This month we are due to update the community on when opt in opens, with an explanation of how it works.
There have been two elements in recent updates we have flagged as potential risks to the timeline, those are Finality and the fact that an additional version 0.9.6.1 is now deemed necessary.
In parallel with the planning process in April the Core Developers submitted a solution design for finality functionality to the external protocol review company. The design was expected to be able to be reviewed, adjusted, and concluded in 2 weeks. This was due on 24th April 2020 and was missed - we have managed this risk to date with no impact on Launch Date with as much parallel work as possible running alongside the review.
The following weeks resulted in some back and forth with the protocol review company, and included a 2 week delay on their side for medical reasons. In late May/early June a risk was raised around the IP of a reference solution that had been identified due to potential patents that exist. This is being investigated currently and a response expected in the week ending 12th June 2020.
If the response is that we are clear of any patent issues, the Core Developers will then reassess the timelines needed to deliver the coding of Finality, however if there are Intellectual Property/Patent challenges then the design process will need to carry on until a conclusion is found.
The summary of this issue is that the Finality Design approval date has been missed, largely due to external factors. The ability to mitigate this issue via parallel work is now coming to an end and it may have an impact on dates in the plan. That may or may not have an impact on V1.0 release, and therefore launch.
At this time, an answer does not exist for what that impact will be, but the answer on patents and our ability to respond to that will drive next steps. We don’t expect this situation to take more than 1-2 weeks to resolve and then will be able to communicate updates and the path forward.
Some of the potential challenges and risks related to setting the Opt In release date are listed below:
We fully expect to be able to announce the start of opt in and a date within the next 5 weeks and at this stage we do not envisage that these additional, necessary steps and fixes will impact on Symbol launch date.
In order to be ready to announce and launch the Opt In process it needs to work off of the targeted stable Symbol data and transaction model.
During the 8 weeks since the announcement of NEM Group, there have been two releases (0.9.4.1 and 0.9.5.1) both of which have provided considerable learnings.
While finishing up the 0.9.5.1 development and release cycle it was identified that another release was required to include some last model and transaction related changes. This created the need for what is the 0.9.6.1 targeted release which will cause a rework cycle for Opt In related libraries and tooling to update to the latest Symbol model.
The team has been working on 0.9.6.1 updates and is targeting 25th June 2020 for its release date. While 0.9.6.1 changes will have an impact on the data models in Symbol and therefore the Opt In launch date, it is not expected that it will have any impact on v1.0 release date at this time.
As per the plan, we originally intended to make an announcement by 10th June 2020 on the Opt In date, with a provisional expected date of approx 17th June 2020.
Given the above related to 0.9.6.1 the launch date of the Opt In needs to occur after 0.9.6.1 has been released and the team has had proper time to test the Opt In clients and data collection tooling on the latest version. Once the 0.9.6.1 model updates have been applied and verified by the team a target Opt In date will be announced. We expect to be able to announce this in the next couple of weeks as we get to the 0.9.6.1 release target.
For an update on current state of Opt In related components and tooling:
- Client and library work will be updated after the 0.9.6.1 release, this includes the mobile and desktop clients. Once updates are validated we will be targeting a small public beta test period.
- Data extraction & validation routines will require an update pass as well for the latest model and transaction changes.
- End to end system testing will be performed. Additional testing will occur in an ongoing manner to ensure the solution is robust and scalable for public network launch processing.
- The team will be targeting a small public beta testing period for those interested in testing and providing feedback for test net usage, more announcements to come soon related to how you can participate.
The good news is that any change in Opt In date has no impact on Launch Date, the minimum time targeted for Opt In pre launch is ~3 months, and we have ~5 in the plan. Further information on Opt In launch this will be provided in the coming weeks as 0.9.6.1 is finalized and released.
As a final note, to date I have been focussed on the program and the shift of operations from the NEM Foundation to NEM Group. However I will be posting out a wider NEM Group update next week and will be more active with communicating to the community over the coming weeks.