Authored by Phil Ngo
An update on ChainSafe's TypeScript implementation of Ethereum Consensus
Welcome to another edition of "A Lodestar for Ethereum Consensus," a series where we give periodic updates on our Ethereum client. See our previous edition here.
After a successful Goerli testnet merge, TTD for the merge has been specified. As it stands, 58_750_000_000_000_000_000_000 is the moment Ethereum's proof of work chain accumulates the right amount of difficulty, and the network will transition to Proof of Stake. It's finally happening!
There's been a lot of activity recently and some exciting stuff ahead for Lodestar, so let's dive right in.
Lodestar has been production-ready since we published our first block in November 2021. To strengthen confidence in our software, we've been running additional mainnet validators shortly after this milestone through the Ethereum Foundation's Client Incentive Program and Lido's Node Operator program.
We recently pushed a v1.0.0 release, which is something we've diligently been working towards for a long time.
This is a significant milestone, and every single mainnet validator that runs Lodestar software hereafter emphasizes our readiness to the community. Our success with all of the previous Ethereum testnets attests to this sentiment. The latest Goerli-Prater merge successfully transitioned, and we continue to monitor the performance of our software on those testnets.
In addition, we continue to run post-merge Ethereum on both Ropsten and Sepolia testnets to reliably support a thriving Ethereum developer community. Goerli nodes are often used for performance and regression testing and do not need consistent uptime as a larger share of the community keeps this network operational.
Finally, we've transitioned our previously named "merge scripts" to a new repository name, "lodestar-quickstart." This is a one-line command to get your Lodestar client started alongside any of the four execution clients. The goal of the quick start script is to encourage adoption by making the Lodestar setup as easy as possible.
In the last quarter, we've had some extra DevOps support, which enabled us to do significant infrastructure upgrades. We've overhauled our testing and mainnet infrastructure to better support the massive scaling we will be doing to support our commitments to the networks we participate in and the light client development ecosystem.
Having a robust, simplified, and secure infrastructure allows us to bring Lodestar to the world by demonstrating its use in larger enterprise setups alongside solo staking.
We've also been running an increasing number of validators on testnet (Ropsten, Sepolia, Goerli) and mainnet (currently 72 CIP, 100 Lido, with more to come!). We've also upgraded our metrics server for better testing, visibility, and general intelligence on performance.
The Lodestar audit is complete, and we're happy to report that no high-impact or critical vulnerabilities to the network were discovered. Some of the issues found from the audit are currently in the process of being fixed in anticipation of v1.0.0+.
There will be a forthcoming joint announcement with the Ethereum Foundation (EF) to fully deploy the audit findings once the fixes have all been implemented. This completion will give the EF, stakers, and other users of Lodestar the confidence to use and endorse our software for production. And it means that we will be officially moving out of experimental status!
In the last few months, we've been more intentionally building awareness. We now have a home on Twitter (follow us!) and gave a facelift to our website. Earlier in the summer, we completed our first community call, ChainSafeSpace ft Lodestar.
Watch out for more of these in the future.
We also participated in Gitcoin's GR14 grant round in a track specifically for Ethereum core infrastructure projects. Through this process, we garnered contributions from 138 contributors!
We've also recently published a blog post detailing the future of light clients and what we're doing to make that a reality. And finally, GitPOAP released a badge for Lodestar contributors, as seen below.
The way to mint one of these beautiful badges is to contribute to the Lodestar repo today!
Roadmap and goals
We've come a long way, but there's still a lot of work to do. Part of being a consensus client means that we must satisfy tests designed to prevent consensus failures. These consensus-spec tests were recently updated to v1.2.0-rc.3, and we're happy to report that Lodestar v1.0.0 passes the tests related to and required for merge readiness!
Additionally, the audit completed for the EF will have most fixes implemented for v1.0.0. Check out the v1.0.0 announcement, as it does include some breaking API changes you must be aware of as a user migrating from Lodestar in v0.x. Unfortunately, the Libp2p ES modules upgrade has been taking longer than expected and is not included with our v1.0.0 release. However, it will be a priority task for us.
On the user experience and adoption front, we're looking forward to more explicit endorsements from the EF. We also plan to get Lodestar mentioned in more community resources, explore collaborations with DappNode, Rocket Pool, and Vouch and continue working on our documentation.
In fact, great news if you're a Rocket Pool node operator! We're finally implemented into the latest v1.7.0 beta of Rocket Pool's Smart Node software and are ready for testing on Goerli!
We're also pushing light client research and development. We hope to participate in another light client summit, this time at Devcon. We're also focused on R&D spec for light client upgrades for the network and pushing discv5 to the Portal Network for execution clients.
If you're interested in getting involved with Lodestar, check out our Github. If you'd like to contact the team, feel free to drop by on Chainsafe's Discord on the #lodestar-general channel or email email@example.com.
For more details on Lodestar, please head to our documentation site.
ChainSafe is a leading blockchain research and development firm specializing in infrastructure solutions for web3. Alongside its contributions to major ecosystems such as Ethereum, Polkadot, Filecoin, Mina, and more, ChainSafe creates solutions for developers and teams across the web3 space utilizing our expertise in gaming, bridging, NFTs and decentralized storage.
As part of its mission to build innovative products for users and improved tooling for developers, ChainSafe embodies an open source and community-oriented ethos to advance the future of the internet. To learn more, click here.