any application on the Ethereum public chain can also operate on Elastos’ Ethereum Sidechain. The Ethereum Sidechain uses DPoS consensus and knows the number of votes an arbitrator obtained on the Main Net through SPV, thereby confirming that the verified arbitrator can generate sidechain blocks. This mechanism allows for the identification of malicious activity or forking, and proof of malicious activity will be entered onto the blockchain by nodes exchanged in its place, from which a consensus will be reached by the entire network. By supporting cross-chain transfers with the main chain, the Ethereum Sidechain has achieved the Elastos sidechain standard requirement of an RPC port.
Release Date: July 2019
Release Status: Live on Test Net on June 17, 2019
4. NEO Sidechain
The NEO Virtual Machine (VM) was developed on, “Elastos.ELA.SideChain,” a GitHub code repository that is kept updated at all times. Developers can utilize this resource to create new sidechains on Elastos by simply forking from the repository. In addition to basic cross-chain transfer functions, the NEO Sidechain also integrates NEO smart contracts from NEO VM. This sidechain project is called “Elastos.ELA.SideChain.NeoVM.”
To lower the learning curve for developing smart contracts, the NEO Sidechain is already fully compatible with the smart contract code generated by NEO developer tools. Because the NEO VM operates based on avm characters, the NEO Sidechain will also be compatible with NEO smart contract code written in python, java, and C#.
Release Date: July 2019
Release Status: Live on Test Net on June 17, 2019
(4) Official Release Plans for Ethereum and NEO Sidechains
After Elastos Wallet has integrated DApp tokens from the Ethereum and NEO Sidechains, the Elastos Foundation will announce the official launch of the Ethereum and NEO Sidechains and invite community developers to create mature blockchain browsers and wallets for both sidechains. Higher quality DApps and services will accelerate user expansion and enrich the community.
As noted above, the Blockchain Developer Team anticipates the official release of the Ethereum and NEO Sidechains to take place in July 2019, pending feedback from the Test Net and developer community. During the test period, the Developer Team will address the following issues:
1. Ethereum Sidechain browser development and testing;
2. NEO Sidechain browser development and testing;
3. Integration of the Ethereum and NEO Sidechain Tokens into Elastos Wallet.
Following performance improvements and the strengthening of sidechain security, the Blockchain Developer Team will solicit engineering feedback, record the state of development progression, and select a day to release different sidechain versions on the Main Net. To maintain consistency in quality, this cycle will refresh for each tech development: the addition of future sidechains and relevant functions will begin with initial deployment on the Test Net, followed by full release on the Main Net.
*Rules for Naming Sidechain Token Protocols: Following the release of each sidechain or other ecosystem development, Elastos will produce its own token standard, as tokens cannot be circulated on different public blockchains. In order to distinguish different tokens with the same standard token protocol, Elastos has established the following protocol for naming sidechain tokens:
→ Standard naming for Elastos native token protocols:
→ Native Protocol Name: ELA/RC, ELA/IP, etc.;
→ External protocols will be named according to sidechains that already have mature token circulation protocols. The protocols will directly integrate the native mature protocol token name into the ELA backend, so as to respect the contributions of its open source code:
→ Elastos-based Ethereum Sidechains: ELA/ERC20, ELA/ERC721;
→ Elastos-based Neo VM Sidechains: ELA/NEP-5;
→ Subsequent naming of relevant sidechain tokens will occur in similar fashion.
(5) Relevant Functions of Elastos DMA Achieving Node
All necessary adjustments will be made to the Elastos DMA during the Test Net release of the Ethereum Sidechain. Once the Ethereum and NEO Sidechains are officially released on the Main Net, Elastos DMA will also be released on the Main Net.
(6) Cross-Chain Solution
The Sidechain White Paper published by the Elastos Blockchain Developer Team in November 2018 provided a detailed explanation of this technology. In order to both reduce the burden on the main chain and provide a better environment for smart contract execution, Elastos has employed a hierarchical, main chain-sidechain architecture. The main chain is only responsible for facilitating the circulation of ELA; smart contracts operate on sidechains and secure value transfers between the main chain and sidechain operate through the Elastos Sidechain Transfer mechanism.
