Factom community report Q3 01.10.2018
Dear Factom Community,
We’re aligning our reports with the calendar year, as such the community can expect the following schedule:
Q1 Report: JAN – MAR (available early April)
Q2 Report: APR – JUN (available early July)
Q3 Report: JUL – SEP (available early October)
Q4 Report: OCT – DEC (available early January)
Of course, we welcome any specific updates on request and we encourage you to join us on the TFA Discord.
It’s been a few months since TFA was elected into the Authority Set and we feel an update from our end is long overdue. Since being onboarded we’ve made tangible progress in terms of establishing our company, working towards our pledges and contributing to the Factom ecosystem in general.
Although token price is less than ideal, it wasn’t outside the scope of possibilities and was considered in our income projections when we applied to be an ANO.
At current prices, TFA receives roughly $85,000 annualized (gross) server revenue.
The suppressed price means that currently the work we put into the protocol is far exceeding the reward. We have not and will not take salaries until the price has recovered or the market is reflective of the overall value that ANOs are providing. In this respect, we view our efforts as an investment in the protocol and we strongly believe it to be a good investment, in which we have a hand in growing.
In saying that, the current market conditions also means –
1. TFA has not been able to transition every member into full time roles
2. TFA has more reliance on grants to accomplish some of its larger plans
As per our application, we pledged to review our server efficiency quarterly. Although, market conditions are unfavourable, TFA will not change efficiency at this stage. The grant pool is fairly starved at the moment, so we feel maximum deferment is required, which allows the community to decide how resources are best utilized.
- Ability to sort explorer by column of choice (FCT-transfers, EC spent etc.)
- Ability to limit displayed blocks by date (last day, last 7 days, last month, custom range)
- Public explorer API enabling anyone to query Factom blockchain data
- Factoid Inflation dashboard displays:
- Average efficiency
- Authority node Count
- Federated servers
- Audit servers
- Factoids generated (per coinbase transaction) to:
- Authority Node operators
- Grant pool
- Number of blocks until next coinbase transaction
- Realtime pending entries (block being built)
- Current block height
- Current “minute in the block”
Authority Set dashboard features:
- Visual representation of all the nodes in the authority set
- Federated servers
- Audit servers
- Displays the following information for each server:
- Chain ID
- Signing Key
- Coinbase Address
- Current Efficiency
- Pledged Efficiency
- Matryoshka key
- Heartbeat timestamp
- Monitors health of the authority set and has visual cues for:
- Missing heartbeats
- Server offline
- Discrepancy between pledged and actual server efficiency
- Display ANO-pledges in Authority set dashboard
- Support transactions and addresses for future tokens on top of Factom
- Testnet Explorer(s)
Factom DB preliminary work
Commenced work on a FactomDB prototype, including a new C# factomd/wallet api client.
FactomDB will make reading Factom data easily accessible using SQL by storing indexable data directly on a Factom Chain.
TFA-Bot was originally a private server monitoring solution, however network stability issues prompted us to open the project up to other ANOs and prospective ANOs on the testnet. We received feature requests and the project’s scope grew quickly. It’s now in a functional state with features beyond what we first anticipated and is now an integral component to the Factom alerting system.
- Monitors the network (and testnet) and will alert of any stalls
- Monitors factomd nodes:
- Block height
- Block time
- Changes in latency
- Configurable alerting to all or “on-duty” users:
We have a current freeze on additional features for now as we focus on pursuing our pledges. We have outlined some possible additions on Factomize if there’s community support for a grant.
The TFA explorer runs ontop of a postgres database that contains all of Factom Blockchain’s data. This is more powerful than the factomd api allowing for relational queries for many applications. We will be open sourcing the tool to build this database, hopefully allowing other applications to utilize a more powerful api when quering the blockchain.
Developed a Testoid faucet for the testnet. Once we have an implementation of TFA-explorer on the testnet, we can start monitoring activity.
TFA-Testnet Swarm Builder
We have docker servers with public IP subnets, which enables us to spin up docker containers with their own dedicated IP stacks. It’s possible to run multiple factomd instances on the same hardware, without ports clashing. To make setting up new Testnet instances easy, we have written a script to do it, which also provides a menu-driven front end, making updating, and interacting with it really simple.
Ledger SSH System Admin
One of our earliest projects was to develop a secure means of accessing servers. SSH access via Ledger reduces risks associated with server admins using weak passwords and contributes to the overall security of the network.
Ledger (Grant Work)
The first version of the MyfactomWallet Ledger app development is complete. The initial intent was to transition the app over to the Ledger company for review and publishing the week of September 17th, however, in August, Ledger changed and formalized their app release procedures. As such, new Ledger apps are released the first Tuesday of every month and all cryptocurrency based apps must have a completed client prior to the security review. Ledger requires a 2-3 week turnaround time for publishing a new app and the MyfactomWallet site is expected to be released to the testnet around the mid October timeframe. This will allow enough time for the review to be completed in time for when MyfactomWallet.com goes live in early November.
The ledger app consists of two primary components, the app itself and the client side drivers.
1. The app on the device is the MyfactomWallet app which handles the user’s private keys. The keys supported are for both entry credits and factoids. The app will handle the signing of factoid transactions which includes factoid-to-factoid and factoid-to-entry credit transactions. The app also supports entry credit transaction signing for both entry and chain commits.
The UI will not support entry and chain commits as features at the launch of MyfactomWallet.com, however the interfaces will be there for anyone wishing to take advantage of those features. Furthermore, because of the U2F extension required to run the app, only the google-chrome browser is currently supported. Ledger is currently working on supporting both Firefox and Microsoft Edge browsers, however, no official timeline has been released.
Currently investigating how to make the identities work with the Ledger. The identity keys are an important requirement for the on-chain voting system. There are several nuances with the cryptography that need to be investigated, specifically with respect to the way Ledger implements ED25519 signing. After a viable solution is found, the message signing with the identity key will be added to the app in a future release.
Tor is a member of the ANO contributions committee, and has worked drafting the ANO removal document, as well as worked on ANO pledge verification. The TFA explorer will display the pledges for each ANO, making these easily visible for the broader Factom community.
Tor is further co-chair of the Core & code committee, and has worked with Niels Klomp on creating a process for reporting and tracking network issues on the Factom network, as well as contributed to coordinating new code releases.
Ben is an active member of the Exchange committee, which in his view after a slow start is starting to ramp up under good leadership. He helped draft the Exchange committee’s listing request letter.
The team met up in Austin, Texas in June. We visited Factom Inc HQ and there we met fellow ANOs RewardChain.
TFA was incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
We built our website factoid.org | factoidauthority.com (still requires some work).