Finality and Opt in update

Since my last update we have successfully released 0.9.6.3 and have acted on some of the learnings that gives me more confidence in our Release Management.

We have been working diligently to find a solution to finality. The inclusion of finality was a decision taken that will benefit Symbol in the long term and was agreed by the PMC, Core Devs and NEM Group management as a requirement given our strategic aims and functionality available on Public chains that Symbol directly compares too.

Finality is at the cutting edge of PoS Blockchain tech and finding a good solution that is consistent with our NEM philosophy and goals is not easy. It is something that very few projects have managed robustly so far and resolving it will position NEM and Symbol at the forefront of the next generation of blockchain development. Many of these solutions are still the subject of active study by senior researchers in the space.

We have boiled down our approach to two distinct options and we have been using external expertise to review and assist us in this process. Further reviews will now occur to enable a decision about which option to take forward.

That external review is expected to take 2 weeks and then the subsequent work to develop the solution can begin. Depending on the decision or comments this will require a further 2-6 weeks work.

The outcome of this design and implementation process has potential impacts on OptIn as well, as indicated previously. There is a risk if we launch OptIn too early in that process that the data models change and we need everyone to opt in again… Resolving the question around Finality means that we will start Optin 4-6 weeks from now and it does also mean that there will be a delay to the launch of TestNet.

We have been flagging on the Symbol Launch Reporting and Single Source of Information thread that this had the potential to impact dates for some time if not resolved. To confirm, resolution has taken longer than estimated and as a result Testnet launch will be delayed. We are working to find ways to avoid impact to Symbol Launch date but there is a strong risk it may be delayed as a result and i will provide further updates on this over the coming weeks.

Taking a shortcut on Finality now - not building a solution - is a compromise not in the best interest of the Symbol blockchain. The omission of Finality would result in less than 100% security at launch and would limit our ability to scale Symbol. Including Finality in the technology for launch ultimately helps to reap the reward in the long run and in the short run does not leave a known security risk.

Finality is something that has been worked on for the past quarter to reach a conclusion and difficult to estimate timings of, though we are close to the end of the process. This message will be a frustrating one and the Core Developers, PMC, NGL and external parties are all working to draw it to a conclusion. Once the review is complete I will provide a further update in 2 weeks, including any and all implications for the roadmap and timings.

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We are working on multiple projects that use Symbol, and other companies are doing the same. If the launch is delayed any longer, fatal damage may occur. We want you to do your best and proceed as soon as possible.
It’s a good idea to consider launching in stages.

If there are works to be done by community members, we would love to help.

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We in the NEM community will do our best to do what we can with the best results, hopefully all the hopes together we can achieve

Pada tanggal Rab, 22 Jul 2020 08.31, H Gocchi via NEM Forum <[email protected]> menulis:

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Yes. We are proceeding with a project using Symbol, and we are establishing an NPO corporation to promote the spread of NEM, planning study sessions and events, planning marketplace application and donation project etc. … We will continue to do what we can.

It may have been said that gradual launch of finality is very difficult.
We prepare, go, and wait.
Hopefully it’ll get to a great Symbol launch…

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Here is a post explaining a bit more about what Finality is, why it is important and how the work is being done: Finality: what is it and why is it important?

We want you to do your best and proceed as soon as possible.

Everyone is doing exactly this, the last step is finality and then its there, post launch there will be subsequent phases and functionality as well.

We are working on multiple projects that use Symbol

Depending on what these are, and if they are using public chain, then Finality is the difference between you knowing a transaction can be relied on to not be removed from the chain and having to wait until the chain is long enough that it is extremely unlikely.

It may have been said that gradual launch of finality is very difficult

It is quite difficult but not impossible, the other post above helps explain this (I hope)

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Very interesting subject, and I’m happy to see that this is something that’s been given strong consideration.
Finality is not something ive ever heard of myself in this area, I think its the right thing to find a good solution rather than to rush things and implement a quick solution that might not be up to the task.

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Great to hear that we have an external 3 party to review the finality design and implementation.

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