Transfers made between chains are secured by joint signatures from public chain arbitrators as well as from the SPV mechanism. Token holders on the main chain together elect a certain number of, “arbitrators,” and those arbitrators are responsible for signing off on transfers when tokens are moved from a sidechain to the main chain. Multiple arbitrator signatures are required to unlock transfers and transactions on the main chain between accounts on the main chain account and representative sidechain. The main chain to sidechain value transfer is secured by SPV, and each sidechain node will synch all the blocks on the main chain with the Merkle validation path and transaction information. A decentralized consensus on transfers and transactions can be reached via data architecture and involved algorithms.
(7) High Performance, DPoS-Based Sidechains
While the blockchain industry is still early on in its development, the infrastructure that supports blockchain is rapidly advancing, and the value vested in public blockchains continues to grow. As blockchain emerges into the mainstream, it will create a significant demand for high-performance public blockchains.
The industry sector with the greatest commercial potential remains the base-level infrastructure, which is what makes public blockchains valuable. Under the Elastos main chain-sidechain architecture, ample flexibility will allow for the deployment of many different sidechains. The Layer 2 scaling solution based on the Elastos Main Chain provides Elastos sidechains with unlimited capacity for expansion. At the same time, high performance sidechains – such as the Ethereum Sidechain – are on schedule. The Elastos Blockchain Developer Team is currently in the process of developing further DPoS-based, high-TPS sidechains to satisfy the needs of a wide array of applications, all of which require different processing speeds.
(8) Solution for Crosschain Value Conversions
In combination with relevant matching and clearing technologies, Elastos Crosschain technology provides a solution for an autonomous DEX and decentralized value conversion. Because the Core Team will not be involved in the future operation of a DEX, community developers and groups are encouraged to actively follow the progress of the Elastos Crosschain Solution to provide high quality value conversion products and services to the community.
Main Net 3.0: Main Net Autonomy and Self-Governance
Main Net 3.0’s main goal is establishing a fully autonomous Cyber Republic community capable of self-governance. Such an autonomous and capable CR with have a structured body of democratically elected individuals and diligently drafted documentation that anchors the decentralized governance and decision-making process. Establishing Main Net 3.0 will consist of the following action steps:
(1) Form Cyber Republic: Fundamental to Main Net 3.0 is the complete formation of Cyber Republic (CR). The vision that underpins CR is the creation of an autonomous, democratically elected community governed for and by contributors and developers of the Elastos ecosystem. CR operates independently of Elastos, but shares the same goal: to develop the Elastos ecosystem into a successful, global project.
For Main Net 3.0, the Cyber Republic Consensus (CRC, replacing of the Interim Council) will complete development for basic functionality and determine the viability of community proposals based on the completion of various components of the Elastos Main Net. The Cyber Republic Council’s community election process will be based on a UXTO model. Unlike Supernode elections, which guarantee the wide participation of multiple elected nodes and the community, Cyber Republic Council votes will only be cast for a single candidate. Those participating in Supernode voting do not need to carry out any additional operations, and can directly participate in CRC Supernode voting. Users should also note that a single ELA can be used to cast votes in both DPoS Supernode elections and CRC elections; the elections are not mutually exclusive.
(2) Conduct Community Elections: Once an autonomous CR is formed and necessary tech development is in place, focus will shift to conducting community elections.
In August 2018, Elastos released a plan for Cyber Republic and commenced a preparatory phase. Throughout Cyber Republic’s preparatory phase, the Interim Council’s main objective has been to establish community rules and mechanisms for communication and interaction, as well as to remain abreast of opinions and developments throughout the community. At this time, we would like to thank the community team members for their active participation and insight.
Although neither the Elastos technical infrastructure nor CR community framework has been finalized, the Interim Council has been investigating relevant opportunities and will publish a white paper on the Cyber Republic Consensus. It is imperative that individuals in the Core Developer Team and community alike conduct respectful, open discussion pertaining to mechanisms for just governance and decision making processes. To incentivize continued community contributions, the Elastos Core Team is listening to ideas generated by the community on best practices for building out the Smartweb during this phase.
In August 2019, the Blockchain Development Team will officially release the Elastos Improvement Proposal (ELIP). At that time, the Interim Council will also release the Cyber Republic White Paper, based on the Elastos blockchain consensus. The released material and corresponding timeline will go as follows:
(1) ELIP (Elastos Improvement Proposal)
A detailed overview of the main content and characteristics of Elastos’ technology was first published in our 2017 White Paper. Since then, Elastos has undergone major improvements and optimizations.
