Home | Blog | It’s Official — ARK’s First Testnet is Ready for Action!
Rok Černec
Reading time: 4 min
Date: 8th Dec 2016

It’s Official — ARK’s First Testnet is Ready for Action!

After many months of development, the ARK Crew is proud to announce the launch of the first official ARK testnet is now LIVE! The ARK Crew released the first ARK Core Alpha and kicked off the official launch of the ARK public testnet. Our development team has made substantial progress towards stabilizing the core network in internal testing, but now it’s time to simulate real-world use and the chaos that comes with it. For this next phase of testing, we need your help!

Getting Started

Community members can now visit our Github repo, download the ARK Core software, setup their first network nodes, and register to become active delegates. Our plan is to rotate delegates every 12 to 24 hours to allow everyone a chance to setup and monitor their first network nodes. We will have text and video tutorials available at launch to help you get started, and our team will be available in the Official ARK Slack, as well as on our forums, to answer questions from the community.

Please remember that this is an Alpha release and not all features are currently available. Bugs may exist in the current build, and you should be prepared for unexpected results.

What’s New

The first Alpha release of the ARK core is a highly modified version of the Crypti/Lisk core client. Our development team has been hard at work removing unnecessary elements of the code and adding in several key improvements for stability that will facilitate the functionality required to create the first iteration of the SmartBridge. The following is a short changelog featuring some of the work done so far.

Current Changes:

  • Removed sidechain functionality
  • Removed custom node version
  • Removed UI for stability and security reasons
  • Changed some constants (block rewards, blocktime etc…)
  • Added Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) pre-approval block processing.
  • Ditched addressing from the protocol in favor of public Keys to prevent collisions, using base58 check (similar to Bitcoin)
  • Added VendorField as the first iteration of SmartBridge
  • Re-developed peers management handling entirely within memory for increased efficiency
  • Strengthened transaction management and broadcasting (reject often, reject soon)
  • Re-architect with relay nodes and forging nodes, relay nodes broadcasting only block headers (still ongoing).
  • Updated install scripts for ARK Core.
  • First Iteration of ARK Lite Clients

— (Desktop Wallet: Linux, Windows, and macOS)

— (Mobile Wallet: Android)

Planned Features and Upgrades:

  • Add IPFS as a first class citizen (using SmartBridge addressing)
  • Protocol improvements (uncle forging, voting weights).
  • Remove unsecured API
  • Routing tables
  • Update voting algorithm to reflect 1 ARK = 1 Vote

Let’s Get Testing!

This initial Testnet release marks a major milestone for ARK and we want to keep that momentum going strong. During this initial Alpha phase, we need your help testing the core network functions so we can see how the network performs under real-world use. We want you to throw caution to the wind and try to break the network. The best way for us to know what still needs work is to put the entire system through the ringer!

During this initial testing phase, we would like to see particular testing in the following focus areas:

  • Transaction Processing (Flood the Network)
  • Delegate Registration and Voting
  • LiteWallet Functionality
  • Node Installation Instructions and Scripts
  • Forging behind firewall

Once ARK Crew is confident that the core network is stable, we can move on to implementing the remaining planned features from the list above.

Stay Updated!

To get all of the latest information about the launch and all things ARK, join us in our official ARK Slack and on our Forums. Also, don’t forget to submit your official Delegate Proposals to introduce yourself to the ARK Crew and the community. For more information on becoming a delegate, read our latest blog post, Building a Delegation — The Path to Becoming an ARK Delegate. Thank you for being an ARK supporter and we can’t wait to see you on testnet!


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