ELIP is a design document that will provide information on processes and new features, including concise technical specifications and fundamentals, to the Elastos community, thus making it the main guidance for improving Elastos technology. Each version of ELIP will be reviewed by the community before taking effect, and will be maintained by Cyber Republic Consensus (CRC).
(2) Cyber Republic Council White Paper
This document will be produced by members of the Interim Council and Secretariat summarizing previous and current work aimed at shaping and improving CR. The White Paper will also share their recommendations for the future CRC. It will be published for all community members to read and discuss, so that a well-informed consensus can be reached.
(3) August 2019 to October 2019: Collect Opinions on Rules and Related Adjustments
After the rules of the CRC are published, the Blockchain Developer Team will collect related opinions from the global community. Once collection is complete, development activities will take place to implement the related adaptations and adjustments.
(4) August 2019 to January 2020: Conduct Preparations for Official Community Election
Unlike the DPoS consensus, CR requires the formation of culture, which stems from the communion of a diverse range of community members and their cooperative and competitive efforts. Each community proposal must undergo analysis pertaining to the specific obligations of the community. The community has an open organizational structure, and we expect everyone to act with integrity, make well-informed and judicious decisions, uphold the values of the community, and protect its orderly operation by addressing the efforts and ideas of both committee and community members with respect and consideration.
CRC candidates participating in the election can express their personal viewpoints, related experiences, and skills through the CR forum and other community channels. The CR public relations and media groups will report on CRC candidates, elicit interactions between community members regarding the election, and promote general awareness.
CRC election candidates may broadcast their background, strengths, and conception of CR, and highlight how they will address stakeholder concerns, such as developer tools, and user experience for DApp users. Broadcasting community concerns through a democratic election is the most effective way to feature the committee’s vision of CR. Finally, through blockchain-based, democratic online elections, the entire community can contribute to establishing the Elastos Smartweb and its Cyber Republic community together.
(5) Q4 2019: The CRC Voting Application Undergoes final debugging and open community testing.
(6) Progress Pending: Official Release of CRC Consensus.
(7) Progress Pending: The Elected CRC Commences Governance Operations of CR.
Main Net 3.0: A New Beginning
The development of the Main Net is of the utmost importance to the success and prosperity of Elastos. Once the foundation of the Elastos blockchain is stabilized, the Blockchain Developer Team will proceed with the augmentation of DApps, release technological upgrades, and garner participation from community developers and users to inspire ecosystem growth.
The launch of Main Net 3.0 will provide better security for core Elastos technologies, such as Elastos Carrier and Elastos Hive, and create greater space for development improvements. Such an environment will support the release of a new series of products, including Elastos Native Runtime, Digital Capsule, and Personal Cloud Computer (PCC).
Following the release of the Ethereum and NEO Sidechains, among others, Q3 of 2019 through Q2 of 2020 will be focused on the full formation of our technology. The Elastos Blockchain Developer Team will emphasize collaboration with community developers in collective efforts to expand existing applications.
Following the achievement of these technology milestones, the CRC will be elected through an official community election. We are confident that there are people of noble aspirations in the community who will run for leadership positions on the CRC and help define the development of Elastos and its DApp ecosystem. With these newly elected leaders, we are confident that Cyber Republic, its system of self-governance, and community-inspired DApp ventures, will flourish.
Elastos community proposals will be submitted through the CR website, and proposals will be subject to a vote by the democratically elected CRC. If a proposal is approved, the community will be notified, and the proposal will be scheduled for implementation.
At this stage, community members will develop DApps, expand the ecosystem, and help to grow its user base. The Elastos Core Team will join the Elastos community, and become contributing members to CR. In the Elastos community, every individual will be a member of CR, and all will be able to propel community development using their own personal strengths. Whether through community proposals, contribution of opinions, or participating in critical decision-making, each community member will influence and impact the development of the Elastos ecosystem.
Once the ELA dedicated to ecosystem development are officially under the command of CR-elected leadership, the community will be empowered by increased resources and creative collaboration opportunities. When CR operations are in place and there is sufficient community growth, DApps can be fully supported, developed, and accessed by users, and the Elastos ecosystem will transcend from the quiet arena of blockchain project development into the digital and economic mainstream.
The development of the Elastos community and Elastos Smartweb are intertwined; the two influence and balance one another. Only when both are developing in harmony can an open source, transparent, and autonomous Modern Internet be realized. Ultimately, the progress of each pursues the same goal: a robust, democratic, and organized Cyber Republic.
*As posted by Elastos Foundation